The 39-year old John Skelton appeared in circuit court, Wednesday, for a pre-trial hearing, but was remanded back to district court for an arraignment on three charges each of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.
The new counts are in addition to three counts of parental kidnapping Skelton already faces.
Skelton’s son, 9-year old Andrew, 7-year old Alexander and 5-year old Tanner have been missing since late November when they were last in his custody.
Their mother reported them missing after Skelton didn’t return them from a court-ordered visitation over Thanksgiving weekend. Skelton was soon arrested by FBI agents after his release from a medical facility in Lucas County, Ohio, where he had been being treated since attempting to hang himself the Friday before.
Police said that earlier this month, Skelton told them his sons are with the United Foster Outreach and Underground Sanctuaries – an organization investigators have been unable to locate. Skelton, who initially had said he gave the boys to a woman he’d met on the Internet, said he doesn’t know where the boys are now.
Last December, authorities and volunteers tirelessly searched southern Michigan and northern Ohio, but turned up nothing. Police have received numerous tips about reported sightings, but nothing has panned out.
Morenci Police have said they don’t expect a positive outcome. The search is now being handled as a homicide investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.