The Michigan father charged with the parental kidnapping of his three missing sons is fighting his return to Michigan from a jail in Ohio.
An attorney for 39-year-old John Skelton told a judge in Toledo on Wednesday that his client did not wish to waive extradition to Michigan.
The judge then set bond at $3 million and scheduled another hearing for Dec. 14.
Skelton sat throughout the hearing in a wheelchair covered by a green blanket. He answered the judge’s simple yes-or-no questions in a whisper.
Authorities said Skelton had been hospitalized under psychiatric care at a Toledo area hospital. He was arrested Tuesday on three counts of parental kidnapping.
His sons, all under age 10, have been missing since Thanksgiving in Morenci, Mich., 33 miles west of Toledo.
Meantime, the search for the boys may shift from a rescue to a recovery, after authorities warn of a less-than-positive outcome to the case.
If the three boys are to be found, it may depend on what the father ultimately tells police.
Four days of long, hard searching by hundreds of volunteers have turned up no sign of Andrew, Alexander, or Tanner Skelton, missing for nearly a week now.
The pastor of the missing boys’ church, Morenci United Methodist, said the church is open to anyone who needs counseling.
“We have opened our church building, our sanctuary is available and we know that these are difficult times. We know that everyone is being touched by this and the weight is heavy,” said Pastor Donna Galloway.
Galloway says her heart goes out to the Skelton family and the law enforcement officers and volunteers who have been searching diligently for the boys.
Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks says they do not expect a “positive outcome.” Searchers say they will not give up, as they prepare for a fifth day out in the fields back roads and wooded areas.
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