Investigation continues for two missing Idaho children; grandparents just want answers

Jan 4, 2020, 11:23 PM | Updated: Mar 31, 2023, 7:22 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The grandparents of one of the missing children from Idaho fear that time may be running out to find 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan alive.

The children have been unaccounted for since September, according to officials with the Rexburg Police Department.

Larry Woodcock and Kay Vallow Woodcock stopped by Salt Lake City on their way to Idaho where they planned to meet with detectives and get more information about the days leading up to the children’s disappearance.

“The emphasis had to change. It had to change from Charles – the murder – to where is he at? Where is JJ?” Larry Woodcock said about the short amount of time they had to grieve the death of his brother-in-law, Charles Vallow, before his grandson whom Charles had adopted disappeared.

Kay is Charles’ sister and JJ’s biological grandmother. Charles adopted JJ with his wife, Lori Vallow, in 2013.

“The wilder the story got…the scarier it got,” the Woodcocks said.

Charles Vallow, 62, was shot and killed on July 11 in Arizona by Lori Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox. Lori claimed her brother shot Charles in self-defense. Alex later died on Dec. 12 in Arizona. Police in Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona, have not released information on the investigation.

After Charles’ death, Lori moved with JJ and her 17-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan to Idaho.

“The last conversation I had with JJ was on August 10,” Larry said, adding that Lori moved shortly after that with the children.

A few months later, Lori remarried for the fifth time to Chad Daybell. Daybell’s wife, Tammy Daybell, had died weeks before in October.

Deputies with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office said they consider Tammy Daybell’s death suspicious and served a search warrant with the FBI at the home where Chad and Tammy lived in Salem, Idaho, on Friday. Tammy’s remains were also exhumed in Springville, Utah, on Dec. 11 for an autopsy.

“Lori is extremely manipulative,” Kay said.

As the Woodcocks’ uncover more details about Lori’s strange new religious beliefs, they said they’re concerned she may not be in the right state of mind.

“For her to say she is a translated being and she is reincarnated…she [said she] was Joseph Smith’s wife and in the second reincarnation she was so-and-so’s wife, a queen,” Kay Woodcock said.

Officials with the Rexburg Police Department are handling the investigation into the missing children and said JJ was last seen in school on Sept. 23 and Tylee, who the Woodcocks said had already graduated from high school, was also unaccounted for.

“We didn’t know she was even missing until November,” the Woodcocks said.

They also said they were uncertain if Lori had a place for the children in her new marriage with Chad Daybell.

“She told Charles I’m done. I’m done with you. I’m done with JJ. I’m tired you take JJ, I don’t want him anymore,” Kay said.

Police said they have evidence indicating Lori knows what happened to the missing children but abruptly fled Idaho with Chad instead of helping detectives.

Chad and Lori are considered persons of interest at this time, but no arrests had been made as of Saturday.

“They want to make a case that is going to stick,” Larry said, adding he feels confident in the police investigation.

The Woodcocks also said finding the children isn’t about a custody battle and they worry time may be running out to find the children alive.

“If I could just have that back one time, please God, give it to me one time,” Larry said of hearing JJ call him “Papa.”

If you have any information about this case, contact 1-800-THE-LOST or the Rexburg Police Department at 208-359-3000.

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Investigation continues for two missing Idaho children; grandparents just want answers