REXBURG, Idaho, Jan. 7, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The grandparents of 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and his half-sister, Tylee Ryan, 17, are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading directly to the children’s recovery. They were last seen on Sept. 23, 2019.
At a news conference on Tuesday, a reporter asked whether the grandparents, Larry Vallow and Kay Vallow-Woodcock, believe J.J. is dead.
“We don’t say the ‘D’ word,” Larry Vallow responded. “We pray hope and pray these kids are alive.”
The children’s adoptive mother, Lori Vallow-Daybell, and new husband Chad Daybill, 51, are also missing. Police say they disappeared from their Rexburg area home right after police arrived to question them about the whereabouts of the children.
Investigators say the newlyweds have not disclosed their current location or complied with police requests for an interview. The two did share a message, saying the children are OK, through an attorney who says he doesn’t know the location of anyone in the family.
Evidence at the couple’s hastily evacuated residence suggests J.J. did not leave with his mother and stepfather, Idaho State police have said, without elaboration.
The whereabouts of Tylee is also unknown.
Chad Daybell is a former Utah resident, and is known for writing religious doomsday novels. The Daybells married this fall, shortly after the mysterious deaths of both their spouses.
At the news conference, J.J.’s paternal grandparents said all they want from their former daughter-in-law is to know where their grandson is, and whether he is safe.
“I wish somebody would explain it to me,” Larry Vallow said. “I wish she would explain it to me,” he said, apparently referring to his former daughter-in-law.
“Our lives are too short, and we are not promised tomorrow. All I want before I go is to just see the children, especially my boy, J.J., my little man. I want to hear him play the drums. I want him to say pawpaw, lets go for a ride, let’s play checkers … and get a hamburger…. I’m hoping beyond hope that happens in the near future, and this reward prompts that.”
Larry Vallow described his grandson as a lifelong special needs child with an intelligent, bright spirit, but short attention span. J.J. needs extremely close supervision to ensure his safety around cars and other things he should fear, his grandfather said.
Charles Vallow, J.J.’s father, and a resident of Texas, was shot and killed in July 2019 after he and estranged wife Lori argued at a home in Gilbert, Arizona. Police said Charles was there to pick up J.J. when the fight broke out. Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, was also in the home and tried to intervene, only to be hit in the head with a baseball bat. Police said Cox then pulled a gun and shot Charles twice in the chest. He died of his wounds a short while later.
Cox and Lori were questioned by police, but no charges were filed in what investigators seem to believe was a case of self-defense.
Cox subsequently died December 12. A cause of death has not been determined and it’s unclear if it was related to the injuries he sustained in the fight with Charles.
Charles’ parents said they don’t believe their son was killed in self-defense.
“We knew Charles’ death was a murder,” his mother told reporters. “She (Lori) had communicated to him (Charles) numerous times before his death that J.J. was too much for her, she wanted him out of her life.” To facilitate that happening, “they likely set him up,” she said of her son’s fatal shooting.
There’s also a cloud of suspicion surrounding the untimely death of Chad Daybell’s wife.
Tammy Daybell, 49, died suddenly outside the family home on Oct. 19, 2019. Her death, deemed natural at the time, is now being investigated as possibly suspicious. Her body, which was buried in Springville, Utah, was exhumed for testing. Findings have not yet been released.
Vallow and Vallow Woodcock say they will remain hopeful until there’s a reason not to.
“These are beautiful young children, extremely intelligent, and we want them back,” Larry Vallow said. “We want them back in our family. Please, give them back to us. If there’s anything you can come forth with, please help us. She (their mother) knows how much we love these children, and we want only the best for them.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police or contact a dedicated website by clicking here.
“You can’t tell me someone doesn’t know something about these children,” Larry Vallow said. “Someone does and can give us one piece of information. We want J.J. back. We want Tylee back. We want closure.”
“Call the authorities. Call a church. call a fire station. I don’t care. Call someone.”