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‘How Do You Not Produce The Kids?’ Lori Vallow’s Adult Son Demands To Know In New Interview

NBC’s Dateline takes a new look at the case of alleged doomsday cult mom Lori Vallow and her missing children.

By Jill Sederstrom
Lori Vallow Smiles In Court As Bond Is Reduced To $1M

Lori Vallow’s adult son is once again pleading for answers about what happened to his two missing siblings, as his mom continues to wait behind bars on charges of deserting the children.

“How do you not produce the kids?” her son Colby Ryan said in a new interview with Dateline NBC airing Friday.

Vallow’s 17-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old adopted son Joshua “J.J.” Vallow have been missing since September in a mystery that has captivated the nation. Investigators have said Vallow, sometimes referred to as Lori Vallow Daybell, and her new husband Chad Daybell have refused to cooperate with authorities or reveal the children’s whereabouts.

Vallow is currently being held in the Madison County Jail after being charged with two counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children in connection with the disappearance.

Investigators are also looking into a series of mysterious deaths that have surrounded Vallow and Daybell, including those of their former spouses and Vallow’s brother Alex Cox.

In the latest Dateline episode airing Friday night, NBC’s Keith Morrison speaks with Vallow’s adult son Colby Ryan and her niece and defender Melani Pawlowski as the search for the missing children continues, according to a new promo released by the show.

Colby Ryan expressed frustration at not knowing his siblings' whereabouts and the fact that his mother has refused to cooperate with authorities.

“It hurts so much,” he said in the new interview, according to People. “And on top of that, we have a million questions. So, you can’t call your own mom. You can’t go to your house—or her house—and see your siblings. You’re just out in the cold.”

Pawlowski—who was said to be close with Vallow and even moved to the Rexburg where Vallow was living at the time the children disappeared—also spoke with Morrison.

“Melani essentially appeared to want to present that all is fine,” Morrison told East Idaho News of their discussion. “She acted like, ‘I don’t know of any problems whatsoever. We were all just doing our own thing and anything that seemed suspicious was merely a coincidence.’ She’s a sweet, very attractive young woman who looks at you with big eyes and says it’s absolutely the truth. The viewers can look at it and see what they think.”

Pawlowski also disputes claims that Vallow was in a “cult.”

“I know truth about them and facts, absolutely I want to say something,” she said in the promo.

Pawlowski appeared with her current husband Ian. Her ex-husband Brandon Boudreaux has claimed in court documents filed in connection with a custody dispute between the pair that she may know what happened to Vallow’s missing children.

“Melani’s knowledge of the whereabouts of her aunt’s two missing children and her unwillingness to cooperate with law enforcement is daunting and her current husband has told law enforcement that Melani says sometimes children are full of light and then just like that they go dark,” the court documents obtained by KSAZ-TV said.

The documents further allege that Pawlowski and Vallow had been part of the same doomsday “cult”—a claim which Pawlowski appears to deny in the promo.

Boudreaux also believes his former wife may have been part of an apparent attempt on his life after a window of his Tesla was shot out in October 2019. 

Just moments before the shot was fired, Boudreaux allegedly spotted a rifle with a silencer come out of the rear window of a grey Jeep Wrangler, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Vallow’s case by the Madison County prosecuting attorney. Authorities said the Jeep was registered to Charles Vallow, Lori’s former husband, who had died months earlier.

Investigators believe that Vallow’s now-deceased brother Alex Cox may have been the shooter, according to East Idaho News.

Friday’s episode also explores the theory that Daybell and Vallow may have believed that J.J. and Tylee had become “dark” and were “zombies” before they disappeared.

“There are all these people who surround Chad and Lori who appear to be part of this group,” Morrison told the East Idaho News. “When you hear people talk seriously about evil spirits inhabiting their spouses or members of their family, or people becoming zombies and needing to be eliminated, you’re getting into some serious stuff.”

Investigators are also looking into a series of unusual deaths surrounding Vallow and her new husband. Vallow’s former husband Charles Vallow was shot and killed in July by Cox, who claimed the shooting had been in self-defense.

Daybell’s wife, Tammy Daybell, also died in October due to what authorities initially believed to be natural causes but later determined suspicious. The Idaho attorney general’s office is currently investigating Vallow and Daybell for possible murder, attempted murder and conspiracy charges connected to the death.

Cox also died mysteriously in December.

The new two-hour Dateline special airs Friday on NBC at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST.