ADRIAN (WWJ/AP) – A man has been sentenced to 23 months in prison for lying to investigators about the whereabouts of three brothers missing for nearly three years.

Robert Jamison told Morenci police that he had talked to the boys’ father shortly before they disappeared in 2010. The 50-year-old claimed John Skelton had talked about placing the boys with an organization because of a custody dispute with their mother.

Jamison, who was sentenced Thursday in Lenawee County court, pleaded guilty a month ago to a felony charge of lying to a police officer investigating a violent crime, The Daily Telegram reported.

During a plea hearing, Jamison admitted that he made a false statement to police, saying he “was trying to help.”

Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks said officers spent a significant amount of time following up on Jamison’s false leads.

Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton disappeared at Thanksgiving in 2010. John Skelton, who is serving 10-15 years for unlawful imprisonment in the case, claims he didn’t harm his sons. Police believe the boys are dead.

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