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Father of missing boys waives hearing

John Skelton (right) shared a laugh with his lawyer two weeks ago at the Lucas County Courthouse in Toledo, Ohio. John Skelton (right) shared a laugh with his lawyer two weeks ago at the Lucas County Courthouse in Toledo, Ohio. (Madalyn Ruggiero/ Associated Press)
Associated Press / December 28, 2010

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ADRIAN, Mich. — A Michigan man blamed for the disappearance of his three sons will go straight to trial on charges of parental kidnapping.

John Skelton waived his right to a hearing to determine if prosecutors had probable cause to charge him. Court officials in Lenawee County said he informed a judge yesterday.

Skelton’s sons — Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5 — haven’t been seen since Thanksgiving when they were at his home in Morenci, a town on the Michigan-Ohio border. The father said he gave them to someone from an “organization,’’ although he hasn’t identified either.

Skelton, 39, an unemployed truck driver, is charged with keeping his boys more than 24 hours with the intent of concealing them from their mother and faces three counts of parental kidnapping. He is being held in the Lenawee County jail, and his next court date is Jan. 5.

Authorities said Skelton, who was arrested in Ohio and extradited to Michigan, has not given them much information they can use in searching for his sons.

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