MORENCI, Mich. (WXYZ) - Three little boys are out there somewhere and Morenci won't rest until they're found.
Sunday night it seemed like the entire town had filled a park near City Hall to send a message to Andrew, Alexander and Tanner that they are not alone. With candles lit and holiday displays glowing the Skelton family's pastor spoke to the crowd.
"We are not alone in this. This may be the center of our world right now but people across the world are supporting and encouraging us," said Pastor Donna Galloway.
Galloway says they chose the park as the location for the vigil because the little brothers, only 5, 7 and 9 years-old, loved decorating it every year during the holidays.
One of those attending the vigil was Michelle Pilbeam, a close friend of the mother of the missing boys. Pilbeam says she's been with Tanya Skelton almost every day since the search for her sons began.
"She prays. We all pray. She couldn't do it without everyone's prayers," Pilbeam said. "We talk about memories. That's how we get through the days."
As volunteer searches for the young boys ended this weekend at least one relative and Pastor Galloway met with John Skelton at the Lucas County Jail. Galloway would not discuss the specifics of her conversation with John, though she did say he would not disclose the location of his sons. Galloway also said it was John Skelton himself who requested she visit him.
"We did talk. There was conversation. That's what I went there for. As difficult as it would be, if I were called I would go again," Galloway said.
As the new week begins volunteer searches are still on hiatus and there is no word as to whether they will begin again. Last week hundreds of people scoured rivers, lakes and woods and came up with nothing.
On Thursday dive teams used sonar to search several areas - they also did not find any clues that would lead them to the boys.
Police hold final scheduled press conference
In the last scheduled press conference on Thursday an emotional statement from the family of the children was read. The family thanked all of the volunteers and law enforcement agencies.
Police Chief Larry Weeks also thanked volunteers for their efforts in the search for Andrew, Alexander and Tanner.
"We genuinely and sincerely appreciate all of the efforts from all over the United States..." said Police Chief Weeks. He told reporters that John Skelton, the father of the boys, has asked for a lawyer and that they have not had contact with him in several days.
During the news conference, Police Chief Weeks recalled a time when he personally met the young boys. He says one thing that sticks in his mind is when 9-year-old Andrew Skelton came up to him in a toy police hat and vest and said "I'm going to be a police officer like you one day."
The mayor of Morenci, Keith Pennington, also expressesed his gratitude to the community for pulling together during this tragic time.
Wednesday afternoon, an anonymous donor offered a $10,000 reward for the return and or recovery of the boys.
The reward will not be paid if the individual is involved in the disappearance of the children. The donor is offering his thoughts and prayers to the Skelton family.
Skelton in court
On Wednesday, the father of the three missing little boys from Morenci tried to hide his face for most of his first court appearance.
John Skelton appeared hunched over in a wheelchair, flanked by several guards as he was charged with three counts of kidnapping. Through his court-appointed attorney Skelton would not waive his right to an extradition hearing. The judge set his bond at three million dollars - a million dollars for each count of kidnapping.
Skelton barely spoke during the hearing, at times just mumbling answers to the judge and his lawyer.
At this point it's not yet clear when an extradition hearing will be held. He'll be held in Lucas County, Ohio until a hearing takes place.
During an 11:00 a.m. Wednesday news conference, Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks said they will be suspending the volunteer search as of Friday evening. This is to give officials a chance to process and analyze material that has been collected during the search. Weeks says that they may relaunch the volunteer search on Monday, if it is warranted. He also said that any searching that needs to be conducted over the weekend would be handled by public safety officials.
Weeks also asked anyone who would like to help with the search to take a step back and search their own properties. He says it is possible that search crews may have missed something in areas of private properties that are not visible or accessible to law enforcement.
Action News has learned that police are now doubting that Skelton attempted to commit suicide. Sources say this is because there were no rope burn marks around his neck. However, those sources are also saying that nooses and straps were found inside Skelton's home. Authorities will not officially confirm this information.
The revelations come after