Mystery Woman Sought in Hunt for Missing Boys

PHOTO: Alexander William Skelton, Andrew Ryan Skelton and Tanner Lucas Skelton are seen in these photos courtesy of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The kids disappear after dad gives them to a woman he met on internet.PlayCourtesy of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
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A mystery woman is at the heart of the search for three Michigan boys who have been missing since Thanksgiving.

Morenci police issued an Amber Alert Friday for 9-year-old Andrew Skelton, 7-year-old Alexander Skelton and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton.

The boys' father, John Skelton, 39, told police he gave his sons to a woman with whom he'd had an online relationship, because he planned to commit suicide and didn't want them in the house when he did it, police said.

Skelton attempted suicide on Friday, and was still hospitalized today for "mental health issues," Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks told The Associated Press today.

According to police, Skelton said he turned the boys over to a woman named Joann Taylor, asking her to take them to their mother. Skelton is separated from his wife, Tanya Skelton, who has full custody of the boys.

Skelton said he met Taylor and her husband a few years ago when he helped them after their car broke down, and then began emailing her, according to police.

Police said they have been trying to find Taylor and her husband, Mark Taylor, as well as the white or silver van Skelton told them she was driving when she took the children, but without any luck.

"The bulk of our action has been putting together a timeline and trying to locate this Joann Taylor," Weeks told the AP.

Police said it is possible that Taylor lives in either Jackson or Hillsdale, Michigan, but they are not sure the woman even exists.

A Morenci police spokeswoman told today police are searching the Morenci area for any sign of the boys, and are investigating tips they have received on the case.

The FBI and Michigan State Police are also involved in the search.

Alexander Skelton is 3-foot-9, 45 pounds and has brown eyes, brown hair and a scar on his chin. Tanner Skelton is 3-foot-6 with blue eyes and blonde hair. Andrew Skelton 4 feet tall, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Morenci police asked that anyone with any information about the boys' whereabouts or who might have seen John Skelton with them any time after Thursday contact them at (517) 263-0524.