Year In Review: Search For Two Children Ends In Tragedy
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.
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