Stepdad Arrested After Police Locate Human Remains in Backyard
BOISE, ID – On Tuesday the search for the two missing children from Idaho led police to the backyard of their stepfather Chad Daybell where two sets of human remains were found. Authorities have confirmed the remains belong to children, but the autospy resutls are pending.
The story of missing 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow captured national headlines after their mother refused to tell authorities the location of the children.
According to KUTV, investigators spent hours at Daybell’s home on Tuesday looking for evidence. Aerial photos show investigators digging up dirt in the backyard.
According to police, 2019 was a year filled with strange circumstances for Lori Vallow Daybell and her two children. Earlier in the year, the family had been living in Phoenix with Lori’s then-husband, Charles Vallow.
The couple was in the process of getting divorced and Charles Vallow had claimed he feared for his life after Lori claimed to be “a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020."
In July of that year, Charles was shot and killed by Alex Cox, Lori’s brother. Cox claimed the incident was in self-defense after Charles came at him armed with a baseball bat. Police investigated the incident, but Cox died in December of that year due to a blood clot in his lung.
By this time Lori and her two children had moved to Idaho where they began spending time with their soon to be stepfather, Chad Daybell.
Lori and Chad had known each other for some time and had “participated in podcasts about preparing for the biblical end times for an online organization aimed at members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
At this time Chad was still married to his 49-year-old wife, Tammy Daybell. Tammy died unexpectedly in October with her obituary claiming “she passed away in her sleep of natural causes.” The family declined an autopsy before she was buried in Utah. Two weeks later after the death of his wife, Chad and Lori were married.
By the time Lori and Chad were married, family members had become worried about Tylee and JJ. JJ’s grandparents told authorities their “once-regular phone calls with JJ had grown infrequent and then stopped altogether.” They claimed Lori refused to tell them why he was not able to come to the phone.
Tylee was last seen in September going into Yellowstone National Park with her mom and other family members. JJ was last seen by school officials a few days later. The day after JJ’s last day in class Lori contacted the school to inform them she would be homeschooling her son.
JJ’s grandparents asked the Rexburg Police Department to conduct a welfare check on the children in November. Lori and Chad lied to the officers about the kids’ whereabouts and were gone by the next day when investigators returned for a follow-up.
Lori and Chad then made the surprise move to move to Hawaii. When police talked to Lori there were no signs of the children, but she did have Tylee’s cellphone in her possession.
Even after being ordered by a judge to prove the kids were safe, she refused and she was charged with child abandonment, obstructing an investigation, contempt of court, and soliciting a crime. She was later extradited to Idaho.
When questioned by police Chad’s family members claimed they weren’t aware Lori had juvenile children and her in-laws were told she was an “empty-nester.”
Lori and Chad are now each being held on a $1 million bond as the investigation into Tylee’s and JJ’s disappearance continues.
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