POLL: Police: Case of 3 missing brothers is now a murder probe

Tanner Skelton

MORENCI, Mich. - A police chief says the disappearance of three young Michigan brothers has turned into a murder investigation.

Morenci Chief Larry Weeks said Tuesday he wants to put to rest any hope that the boys will be found alive.

He says the boys' father, John Skelton, is the primary suspect.

He's already charged with parental kidnapping. He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of parental kidnapping. He is currently being held on $30-million bond.

Nine-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton were last seen on Thanksgiving at their father's home in Morenci along the Michigan-Ohio border, 70 miles southwest of Detroit.

At a court hearing last week, John Skelton said, "I can't," when a judge asked if he was prepared to give the boys to their mother.

In early December 2010, a source within the investigation said Skelton had admitted, during questioning, to killing his three sons. However, he was initially charged with parental kidnapping only.

Read more about the missing boys .

WNWO in Toledo contributed to this report.