Update: Rexburg police ‘strongly believe’ lives of missing children are in danger, call on parents to come forward

Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell. File photos: Rexburg (Idaho) Police Department

REXBURG, Idaho, Dec. 30, 2019 (Gephardt Daily)  — Police in Rexburg, Idaho have released an update on two missing children, saying they “strongly believe” their lives are in danger and want their mother and step-father to come forward to help in the investigation.

Joshua Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, children of Lori Vallow, were reported missing on Nov. 26, but have not been seen since September.

Vallow, and her new husband, Chad Daybell have also disappeared and are considered persons of interest in the case.

Police became concerned about the children’s disappearance after a call from relatives asking them to perform a welfare check. A visit of Vallow’s home found no sign of the children and the next day Lori and Chad also vanished.

Rexburg police said they were surprised to learn Lori had recently married Daybell, whose wife, Tammy, 49, had died under mysterious circumstances on Oct. 19th.

Tammy Daybell’s death was believed due to natural causes, but was later classified as suspicious. Her body was exhumed from her grave in a Springville, Utah cemetery for an autopsy, Dec. 11, 2019.

On Monday, Rexburg PD issued a news release saying the search for Joshua and Tylee is ongoing.

“Since we first received a child report on Nov. 26, our number one priority has been finding Joshua and Tylee,” the news release said. “We have taken every step available to us, including executing multiple search warrants, interviewing multiple sources, and running down every lead we have found.

“We strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger. We are aware that in the weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death, Lori Vallow-Daybell, and Chad Daybell, told witnesses that Lori’s daughter had died a year before the death of her father, which is untrue. Around that same time Chad told another witness that Lori had no minor children.”

According to investigators, Vallow’s estranged husband, Charles, was killed in a July 2019  domestic dispute in Chandler, Arizona, and that Lori and the two children were present.

Police said Charles, a resident of Texas, had arrived at the Chandler home to pick up his son, when he and Lori began to argue. Investigators say Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, who was in the Chandler residence, tried to intervene on his sister’s behalf, only to be hit in the head with a baseball bat. He then shot Charles Vallow twice in the chest, mortally wounding the 62-year-old.

Cox and Lori Vallow were questioned by police, but no charges were filed.

Cox himself died on Dec. 12 in Gilbert, Arizona. Gilbert investigators say the cause of death is unknown and could take weeks to determine.

While police in Arizona and Idaho acknowledge Lori, and newlywed husband Chad have not been charged with any crimes involving their ex-spouses’ deaths, they say they are deeply worried about the children’s safety.

“Our primary concern at this point is simply locating Joshua and Tylee and charging decisions will be made in due course based upon the evidence available,” the news release said. “If we find that harm was done to these children within our jurisdiction, we will prosecute whoever caused that harm.

“We know that the children are not with Lori and Chad Daybell and we also have information indicating that Lori knows either the location of the children or what has happened to them,” the news release said.

“Despite having this knowledge she has refused to work with law enforcement to help us resolve this matter. It is astonishing that rather than work with law enforcement to help us locate her own children, Lori Vallow-Daybell has chosen instead to leave the state with her new husband.”

Officials are now publicly calling on the pair “to do the right thing and come forward with the information they have about the location and welfare of Joshua and Tylee,” the news release said.

“This entire investigation could have been avoided if Lori and Chad had simply been honest with law enforcement. We further continue to ask that anyone with any information regarding the location or welfare of Joshua and Tylee share that information with law enforcement.”

Compounding police concerns about the children’s safety is the realization that Lori and Chad belonged to the religious group Preparing A People.

The self-proclaimed Latter-day Saint meeting group claims their mission is to “help prepare the children of this earth for the second coming of Jesus Christ.”

Chad appeared on a number of Preparing A People podcasts, discussing his own self-published books on doomsday and near-death experiences. Lori occasionally joined him.

According to Daybell’s website, he has been in the publishing business for more than two decades and written more than 25 books. He claims his bestselling works are sold in “LDS bookstores and the national retail chains.”

Chad also owned the small publishing company, Spring Creek Books, along with is former wife, Tammy.

Monday, Preparing A People released a online statement saying it does not represent any church or church doctrines, policies or positions, but that many of those who attend or speak at their workshops are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Previously, Preparing A People released a statement distancing the group from the couple.

“In light of current concerning media reports and ongoing criminal investigations regarding the recent death of Lori Vallow’s previous husband in Arizona, and the sudden death of Chad Daybell’s previous wife in Idaho, and with new reports of Lori’s missing children and the death of Lori’s brother-in-law, and the unknown whereabouts of Chad and Lori, we feel it inappropriate to promote any media content that may feature or contain references to either Chad Daybell or Lori Vallow.”

Last week, Sean Bartholick, a Rexburg attorney claiming to represent the couple, issued the following statement to East Idaho News.

“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.”

Bartholick added that while he had been in touch with couple he had no information on the children’s whereabouts.

Police are asking the public to keep a lookout for both the couple and their missing children

Joshua Vallow, also known as J.J., is described as Caucasian with brown hair and eyes. He weighs 50 pounds and stands four feet tall.

Tylee Ryan, who has not been seen in the same time period, is a Caucasian female with blonde hair and blue eyes. She weighs about 160 pounds and stands 5 feet tall.

Anyone with information on the location of Vallow, Daybell or the children is asked to call Rexburg police at 208-359-3000 or to call 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).

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

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