Year In Review: Search For Two Children Ends In Tragedy

Dec 30, 2020, 11:43 PM | Updated: Dec 31, 2020, 6:42 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The interstate search for two missing children that captured national attention and revealed a trail of suspicious deaths ended in tragedy in a Rexburg backyard. The case is long from over, with the upcoming trials of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell.

“If I could just have that one time, please God give it to me one time,”  said Larry  Woodcock, grandfather of 7-year-old JJ Vallow.

Two grandparents were desperate to find JJ and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan after they mysteriously vanished.

The children disappeared shortly after moving to Rexburg, Idaho from Arizona. By early January 2020, the search caught nationwide attention as disturbing details came to light about the children’s mother, Lori Vallow and her new husband, Chad Daybell.

Vallow and Daybell espoused radical beliefs about the end of times, and allegations surfaced they considered the children to be “zombies.”

Linked to them were a trail of suspicious deaths, including Vallow’s brother Alex Cox, and the couple’s former spouses, Charles Vallow and Tammy Daybell, as they refused to cooperate with police in producing the kids.

“We know when Tylee was last seen, but no one seems to know when JJ was last seen,” Tylee’s aunt, Annie Cushing, said during search.

In February, Vallow was arrested while honeymooning in Hawaii. She was extradited back to Rexburg and charged with two felony counts related to the children’s disappearance.

Then in June, Idaho detectives uncovered the unthinkable in Daybell’s backyard – the bodies of Tylee and JJ.

“Investigators discovered what appeared to be unidentified remains and an autopsy will be conducted,” said Assistant Chief Gary Hagen with the Rexburg Police Department.

Daybell was arrested, facing felony charges including conspiracy to conceal alter or destroy evidence.

The couple was expected to be tried together in 2021 as they maintain their innocence.

The death investigations for Charles Vallow and Tammy Daybell were still active.

KSL 5 TV Live

Lori Vallow & Chad Daybell

Lori Vallow Daybell speaks at her sentencing hearing in a St. Anthony, Idaho, courtroom....

Larry D. Curtis

Lori Vallow Daybell files appeal on murder, conspiracy convictions

The law team for Lori Vallow Daybell — convicted of murdering her children — filed an appeal to her conviction with the Idaho Supreme Court.

27 days ago

Mug shot from prison...

Larry D. Curtis and Ladd Egan

After Lori Vallow Daybell’s sentencing, her sister breaks silence

The sister of convicted murder, Lori Vallow Daybell, broke her silence and shared an emotional tribute to her niece and nephew.

2 months ago

Lori Vallow Daybell on July 31, 2023 during her sentencing hearing for murder and conspiracy to com...

Eliza Pace

Lori Vallow Daybell sentenced to life in prison without parole

Lori Vallow Daybell sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murders of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan and conspiring to kill Tammy Daybell.

2 months ago

Lori Vallow Daybell speaks at her sentencing hearing in a St. Anthony, Idaho, courtroom....

Josh Ellis

Lori Vallow Daybell speaks during sentencing hearing

WATCH: Lori Vallow Daybell speaks publicly for the first time since being convicted of murdering her youngest children.

2 months ago

Vallow motion denied...

Josh Ellis

WATCH: Lori Vallow Daybell sentencing hearing

Lori Vallow Daybell faces up to life in prison without parole as she is sentenced for the murders of her two youngest children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, and conspiring to kill Tammy Daybell, her fifth husband’s previous wife.

2 months ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Lori Vallow Daybell sentencing: Here’s what’s expected to happen

With the sentencing for Lori Vallow Daybell starting on Monday, what will happen in court? And will Vallow Daybell, who up until now has been silent about the murders of her two children and husband's late wife, speak at the hearing?

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Year In Review: Search For Two Children Ends In Tragedy