Hawaii Resident Talks About Thrift Store Encounter With Chad Daybell
KAUAI, Hawaii – A Utah native in Hawaii said she was surprised Chad Daybell was willing to share so much about his plans to leave the island when she bumped into him at a thrift store.
With extradition arrangements underway for the mother of two missing Idaho children, her husband may soon be making his way back to Idaho, as well.
Sharon Olson told KSL she was at the Shared Blessings Thrift Shop in Kilauea Thursday afternoon when she spotted Daybell.
His wife, Lori Vallow, was taken into custody in Kauai after Rexburg authorities issued an arrest warrant in early February. Vallow faces two felony charges for desertion and non-support of a child.
Two of her children, 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, have not been seen since September. Daybell has been considered a person of interest in case.
Olson said she spends a lot of time in Princeville, Kauai. She never expected to run into Daybell, and even more surprised by the exchange that followed.
“I could hear him say, ‘Where do I drop off the donation?’” Olson said. “At that point, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s Chad Daybell.’”
Speaking from her place in Kauai, Olson shared her unexpected encounter with KSL.
“I don’t know how I got up the nerve to start up a conversation,” Olson said, describing how she approached Daybell as he left the store to unload his car.
Olson posted about her experience on Facebook, saying that she asked him several questions and was surprised he was very open and candid.
“He did say he would be leaving the island to support Lori, and he did say he was going to Rexburg,” Olson said.
Olson said she tried to find common ground with Daybell.
“He told me that the condo he rented has been sold, and that they were getting out of their lease,” she said. “I gathered that he would be leaving soon.”
Daybell has been quiet throughout the investigation into the missing children, only releasing a joint statement with Vallow through his attorney in late 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,” the statement said. “We look forward to addressing the allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor.”
Although Daybell was not in court for Vallow’s Wednesday hearing, Kauai authorities confirmed he was a allowed a one hour visit with her the day before.
“I said, ‘Oh yeah. Hey, I noticed you weren’t at court,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, it’s a media circus,” Olson said.
Olson said she didn’t get a good glimpse of the items donated, but snapped a picture of Daybell’s vehicle.
“He did have more donations than he could carry in his hands, because I did watch him back up his SUV around the back of the building and unload whatever he was donating,” Olson said.
The vehicle was different than the black Ford Explorer rental car that was searched by detectives in January.
Olson said after the encounter she reached out to Kauai detectives to inform them about the exchange.
“They just wanted to know if there were children’s clothing donated or anything like that. I informed them that I didn’t actually work there and I didn’t see it,” Olson said.
Olson said her biggest concern was for the missing children.
“The most gutsy question that I dared ask was, ‘Couldn’t Lori just get out of jail if she simply told where the kids were at,’ and he just said, ‘It’s more complicated than that. It’s not that easy,” Olson said.
Thrift store managers said their volunteers didn’t recognize Daybell while he was dropping of the donations, and don’t know what he donated because the items were mixed in with other items.
In the meantime, officials with the Rexburg Police Department said arrangements for Vallow’s extradition were underway.
KSL reached out to the couple’s Rexburg attorney for comment, and did not receive a response.
Authorities are still searching for the missing children.
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