June 9, 2020 may end up being remembered as the day that law enforcement made a major breakthrough in the case of missing children, 8-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. On Tuesday, authorities arrested Chad Daybell, 51, hours after executing a search warrant at his and Lori Daybell’s home in Rexburg, Idaho; the warrant was said to be connected to the missing persons case. Not long after the arrest, police confirmed that they found what they believed to be human remains on the property.
Rexburg Assistant Chief Gary Hagen said the remains have not been identified.
Lori (Vallow) Daybell, 46, has been behind bars since her February arrest on child desertion charges. The children have been missing since Sept. 2019. A lot happened in the months before and after their disappearance.
Charles Vallow, JJ’s adoptive dad, was shot and killed on July 11, 2019 by Lori Daybell’s brother Alex Cox. Cox, who insisted the killing was in self-defense, died in Dec. 2019 of causes that were initially unclear. A medical examiner ruled in May that Cox died of “natural causes.” The Vallow homicide occurred at the home where Lori lived with the children, cops said.
Charles Vallow wrote a June 29 email, in which he claimed his then-wife Lori made a fake account to communicate with Chad Daybell, according to cops in a Fox 10 Phoenix report. Lori allegedly pretended to be Charles Vallow in an email to Daybell. Charles Vallow suggested that Lori Vallow and Daybell were “up to something.” Lori and (her fifth husband) Chad Daybell ended up getting married in Nov. 2019–while her kids were missing and about two weeks after Daybell’s wife Tammy Daybell died. Lori and Chad then went to Hawaii.
Lori was finally arrested in Hawaii in late February after leaving Rexburg, Idaho in a hurry. According to a recent court filing, she referred to her own two children as “zombies” around the time they went missing. Chad Daybell was not arrested until today. He was taken in for questioning. It’s unclear at this time if charges are forthcoming or what those charges will be.
In March, Daybell cryptically said the children were “safe.”
Lori and the children moved from Arizona to Idaho shortly after the Charles Vallow shooting. She withdrew her son JJ from his school via phone and email on September 5, 2019 claiming she received a job promotion in California. She said Charles Vallow died by suicide the previous month, school officials reportedly said.
There’s also a “doomsday cult” element to all of this. Lori and Charles Vallow’s marriage was on the rocks in the months before the shooting, but the late husband filed divorce papers in court back in Feb. 2019, claiming that his wife professed to be a “god” preparing for the Second Coming of Christ. Chad Daybell’s apocalyptic writings have also been well-documented.
After Charles Vallow’s death, one of his sons claimed that Lori informed him of his father’s death in a text message but said she avoided going into detail about what happened.
“I was initially in disbelief because I had just talked to my dad,” one son told East Idaho News. “I was texting him and I remember calling him a couple times the morning he had gotten shot, and he didn’t respond. It was really weird. He usually returns calls and texts relatively fast, so something was off.”
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
[Image via YouTube screengrab]
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