Wherever he is, missing child Joshua “JJ” Vallow is turning 8 years old on Monday. The Idaho boy was last seen September 23, according to Rexburg cops. His whereabouts remain unknown.
“Happy birthday, Joshua Jaxon Vallow,” his grandmother Kay Woodcock said in video to celebrate his birthday. “Maw maw and Paw Paw love you.”
“We’re always thinking of JJ,” she added. “It never goes away.”
The whereabouts of his sister Tylee Ryan, 17, could only be confirmed up to September 8, the day the siblings, their mother (then known as Lori Vallow), and uncle Alex Cox took a day trip to Yellowstone National Park, police have said. Officers said they started looking into the children’s whereabouts in November, but when they asked Lori about it, she bolted out of town with new husband Chad Daybell. Lori Daybell has since been charged in an Idaho desertion case, and maintains her innocence through an attorney.
The story–with its bizarre elements and fraught backstory–has captured public attention. Woodcock and her husband Larry Woodcock have done their share to fuel interest. Their son was Joshua’s biological father, and the boy was later adopted by Kay’s brother Charles Vallow, who was also Lori’s previous husband. Alex Cox shot and killed Charles in Arizona last July 11. No charges were filed. Cox died in December, after authorities said he was found unresponsive in a bathroom by his girlfriend’s son. A medical examiner’s office determined this was of “natural” causes: a blood clot.
The Woodcocks have called for the return of the children, and have discussed Charles’s friction with wife Lori.
Chad Daybell has cryptically said that the kids are safe. Authorities have not charged him with a crime. Lori Daybell’s mother claimed to have spoke to Joshua on October 1 in a brief phone conversation, days after his purported disappearance.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children describe Joshua Vallow, age 8, as white, with brown hair, and brown eyes. He stands 4’0″, and weighs 50 pounds. He is on the autism spectrum. The NCMEC say he may be in need of medical attention.
His sister Tylee is described as white, with blond hair, and blue eyes. She stands 5’0″, and weighs 160 pounds.
[Images via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]