BOISE, ID — The saga in the death and disappearance of JJ Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, continues as new details are revealed.
According to Fox 10, back in June authorities obtained a search warrant for Chad Daybell’s home. The children’s stepfather had not been charged at that point and their mother, Lori Vallow, was in police custody.
During the search authorities located human remains that were later confirmed to belong to the missing kids.
According to Detective Ray Hermosillo with the Rexburg, Idaho Police Department he spoke with Daybell and Alex Cox, Vallow’s brother, back in November when JJ’s grandparents first raised concerns for the children’s safety.
When detectives visited Vallow’s apartment they located Daybell and Cox. At that time the two men were the only two people a the apartment.
When Cox was questioned, he “Initially…didn't respond, he just looked at the defendant, Daybell.”
When asked again, Cox told Hermosillo JJ was living with his grandmother in Louisiana. Hermosillo then told the men that was unlikely, as JJ's grandmother was the one that called police.
At that time Daybell told the detective he didn’t know Vallow well and that he had “only met her a couple times.” He claimed that the last time he had seen JJ was in October. The subsequent investigation revealed Daybell and Vallow had already been married for several weeks by the time police conducted the welfare check.
Daybell and Vallow left for Hawaii the next day. They were tracked down by police in January and Vallow was eventually arrested and extradited to Idaho.
According to other news outlets, authorities used Vox’s cell phone pings to locate potential places in Daybell’s backyard. Cox died in December after suffering from a blood clot.
With the help of cadaver dogs the FBI Evidence Recovery Team “found an "area of interest" that had a four-foot by two-foot patch of sod and grass that was shorter than the surrounding weeds."
As investigators began to dig they found three large white rocks sitting on top of a piece of wood paneling.
“As soon as they removed the paneling, I could smell the odor of a decomposing body," stated Hermosillo.
The recovery team then located a black plastic bag and inside they located the body of a small child wearing red pajamas.
JJ had been wrapped in duct tape and “his hands were folded chest high, folded like this, chest high. Had duct tape continuously wrapped from the elbow all the way around arms,” said Hermosillo. His head, arms, and feet had been tightly wrapped as well.
JJ also had a white plastic bag over his head. His mouth had been covered with duct tape and his wrists and ankles were also bound.
"From the hundreds of photographs and video I had seen over the last eight months, I recognized that to be the same little boy that was laying on the table,” explained Hermosillo as he sat in on the autopsy conducted by the Ada County Coroner.
Further examination of the backyard led investigators to an area used as a pet cemetery. They located a buried mass “of burnt flesh and charred bone.”
Additionally, they located a “melted green bucket that appeared that the burnt flesh had been placed in.”
"Under the bucket was a partial human skull,” Hermosillo testified.
According to Melanie Gib, a friend of Vallow’s, Daybell and her friend had asked her to lie regarding JJ’s whereabouts.
"He [Daybell] said the police were at Lori’s house and they were inquiring about where J.J. was, and that she was going to tell police J.J. was with me," Gib testified.
Gib lived in Arizona and she had not seen JJ for a while. In a second phone call she asked why the couple would put her in that position by asking her to lie to police.
She testified she talked to Cox about JJ’s whereabouts: "I asked Al at one point ... if I wanted to know where [J.J.] was, and he said I did not want to know and he [J.J.] would not be found.”
Vallow then allegedly stated she didn’t understand why her brother would make that statement.
"I don't know why he would say that," Vallow told Gibb. "I don't want anybody to know so nobody has to be worried about it, no one has to be questioned about it."
At this time neither Daybell nor Vallow has been charged with the children’s death. An Idaho judge will soon decide if their cases will move forward to trial.