There’s a bizarre and disturbing case out of Madison County, Idaho. Two children–17-year-old Tylee Ryan and her 7-year-old little brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow–are missing, and authorities blame their mother Lori Vallow for refusing to participate in the investigation. Now investigators want her and her new husband Chad Daybell to “do the right thing and come forward with the information they have” regarding the whereabouts of the children. Police say they believe the kids are in danger.
Here’s what to know about this ongoing case.
TIMELINE: Attorneys I’ve spoken to say, based on this timeline and the facts investigators have been able to gather so far, police have enough evidence to arrest Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow today for obstruction… but they might be strategically choosing not to do so.@fox13 pic.twitter.com/wzcnP15bYE
— Adam Herbets (@AdamHerbets) January 2, 2020
UPDATE: In a press release, @RexburgPolice said, “We are aware that in the weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death, Lori Vallow/Daybell and Chad Daybell told witnesses that Lori’s daughter had died a year before the death of her father, which is untrue….” pic.twitter.com/ADNS1Coh0x
— Erin Cox (@erincoxnews) December 30, 2019
1. Description of the Missing Children
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Joshua Vallow has brown hair, has brown eyes, stands 4’0″, and weighs 50 pounds. Tylee Ryan has blonde hair, has blue eyes, stands 5’0″, and weighs 160 pounds. The children were last seen September 23, 2019 in Rexburg, Idaho, authorities said. Officials said the little brother “may be in need of medical attention.”
”It is astonishing that rather than work with law enforcement to help us locate her own children, Lori Vallow has chosen instead to leave the state with her new husband.”
They are asking ANYONE with info about JJ + Tylee to please come forward. pic.twitter.com/yvHD5GSMSS
— Erin Cox (@erincoxnews) December 30, 2019
Police said the missing child report was made last November 26. They said charges haven’t been filed yet because the primary goal right now is finding the kids, adding that “charging decision will be made in due course based upon the evidence available.”
2. Vallow and Daybell Allegedly Said Ryan Had Died
In a December 30 statement, the Rexburg Police Department outright criticized Vallow, and claimed that she and Daybell told witnesses that Ryan had died “a year before the death of her father [Joseph Ryan], which is untrue.” Daybell allegedly told another witness that his wife had no minor kids.
Cop said Vallow and Daybell wasn’t being honest with law enforcement.
“As stated in our previous press release, Lori Vallow/Daybell, the adopted mother of Joshua and biological mother of Tylee, has completely refused to assist the investigation,” they wrote. “We know that the children are not with Lori and Chad Daybell and we also have information indicating that Lori knows either the location of the children or what has happened to them.”
3. Vallow Fled Her Townhouse Before FBI Raid, Neighbor Says
Vallow’s next door neighbor Seth Barnard told Fox 13 Now that he saw her and her brother pack up a truck. He said he believed they were just going on a vacation.
“Next morning — Boom. They’re gone,” he said, adding that she left her possessions. Joshua Vallow’s toys remained on the porch.
Barnard said he met Ryan once, but that the Joshua Vallow played a lot with his children. He said that he was told several weeks into the school year that JJ, however, was “going to move with his grandmother, go visit.”
He said he last saw the child in September.
“Question is, where did they go?” he said. “We have no idea. They just kind of took off and vanished.”
4. Multiple Relatives Died in the Past Year
Vallow and Daybell’s history is a tangled web, with multiple deaths in the family in recent years.
Two of Lori Vallow’s former husbands recently died, according to AZ Central. Joseph Ryan died from a heart attack in 2018, according to Fox 10 Phoenix. Then her fourth husband–Charles Vallow–was fatally shot by her brother Alex Cox. Cox claimed this was self-defense, but it’s not like he’s going to be tried for this: He died in December of unclear causes.
Daybell’s wife Tammy Daybell passed away in Idaho in October. Police are investigating her death, and authorities went as far as to exhume her body last month.
Family suggested that Vallow had an affair with Daybell while she was still with Charles Vallow.
“I don’t think there was any doubt that there was something going on and obviously he was still married and obviously Lori was still married,” Larry Woodcock, Joshua Vallow’s step-grandfather, told KSL-TV. Kay Woodcock, the boy’s biological grandmother, suggested this was going on between a year and a year-and-a-half.
5. The Second Coming of Christ
Kay and Larry Woodcock say that Vallow was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that Charles joined after meeting her. Nonetheless, Lori Vallow began changing, they said. They alleged that she started claiming she was a reincarnation of the wife of Joseph Smith, the founder of the church.
In court filings dated February 2019, Charles Vallow claimed that Lori professed to be a “god” getting ready for the Second Coming of Christ, according to Fox 10 Phoenix. Jesus would return July 2020, and she threatened to kill Charles if he tried to stop her, according to papers. Nonetheless, Charles Vallow dropped the matter in March. He wanted to save the marriage, a son told the outlet.
MORE: Court docs say Charles got order of protection vs Lori. He tried to get her help but she refused. Community Bridges HC contacted Gilbert PD to take her in if contact was made.
Charles claimed Lori said “she would not only kill him but would destroy him financially.” pic.twitter.com/EifCSm5aUO
— Justin Lum Fox 10 (@jlumfox10) January 4, 2020
6 . Vallow’s Oldest Son Tells Her to ‘Do the Right Thing’
Colby Ryan, the oldest son of Lori Vallow — sent this link to me. For the first time, he publicly pleads with his mother to “do the right thing” as his siblings are still missing. #fox10phoenix https://t.co/uePcELmlSK
— Justin Lum Fox 10 (@jlumfox10) January 6, 2020
Colby Ryan, a son of Lori Vallow, released a video in which he pleaded with his mother to “do the right thing.”
“I would never want anything to happen to you, and I would never want anything to happen to Tylee and JJ ever,” he said. “I would do anything to protect them, and you know that. I just want them to be safe, and I want them to be okay, and I do want you to just find it in your heart to able to help the situation.”
[Image via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]
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