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Crime News CrimeCon 2022

JJ Vallow's Grandpa Chokes Up Reflecting On How Special He Was

Larry Woodcock got emotional while talking about his grandson JJ Vallow, one of the Lori Vallow's two slain children.  

By Gina Tron
Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan

The grandparents of Joshua “JJ” Vallow, one of Lori Vallow’s two deceased children, got emotional speaking about the boy on Saturday during a panel at CrimeCon 2022.

During the Las Vegas panel, entitled “Where are the Children,” JJ’s paternal grandfather Larry Woodcock got choked up multiple times. 

“When this first happened I was a very angry person. I was a very angry papa,” he said.

Both Lori Vallow, 48, and her husband Chad Daybell, 53, have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of her children Tylee Ryan, 16, and JJ Vallow, 7, according to court records. The children’s remains were discovered in June 2020 on an Idaho property belonging to Daybell, according to Rexburg Police. 

Earlier this month, nearly a year after she was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial, a judge declared her competent following months of treatment in a mental health facility. She appeared in court for her arraignment on April 19, but stood silent when asked to enter a plea. The judge entered not guilty pleas to all charges on her behalf.  

Daybell entered his pleas of not guilty last June.

The two children had been missing since September 2019, a few months afterJJ’s father, Charles Vallow (Lori's fourth husband), was killed. Lori Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, fatally shot Charles in July at the Arizona home where Lori and her children were living following the couple's split. Cox said the killing was in self-defense, and he was never charged. He died months later, in December, from what medical authorities concluded was a pulmonary embolism.

Lori was indicted in June on one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in Charles Vallow's death. She has yet to enter a plea in that case.

Grandparents Kay and Larry Woodcock were very close with JJ, caring for him since he was a baby, according to USA Today Charles was Kay's brother and he and Lori agreed to adopt JJ in 2014, CBS News reports.

The Woodcocks told East Idaho News' Nate Eaton that they became worried for the kids after Charles' death; Tylee and JJ were last seen in September 2019 and Lori and her new husband, Chad Daybell had left Idaho for Hawaii. After failing to meet a court-ordered deadline to produce the children, Lori was arrested in February 2020.

Kay said that the ordeal has been the “hardest thing” she’s ever dealt with in her life.

'Where are the Children?'

Larry reflected on “JJ, my little man” and how he would lay his head on his shoulder, and hug him “so tight.” He touched on the intelligence of JJ, who had autism. He noted that he was reading at just 3 years old; he would take him to a pharmacy and JJ would read all the words he saw in the aisles.

“What could JJ have been? His mind was limitless,” Larry said. “He was doing math in his head at 3 years old.”

While crying he said, “if you have ever been around autistic, special needs children, they are so special and they are so good.” 

Later, he reflected that “If there's anything I’m happy about it’s that I had JJ in my life.”

CrimeCon 2022 is produced by Red Seat Ventures and presented by Oxygen.