Grandparents Of One Of Missing Rexburg Children Speak Out
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The grandparents of one of the missing Idaho children are calling for their former daughter-in-law and her new husband to cooperate with detectives.
Larry Woodcock and Kay Vallow Woodcock have shared new details about the months leading to the children’s disappearance, and their mother’s radical religious beliefs.
“Our single biggest prayer every day, all day long, is that these two are found healthy and safe,” said Larry, the step-grandfather of Joshua “JJ” Vallow.
JJ is Kay’s biological grandson.
The Woodcocks said they last spoke with the 7-year-old in August.
“It was August 10. (It was) a 35-second Facetime (call),” said Kay.
The couple said they cared for JJ shortly after his birth for about 10 months – before he was adopted by Kay’s brother, Charles Vallow and his wife Lori Vallow in 2013.
Lori was Charles’ second wife, and Charles was her fourth husband, according to Larry, who said the couple married in February 2006.
“Things went extremely well for the first five years,” Larry said of the new family arrangement.
He said Lori’s 17-year-old daughter, Tylee Ryan, also lived with Lori and Charles. The couple lived in Arizona and Hawaii for the last several years.
Larry said things changed about 2 to 3 years ago as Lori grew distant and abandoned her family in February 2019.
“Lori just simply vanished,” he said. “(For) 58 days she was completely gone,” said Kay.
She said Lori told Charles she no longer cared about him or JJ shortly before leaving. During that time, they believe Lori had Tylee stay with other relatives.
Lori and Charles were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which Charles converted after meeting Lori, Larry said.
“Charles loved the Church,” he said.
They said Lori adopted radical ideologies and religious beliefs, such as considering herself a reincarnated version of Joseph Smith’s wife.
“She was only married to the top-of-the-top in her reincarnation. The first husband was Joseph Smith,” Kay said.
She said Charles was strongly opposed to Lori’s new beliefs.
They also suspected Lori was having an affair with Chad Daybell, whom she met about 2-3 years ago. They said she almost idolized him and the books he had written.
“I don’t think there was any doubt that there was something going on and obviously he was still married and obviously Lori was still married,” Larry said. “It was going on for at least a year (to) year-and-a-half that I can tell,” Kay added.
Lori left Arizona and moved with JJ and Tylee to Rexburg shortly after Charles was shot and killed by her brother, Alex Cox in July. Alex Cox also died in December. Police in Arizona were investigating both incidents.
Larry and Kay believed Lori moved with the children to be closer to Chad Daybell, who was still married and living with his wife, Tammy Daybell.
“Once they left Arizona, we lost contact with them,” Larry said.
Tammy Daybell was found dead in her Idaho home in October. Police have been investigating her death as suspicious.
Tammy’s remains were exhumed in Springville, Utah in December.
Lori and Chad married a couple of weeks after Tammy died, according to Larry and Kay. Chad is Lori’s fifth husband. Lori is Chad’s second wife.
The Woodcock’s said they didn’t know Tylee was also missing until investigators from the Rexburg Police Department conducted a welfare check in November.
Police said the children were last heard from in September. They said JJ was last seen at school on September 23. Police said Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell have refused to cooperate with detectives and abruptly left Idaho in November.
Their whereabouts were unknown. The couple was considered persons of interest in the case.
Meanwhile, Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell’s attorney, Sean Bartholick, said the couple doesn’t have an updated statement. The couple previously released this statement in December:
“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.”
Anyone with information about the missing children or the whereabouts of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell is asked to contact 1-800-THE-LOST or the Rexburg Police Department at 208-359-3000.
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