A friend of Idaho mom Lori Vallow said in a recent interview that she believes Vallow's missing children, Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow, are dead.
“They’re not on this planet anymore. I don’t think they are. That’s my personal opinion. Tylee is a very strong-willed individual, and she’s capable of making a phone call if she needs to call, and she hasn’t reached out to anybody and let anybody know she’s alive,” Melanie Gibb told EastIdahoNews.com in an interview.
Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua "J.J." Vallow — who recently turned 8 — disappeared eight months ago from their Rexburg, Idaho home. Shortly after they disappeared, their mother flew off to Hawaii with her new husband Chad Daybell while police were investigating the kids' disappearance.
Lori Vallow was arrested in February in Hawaii after failing to produce her children under orders from a court.
Lori married Chad, her fifth husband, in the fall just two weeks after Chad's own wife, 49-year-old Tammy Daybell, was found dead in her home. Tammy’s death has since been deemed suspicious and is currently being investigated by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.
However, Lori Vallow’s mother previously said she is “positive” her daughter hadn't hurt her missing children.
“I’m positive beyond any doubt that she hasn’t harmed those kids,” Janis Cox told CBS News. “She’s invested her whole life in those children, so we know there’s another whole side to this."
Gibb doubted the contention that the children are safe and unharmed.
“It doesn’t add up. If they’re in a safe place, why is (Lori) in Hawaii having a great time on her honeymoon when her children are hiding for safety? That doesn’t even make sense. I think most people understand that," Gibb said.
Officials have said the last known images of Tylee were taken on Sept. 8, 2019 during a family outing to Yellowstone National Park, according to an affidavit of probable cause released by the Madison County Prosecuting Attorney. The last reported sighting of J.J. was at his elementary school on Sept. 23 — a day later Lori Vallow called the school and claimed J.J. would be homeschooled from then on.
Gibb previously said she visited Vallow in September and also saw J.J. alive — but was deeply unnerved by a conversation she had with her friend.
“She said that he [J.J.] had turned into a zombie the day before I got there, and she was pointing out behaviors of his. … She was trying to create uncertainty in me about what I saw. … I was looking at him and thought, ‘I don’t know. He looks just like J.J. to me,” Gibb said.
Gibb later contended she received a call from Lori in November asking her to lie to the police about J.J.'s whereabouts.
Lori Vallow is still being held on a $1 million bond on felony child desertion charges after she failed to produce J.J. and Tylee by a deadline given by authorities. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of J.J. Vallow or Tylee Ryan is urged to contact authorities.
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