Deadline passes for missing Idaho children to be physically produced to authorities

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

MADISON COUNTY, Idaho, Jan. 30, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The deadline has passed for missing Rexburg siblings J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan to be physically produced to authorities.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, Madison County authorities filed a child protection order on behalf of the missing children. The order required Lori Vallow, their mother, 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. That deadline expired at 5 p.m. Thursday, and there is still no sign of the children.

On Thursday at 5 p.m., Kay Woodcock, J.J.’s grandmother, spoke to reporters at a press conference at the Rexburg Standard Journal Newspaper.

“Lori hasn’t come to Rexburg, the kids haven’t been delivered, it’s 5 p.m., this is her deadline, for the court order, to produce them, Woodcock said.

“So at this point, it seems the next step is in the judge’s hands, I do believe, to see how they’re going to proceed with any type of consequence for not following a judge’s order. So what exactly that is I don’t know. I can’t say for sure what’s going to happen next, other than I hope it is something that will get her attention, because I’d love to know where those kids are, and I think all of America wants to know where they are.”

She added: “All of this is just beyond crazy that a mother can’t… how do you not produce your child? How do you not know where your child is, number one, so she says, and how do you not have them for four months, what kind of a mother does that? The only word that is coming to my mind right now is a monster.

“I am a lot less optimistic at this moment. Everybody asks Larry, my husband, and I how we’re getting through this the last few months, and it’s because we stay optimistic, just aren’t accepting the worst-case scenario, and I don’t think we ever will until we know 100 percent.”

Woodcock said Lori Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, as far as she knows, are still in Hawaii.

“Probably sunning on a beach somewhere while we’re wondering where the kids are.”

Woodcock said she and her husband met with officials Thursday morning, but at this time she cannot share details of that meeting.

She said she’s not surprised Lori Vallow did not cooperate with authorities.

“Lori’s not going to make this easy, she’s got an end game in her head, although this is not a game, obviously she thinks it is. For you to shun an order from the court telling you what you need to do, that arrogant, smug attitude she had, that’s what really let me know that she’s not going to do anything unless she’s absolutely forced to do it.”

Woodcock added that her husband was not feeling good and was at the hotel where the couple is staying, resting, during the press conference.

A timeline of events in the case, which seems to grow more complicated as time passes, follows below:

• J.J. Vallow, 7, 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.

Tylee Ryan, 17, also was last seen in September.

• On Oct. 10, 2019, Tammy Daybell died, seemingly of natural causes, which are now being investigated as suspicious. Sometime in November, Tammy’s widower, Chad Daybell, married Lori Vallow, whose previous husband, Charles Vallow, had been shot dead by Alexander Cox, Vallow’s brother.

Alexander Cox said the shooting was in self defense. Cox died under undisclosed circumstances in December.

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 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 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 requires 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.”

The Madison (Idaho) County Prosecutor’s Office “asked the Court for permission to unseal and disclose the existence of the Child Protection Action and the above mentioned order to alert the public and anyone with knowledge of the location or health and safety of the children,” the Sunday statement said. “All other documents related to the child protection case remain under seal.”

Prosecuting Attorney Rob H. Wood said in a statement shared Wednesday on social media: “We are grateful for the concern and attention being shown regarding the location, health and safety of Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow.

“We again renew our gratitude for the help received and continue to request that anybody with information regarding the whereabouts of the children come forward.”

The statement did not indicate any break in the case. Its stated purpose was to remind people that child protection cases are private.

“With all the attention paid to this case this week, we would also remind the public and media that child protection cases are sealed and confidential,” Wood’s statement said.

“In the event that information comes forward that would be important for the public to know, we will inquire of the court as to whether that information can be shared.”

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell Photos Rexburg Idaho Police Department


  1. Can’t we charge the parents with some sort of murder and if they can’t tell us where the children are then they must be guilty?

    Why haven’t they at least been arrested for ignoring the court order to produce the children?


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