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Lori Vallow, Mother Of Missing Idaho Children, Proclaims Her Innocence As Two Attorneys Withdraw From Her Defense
It's not clear why the two lawyers have stepped down from Lori Vallow's team. The judge has also granted a motion removing himself from the case.
Lori Vallow, the mother of two missing Idaho children, is maintaining her innocence, as two of her attorneys leave the case.
Vallow’s last remaining attorney Mark Means issued a statement to ABC News on behalf of his client saying that Vallow, sometimes referred to as Lori Vallow Daybell, should retain the presumption of innocence as the case against the Idaho mom moves forward.
"As with any citizen of our Country, Mrs. Daybell is entitled to all the privileges and rights that accompany our cornerstone belief of innocents, until proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise,” the statement said. "It is this innocence that Mrs. Daybell assertively maintains regarding all charges."
Vallow has been charged with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children in connection with the disappearance of her two children, Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, who have not been seen since September.
Vallow is also facing misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt.
Late last week, Vallow’s former defense attorney Brian Webb told the East Idaho News that he and fellow attorney Edwina Elcox planned to withdraw from representing Vallow. It's not clear why they chose to step down.
Judge Farren Eddins has also been removed from the case after a defense motion was filed requesting the magistrate judge be replaced.
The defense did not provide a reason why they wanted Eddins removed; however, Eddins approved the motion and agreed to remove himself.
Vallow is being held on a $1 million bond after she was arrested in Hawaii and extradited back to Idaho, where she had lived with her children before they disappeared. She has thus far failed to convince a bail bond agency to secure her release.
Authorities have said Tylee Ryan was last seen during a Sept. 8 family outing to Yellowstone National Park, according to an affidavit of probable cause released by the Madison County Prosecuting Attorney.
J.J. was last seen a few weeks later on Sept. 23 at his elementary school. The following day, Lori Vallow contacted the school to say she was withdrawing him and planned to home school him.
Police conducted a welfare check on J.J. in November after receiving a call from the boy’s concerned grandparents. Lori Vallow told them at the time that J.J. was staying with a family friend in Arizona—but that story didn’t check out. When police returned to the family’s townhome the next day, Lori Vallow was gone.
Authorities later learned she flew to Hawaii with her new husband, Chad Daybell, a religious author who writes about the end of the world.
The pair remained in Hawaii for several months—with no sign of the missing children—until Lori Vallow was arrested and returned to Idaho on the current charges.
Chad Daybell previously told ABC News the “kids are safe” but gave no other details.