Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks announced Tuesday afternoon the investigation into three missing brothers has turned into a murder investigation.
Their father, John Skelton, is charged with parental kidnapping in the disappearance.
Nine-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton were last seen at their father's home in Morenci along the Michigan-Ohio state line on Thanksgiving.
"The reason for me making this public is because the growing false hope of the community has caused me great pain, " Weeks said.
Weeks said previously he doesn't expect a positive outcome. Authorities and volunteers searched for the boys in Ohio and Michigan for several weeks.
During the news conference Weeks said he knew people would want to know what kind of evidence he had found to determine the case of murder investigation. "As you can imagine it is very difficult to divulge details," Weeks said. "The one thing I can share with you is conversations I've had with John Skelton. During those conversations he said he had given the boys to 'The United Foster Outreach and Underground Sanctuaries' organization. I have an enormous amount of resources available and through my investigation I have learned there is no such organization. It is just one example of the misinformation we've received from Mr. Skelton."
Weeks said he did not know when murder charges against Skelton would be filed, but said he is in contact with the prosecutor's office.