Lori Vallow arrested in Hawaii, held on $5 million bond in connection with children’s disappearance

Lori Vallow (right), J.J. Vallow (left), and Tylee Ryan (center). Photos: Kaua'i Police Department; Rexburg Police

KAUA’I, Hawaii, Feb. 20, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Kaua’i Police Department has announced the arrest of 46-year-old Lori Vallow.

Vallow was arrested on a warrant issued by Madison County, Idaho and is currently being held at Kaua’i Police Department Cellblock on a $5 million bail, according to a police news release.

Her husband, Chad Daybell, has not been arrested.

The couple have been named persons of interest in the mysterious disappearance of their children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow. Both children have been missing since September.

Vallow, 46, was arrested after failing to comply with a court order to produce her children before authorities on Jan. 30 in Madison County, police said. She now faces two felony counts of desertion and non-support of dependent children. She was also charged with  resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court-– willful disobedience of court process or order.

“First of all, we wish to thank the public for the massive outpouring of concern regarding this case,” said Kaua’i Chief of Police Todd G. Raybuck. “We also want to thank everyone for their patience while investigators worked diligently to comprehensively gather everything they needed in order to obtain this arrest warrant.”

In December 2019, Rexburg PD requested KPD’s help in locating Vallow and her husband Daybell on Kaua’i.

KPD subsequently received an affidavit requesting assistance in securing a search warrant, which was obtained by the 5th Circuit of the District Court in Hawai‘i, in connection to Rexburg PD’s ongoing investigation into the missing children, the news release said.

On Jan. 25, Kaua’i police presented an Idaho order to Vallow to produce her children before authorities in Madison County.

On Jan. 26, KPD served a search warrant related to Rexburg PD’s investigation on the rented vehicle occupied by Vallow and Daybell, as well as the condo they were renting in Princeville.

Vallow will now attend a hearing on Kaua’i– the date is yet to be determined– where she will have an opportunity to waive or fight her extradition to Idaho. Once in Idaho, she will face her criminal charges.

“The children were last seen in Idaho and there is no indication that they are on Kaua’i,” the news release said. “There are currently no criminal charges against Vallow on Kaua’i.”

Rexburg PD remains the primary investigative agency.

A timeline of events in the case follows below:

• J.J. Vallow was last seen on Sept. 23, 2019, when he was un-enrolled from his Rexburg elementary school by his mother, Lori Vallow, who said she would be homeschooling her adopted son.

Daughter Tylee Ryan also was last seen in September.

• On Oct. 10, 2019, Chad Daybell’s wife, Tammy Daybell, died suddenly outside the family’s home. Initially it was believed the death was due to natural causes, which are now being investigated as suspicious.

Within weeks of his wife’s death, Chad Daybell married Lori Vallow, whose previous husband, Charles Vallow, had been shot and killed during an alleged domestic argument earlier in the year in Gilbert, Arizona. The man who killed him was Alexander Cox, Vallow’s brother.

Cox, who police say was injured in the violent confrontation, claimed he shot her sister’s estranged husband in self-defense. He was never charged in the case.

Cox died in early December 2019. It’s unclear if his death was related to his injuries.

Chad Daybell, who at one time lived and worked in Utah, is an author of what has been described as religious-themed “doomsday” fiction.

• On Nov. 26, 2019, Rexburg Police officers responded to the Vallow-Daybell residence after family members requested a welfare check on J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan.

• The next day, police returned to the Vallow-Daybell residence with a search warrant, and found the couple had packed up and left. The children were not found, nor was evidence they had been living in the house, police said at the time.

• On Dec. 11, 2019, investigators exhumed Tammy Daybell’s body for an autopsy. The results have not yet been released.

• On Dec. 20, Rexburg police announced the search for J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan to the public, hoping for leads. The next day, police named Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell as persons of interest in the investigation.

• On Dec. 23, Rexburg attorney Sean Bartholick, reportedly hired by the couple, put out a statement on their behalf:

“Chad Daybell was a loving husband and has the support of his children in this matter. Lori Daybell is a devoted mother and resents assertions to the contrary. We look forward to addressing the allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor.”

The attorney also stated he did not know the couple’s location.

• On Dec. 31, Rexburg police issued a statement urging Lori Vallow to contact them because they believed she knew where the children are or what happened to them, they said.

• On Jan. 7 of this year, Kay and Larry Woodcock, the children’s grandparents, announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the children. Kay Woodcock said Lori was overwhelmed with caring for J.J., who had special needs.

• On Jan. 10, Matt Daybell, brother of Chad Daybell, urged his brother to cooperate with police in a news conference arranged by the East Idaho News.

• On Saturday, Jan. 25, Madison County authorities filed a child protection order on behalf of the missing children. The order required Lori Vallow to physically produce the children to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in Rexburg or to the Rexburg Police within five days of being served with the order.

• The protective order was served on Sunday, Jan. 26, by officers of the Kaua’i, Hawaii, Police Department. “Kaua’i police served Vallow with an order of petition in an attempt to have her physically produce her children to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare,” says a Kaua’i Police statement posted on Facebook. “On Jan. 26, Kaua’i police and Rexburg police executed a search warrant in support of the ongoing investigation related to the whereabouts of the two children. There are no local charges or any current warrants of arrest.”

• A Rexburg Police Department statement issued on Jan. 27 says no evidence was found that J.J. or Tylee had ever been in Hawaii. It also said that, concerning the order to produce the children, “Failure to comply with this order may subject Lori Vallow to civil or criminal contempt of court.”

• On Feb. 10 officials found a cellphone belonging to Tylee Ryan, East Idaho News reported. The report said it appears her phone was found in Hawaii with her mother.The CBS News report said that Tylee Ryan’s phone was used several times after she disappeared, but it’s not clear at this time who was using it. Also in October, two small Venmo payments were reportedly sent from Ryan’s account to a family member.

The discovery of Ryan’s phone comes after items belonging to her and her brother were found abandoned inside a storage facility.

• On Feb. 16, Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell were allegedly seen leaving the gated community they had been living in in Kaua’i and were heading for Maui. The two islands are some 224 miles apart and can only be accessed by plane.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.

Tylee Ryan and Joshua Vallow. Photos: Rexburg (Idaho) Police Department

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