Rexburg Police Say Mother Of Missing Children Knows Their Location, Refuses To Cooperate
REXBURG, Idaho – Officials with the Rexburg Police Department said they have information leading them to suspect that the mother of two missing Idaho children knows where they are and what happened to them, but said she is refusing to cooperate with law enforcement officers.
Lori Vallow and her new husband Chad Daybell are considered persons of interest in the case but Rexburg police said no charges have been filed yet because their primary concern has been locating the children.
“…Charging decisions will be made in due course based upon the evidence available. If we find that harm was done to these children within our jurisdiction, we will prosecute whoever caused them harm,” police stated in a press release on Monday.
Police said it’s astonishing that rather than work with police, Vallow and Daybell have left the state and police do not know the couple’s location.
With growing concern over the whereabouts of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, police are pleading for their mother and new stepfather, “to do the right thing and come forward with information they have about the location and welfare of Joshua and Tylee.”
Lori Vallow married Daybell just weeks after his wife, Tammy Daybell, was found dead in her Salem, Idaho, home.
Detectives with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office said her death was initially “believed to be natural.” However, detectives later determined the death was suspicious and may be connected to the children’s disappearance. Tammy’s remains were exhumed on Dec. 11 in Springville, Utah, and sent to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.
Lori’s husband, Charles Vallow, also died this year on July 11 when he was shot by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, during a confrontation at her Chandler, Arizona, home. Cox died on Dec. 12 and police have not released further details, according to the Associated Press.
“There are some days where we hardly function because we’re just fearing the worst,” said Kay Woodcock, Josh Vallow’s grandmother. Josh was adopted by Lori and Charles in 2013, according to a Facebook post by Kay Vallow Woodcock.
Rexburg police said the last time Joshua attended school at Kennedy Elementary was on Sept. 23.
“Additionally, the children have not been reported missing to any law enforcement agency,” Rexburg police said in a Dec. 20 press release.
On Monday, police restated that the children’s lives are in danger and in the weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death, Lori and Chad told witnesses that Tylee had died a year before the death of her biological father, “which is untrue.” Around that same time, police said, “Chad told another witness that Lori had no minor children.”
But friends of Chad Daybell have come out in support of the couple on social media podcasts, saying they have been mischaracterized in the media.
“I know the Chad and Lori are being falsely accused,” Julie Rowe said stating that she believes the children are with the couple who are trying to protect them from a custody battle between Lori and Charles’ Vallows relatives. Rowe said that is her personal opinion and she has not been in contact with the couple.
Rowe said she has known Chad since 2014 and he published four of her books through his publishing company, Spring Creek Book Company.
She said they are both visionaries and both had a dream that Chad’s first wife, Tammy, would die.
Rowe also said she and Chad last spoke three weeks before Tammy died. She said Tammy was a close friend who designed the art cover for her books.
“I asked him, Chad do you still see Tammy dying and he got emotional again and said ‘yes, I do,’” Rowe said.
Police said they don’t know the whereabouts of Lori and Chad and did not provide specifics on why they think Lori knows where the kids are.
KSL also reached out to the couple’s attorney, Sean Bartholick, for an updated response but had not received an answer as of Monday night.
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