Who are Tylee Ryan and Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow?

Apr 3, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: Aug 1, 2023, 6:50 pm


Tylee Ashley Ryan, age 16, and Joshua Jaxon “JJ” Vallow, age 7, were discovered dead, buried in the backyard of Chad Daybell on June 9, 2020.

Previously, the two children of Lori Vallow (later Daybell) and Charles Vallow were reported missing, creating national interest. Their mother and her fifth husband, Daybell, were both indicted for their murders and conspiracy to commit their murders.

Tylee was the daughter of Vallow Daybell (then Lori Ryan) and her third husband Joseph Ryan. The couple faced a bitter divorce and custody battle over Tylee.

Joseph Ryan’s attorney told KSL TV that Vallow Daybell accused him of sexual abuse, and although investigators found no evidence and he was never charged, he lost equal custody in 2007.

Click here for complete coverage of the Lori Vallow Daybell trial

Joseph Ryan died on April 3, 2018, officially of a heart attack, shortly after moving to Arizona, to be close to Tylee. His body was discovered when detectives visited his apartment on a welfare check. Police have since said they are investigating the death.

Following the custody battle, Tylee lived with Vallow Daybell and Charles Vallow in Arizona and Hawaii for several years.

Larry and Kay Woodcock, JJ’s grandparents, cared for him for the first 10 months after he was born until he was adopted by Kay’s brother, Charles Vallow, and his then-wife, Vallow Daybell in 2013.

According to the Woodcocks, Vallow Daybell grew distant and abandoned her family for nearly two months in February 2019.

She said Vallow Daybell told Charles Vallow she no longer cared about him or JJ shortly before leaving.

It was around this same time period that records show Vallow Daybell had begun to communicate with Chad Daybell and adopt more radical ideologies and religious beliefs.

Vallow Daybell moved with the kids up to Rexburg, Idaho at the end of August, presumably to be close to Chad Daybell, who was still married to his wife, Tammy Daybell. 

Last sighting of Tylee

Tylee was last known to attend Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona in the spring of 2019 – it is not clear if she was ever enrolled in a high school in Idaho.

She was last seen in Yellowstone National Park with Vallow Daybell, JJ and Alex Cox on Sept. 8, 2019, just days before her 17th birthday on Sept. 24.

Court documents reveal that Alex Cox’s phone was pinged that day, first at a restaurant in West Yellowstone in Montana. Then Cox drove back to Rexburg, arriving around 8:37 p.m. according to phone records.

His phone was tracked the next morning to an area on Chad Daybell’s property where human remains were later found. 

Police release gruesome details in investigation of Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell

Last sighting of JJ

JJ had autism and previously attended Laurens Institute For Education in Gilbert, Arizona before the family’s move to Idaho. He was enrolled and attending Kennedy Elementary School — where he was last seen.

JJ had an unexcused absence on Sept. 23, according to the Madison School District when Vallow Daybell called the district the next day and said her son would be going to Louisiana and staying with his grandparents until the end of October, or maybe later.

Then, on Oct. 29, district officials told police they received a call from Vallow Daybell saying JJ Vallow would be homeschooled.

Both kids were officially declared missing on Dec. 20, 2019 after the Woodcock’s called police, concerned about JJ’s whereabouts.

Tylee’s obituary states, “She had a unique sense of humor. She loved her Jeep. She enjoyed grabbing Chipotle with friends. Simply a teenage girl growing into a young woman in Arizona. She did not want to move to Idaho initially, her best friend said. But she went forward with the move because of her little brother JJ. She wanted to protect him.”

Brooke Williams contributed to this report.

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Who are Tylee Ryan and Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow?