DETROIT (WWJ) – Human remains found in a shed in Montana are not, as it turns out, linked to a high-profile Michigan missing persons’ case.
According to the Missoula County Coroner’s Office, bone fragments and teeth of three children, discovered in Missoula, Montana last September, do not belong to the Skelton brothers — who disappeared from Morenci, Michigan more than 7 years ago.
Back in December, Michigan State Police said an investigation was underway to determine whether or not the remains could be that of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton — who were 9, 7 and 5 years old when they last were seen the day after Thanksgiving in 2010.
KECI-TV reported testing on the bones found in the shed determined the ages of the deceased to be around 2-4 years old, 5-8 years old and 6-10 years old. At that time Missoula police told the local news they’d been in touch with Michigan State Police who inquired about the case to see if there could be a connection.
The coroner’s office — working in conjunction with anthropologists and crime lab pathologists — has filed a report suggesting that that bone samples from Missoula are “historical and archaeological in origin,” and therefore over 99 years old. Some of the loose teeth, the report says, appear to be from a child of “Asian derived Amerindian ancestry.”
“Given the limited amount of bone specimens recovered and submitted to the lab, additional information confirming the sex, stature, or ancestry of the three remains is inconclusive,” states the report, provided by the Missoula County Coroner’s Office to the Michigan State Police.
Officials at the Missoula County Coroner’s Office added that their “hearts and prayers go out to the families of those who live with the pain and loss of having a missing family member.”
Speaking to WXYZ-TV, the Skelton boys’ mother, Tanya Zuvers, said she’s still processing this new information after being hopeful for answers in connection with the remains.
The boys’ father, John Skelton is currently serving 10-15 years at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia.
John Skelton pleaded no contest to three counts of unlawful imprisonment in September 2011. He claimed that he had not harmed the boys, but gave them to unknown individuals in an effort to keep them safe. Speaking to WDIV-TV earlier this week, he said the Montana bones were not his boys’.
Anyone who has information on the case is asked to contact police at 517-636-0689 or submit a tip online at michigan.gov/michtip.