Skelton arraigned on parental kidnapping charges

TOLEDO, Ohio (WXYZ) - The father of three missing boys from Morenci has been arraigned on parental kidnapping charges.

John Skelton appeared for the video arraignment at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Lenawee County courtroom.

Skelton was arraigned on three counts of parental kidnapping in the disappearance of his three sons Andrew, Alexander and Tanner.

During the arraignement, Skelton requested a court-appointed lawyer. Another hearing will be held on December 28.

On Tuesday, Skelton waived his right to extradition from Toledo, Ohio to Michigan.

During Tuesday's appearance, a special hearing was held where a judge ordered Skelton held on a $30-million bond.

Skelton was wearing a brown short-sleeved shirt and was still in a wheelchair, but seemed more awake and alert than he did in his first court appearance.

None of Skelton's relatives showed up for the hearing. His estranged wife Tanya was also absent, as were any of her family members.

Skelton's sons, ages five, seven and nine, have been missing since Thanksgiving evening. Skelton is the last one to have seen them. Authorities say the 39 year-old father will not disclose the location of the brothers, Alexander, Andrew and Tanner.

Skelton had been sitting in a Lucas County jail on suicide watch since his release from a mental institution at the end of November.

Investigators say Skelton claimed to have tried to commit suicide at his Morenci home the day after Thanksgiving and told police that he gave his kids to an acquaintance.

Shortly after Skelton told police the story of his suicide investigators revealed they did not believe the acquaintance exists and that they did not expect a positive outcome in the search for the boys.

Last week Skelton’s parents visited him in jail and said they think the boys are still alive. Just days prior to their visit another woman in Sandusky Ohio came forward to say she thought she saw the kids in the donut shop where she works.