As each day passes it seems we learn a little bit more about the days before 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan went missing. This time, the young boy’s nanny has revealed what she told police about 46-year-old Lori Vallow.
The unidentified woman recalled how she came in contact with Lori Vallow and came to be employed briefly by her, Fox 13 reported. She said that on September 18, 2019, Vallow contacted her through care.com, where the nanny had posted an ad looking for work. This was 10 days after Tylee was last seen. Vallow wondered if the babysitter would be able to watch her adopted son JJ, who has autism.
According to the nanny, she went over that day to Lori Vallow’s home in Rexburg, Idaho. She said that she met JJ and that his mother disclosed “some of his tendencies,” mentioned recent family trauma, and revealed some details about Tylee:
She explained to me how they recently moved here from Arizona. Her husband had just died of a heart attack and how JJ doesn’t quite understand the situation. Lori said how she and her husband adopted JJ and that he was her nephew. Her daughter also lives in Rexburg and is going to college. She said her daughter doesn’t like to babysit JJ without being paid so she wanted me to work for her. Occasionally her daughter would come visit for dinner or to do laundry, but she never said that she lived there with them. It appeared that only Lori and JJ lived there, from the look of things and from what she told me.
In case you missed it, Lori Vallow was arrested last week in Hawaii but charged in Madison County, Idaho for alleged felony desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court. Police criticized Lori Vallow, saying she did nothing to help find the kids.
The children’s disappearances caught national attention in part because of Vallow’s ugly divorce from late husband Charles Vallow, Charles Vallow being killed by her brother Alex Cox in July, and Cox dying in December. But wait–there’s more. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell got married less than two weeks after his wife Tammy Daybell died in October. This was also after the kids went missing. Both Lori and Chad are reportedly members of a doomsday “cult.” Chad Daybell has not been arrested.
In court filings dated Feb. 2019, Charles Vallow claimed that Lori professed to be a “god” getting ready for the Second Coming of Christ, according to Fox 10 Phoenix.
The nanny said Lori Vallow “looked well put together and happy,” that she was “very welcoming and gave me a hug.” She that her first impression of Vallow was that she seemed “kind but stressed out being a newly widowed mom alone with her autistic son.”
The nanny said on September 19, 2019, the next day, she returned to the Rexburg home to babysit JJ. For a while JJ happily played with neighbors, but eventually started “crying and screaming.”
“I tried to calm him down, distract him with a show, tell him how sometimes people need a break, and how he needs to share,” she said. “He threw the chair from their wooden table down, flipped the ottoman over by their couch, and then ran upstairs. I let him cry for a bit, hoping he would calm down, but he didn’t.”
“JJ was […] upset and said his mom wouldn’t want me to come over again, that he hated me, and didn’t want to be my friend. Shortly after this freak out his mom, her brother, and the friend walked in from the garage,” she continued. “The mom calmed JJ and asked me what happened. I explained the situation and she babied him, as if he could never do no wrong. It felt a little overwhelming the amount of love she was showing him instead of trying to teach him and calm him.”
The nanny was paid, left, and assumed that it was understood she would watch JJ again. But it turns out, that was the last day she saw Lori Vallow and her son.
On Sept. 24, the day after JJ was last seen, the nanny said she texted Lori Vallow asking about more work. Vallow said that her son was with his grandparents, that she was in Hawaii and that they would be back in around a month’s time. That was the last time she talked Lori Vallow, she said:
I think this day I must’ve texted Lori about coming back and working more, because I was hoping to keep earning money… Anyways, she responded to me that JJ was with his grandparents for a month and that she was in Hawaii. She said in about a month, when they come back, that I could work again. Well once that month passed, I texted her again around Halloween time, asking if I could work. There was no response. I was upset that she didn’t respond because it has been hard for me to find a job. I thought it was pretty weird that they just up and left for a month and didn’t need me to work ever again after just hiring me. It seemed irresponsible for a mother to dump her kid off to the grandparents while she had a good time in Hawaii. I assumed she must have really needed a break from JJ I guess, and I left it at that. That was the last time I ever communicated with Lori.
Joshua Vallow has brown hair, has brown eyes, stands 4’0″, and weighs 50 pounds, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Tylee Ryan has blonde hair, has blue eyes, stands 5’0″, and weighs 160 pounds.
You can read the full statement obtained by Fox 13 below:
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
[Image via via Kaua’i Police Department]