The human remains of two missing children from Idaho, 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, were recently found on the property of the man married to their mother. Here's everything we know about the case and the doomsday beliefs of the couple that led to the alleged murder of the children.
Children Go Missing in September
Last fall, Idaho officials started looking into the mysterious disappearance of the two children who were missing since September 2019. After being notified by relatives who became concerned after not hearing from the kids in weeks in addition to other suspicious incidents, police questioned their mother, Lori Vallow, and her husband, Chad Daybell, in November 2019 about the children's whereabouts during a welfare check at their home.
Couple Flees to Hawaii
The couple told the authorities that the children were living in Arizona with a relative. When police returned the next day to serve a search warrant, both Lori and Daybell were gone. On Jan 25, police located them driving near a beachside resort in Kaua'I, Hawaii, where they had been since December 1.
Police searched their vehicle but found no trace of the children and served Lori with a court order demanding that she bring the children to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare by Jan 30 or face legal action. However, that deadline passed without any sign of the two.
On February 20, Kaua'i police arrested Lori on a $5 million warrant from Madison County, Idaho. She was charged with two felony counts of desertion and non-support of dependent children; arrests and seizures — resisting or obstructing officers; criminal solicitation to commit a crime; and contempt of court — and willful disobedience of court process or order, as per the Kaua'i police department.
Mysterious Deaths of Other Family Members
The investigation uncovered a series of mysterious deaths of other family members. Shortly before Tylee, Joshua and Vallow moved from Arizona to Idaho, Lori's ex-husband Charles Vallow, was shot and killed during an altercation with her brother. The brother was not charged in the case after it was ruled that the shooting was in self-defense and as he later died in December of "unknown causes."
Daybell was also previously married and his ex-wife, Tammy Daybell, died on Oct 19, weeks before he married Lori. Authorities initially believed Tammy Daybell died of natural causes, but Rexburg police later said her death was suspicious and exhumed her body.
Suspicious Texts, Video Footage
On Feb 4, an Idaho storage company released security footage showing Vallow visiting a storage unit in October and November, where she and a man — presumed to be her brother Alex Cox — left behind items that reportedly belonged to the two children. According to the East Idaho News, the belongings included photographs, clothing, bicycles and blankets.
According to reports, Vallow's credit card was declined in January, which is what prompted the storage company to notify the police.
On February 10, CBS News reported that Idaho police had found Tylee's cell phone with Vallow and Daybell, and that it had been used after the 17-year-old's disappearance. In October, a month after Tylee disappeared, two small Venmo payments were made from Tylee's phone to a family member. Also, on October 25, a text was allegedly sent from the phone to a concerned friend: "hi. miss you guys too ... luv ya." According to the report, the friend found the text suspicious.
Human Remains Found on Daybell's Property
On Tuesday morning, local law enforcement and the FBI executed a search warrant on Daybell's home and confirmed that human remains, later confirmed to be belonging to Tylee and Joshua, had been found on his property.
Daybell has been officially charged with two felony counts of concealment or destruction of evidence, which, as per the criminal complaint, stems from the human remains on the property, as previously reported by International Business Times.
Couple's Doomsday Beliefs
The couple's strong religious ideologies have come to light as the couple came under investigation, notably their involvement in Preparing a People, a doomsday-prepper website, and found herself drawn to Daybell through the fictional doomsday books he had authored.
Moreover, in divorce documents that Charles Vallow filed before his death, he claimed that Vallow believes she is "a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020."
Daybell, who worked as a gravedigger nearly three decades ago, allegedly sent Vallow an email in 2019, while she was still married to her fourth husband Charles Vallow, detailing "seven missions to accomplish together" before the end of the world.