Box of bones containing children’s remains found in Montana
Authorities uncovered a box of bones and teeth that are believed to be from three brothers who vanished from a small town in Michigan in 2010.
A cleaning crew came upon the box of remains in the shed of a Missoula, Montana home after its former tenant was evicted from the property in late September, NBC Montana reported.
Loose teeth, bone from a lower jaw, as well as rocks were found in the box, Missoula City Police information officer Travis Welsh said.
Police said the Montana State Crime Lab verified the remains as human.
An anthropology professor at the University of Montana determined that they were “likely modern” and belonged to children ages 2-4, 5-8, and 6-10 years old at the time of their deaths, according to the report.
The ages match those of Alexander, Andrew, and Tanner Skelton—three brothers who disappeared from Morenci, Michigan in 2010, KRTV reported.
The boys' father, John Skelton, pleaded no contest to three counts of unlawful imprisonment in September 2011. He claims he gave the boys to unknown individuals in order to keep them out of harm's way, alleging their mother, Tanya Skelton, was abusive—a claim she denied.
However no suspect has been identified, and the kids’ identities have not been confirmed by police, NBC Montana reports.
Missoula police are investigating the case along with the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children.
Area residents say they were suspicious of the home that housed the bones. One man who lives nearby said he once went to a garage sale at his neighbor’s house.
“The tenants were dirty; it was an unkempt house,” a man named Lennie told NBC Montana. “The yard was a mess, and they seemed really withdrawn like when you try to carry on a conversation with them about the garage sale stuff,” he said.
“It’s just too bizarre and has us scared. If we could leave tomorrow we would,” he told NBC Montana.