Two sets of children's remains were recovered at the Idaho home of Lori Vallow’s husband Chad Daybell amid the search for her missing kids, authorities say.
Investigators discovered the unidentified human remains at Daybell’s Salem home on Tuesday as they continued to look for Vallow’s missing children Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, who would have recently turned 8 years old. The children vanished in September and Vallow has been unable to produce them despite a court order to do so, sparking widespread worry about their well-being.
Autopsy results are pending but Prosecutor Rob Wood noted during Daybell’s first court appearance, held Wednesday over Zoom, that “we believe those remains are the remains of children.”
Wood didn't offer any more information about the identity of the remains.
However, the grandparents of Tylee and J.J., Larry and Kay Woodcock, and Tylee's brother Colby Ryan said in a joint statement that the remains were that of the missing kids.
“We are filled with unfathomable sadness that these two bright stars were stolen from us, and only hope that they died without pain or suffering,” they said in a statement provided to local outlet KSL Wednesday. "We ask that you respect our family's privacy while we grieve."
Daybell has been charged with two counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.
The first count relates to alleged concealment of evidence which occurred between September 8, 2019 and Tuesday. Tylee has been missing since Sept. 8. The second count pertains to alleged evidence concealment which occurred sometime between Sept. 22 and Tuesday. J.J. has been missing since Sept. 24.
Daybell has not yet entered a plea to the charges.
Daybell’s bail was set at $1 million. His attorney John Prior pressed Judge Faren Eddins for $100,000 bail during his client’s first appearance Wednesday. Prior pointed out that despite the publicity surrounding the case, Daybell’s charges — if not upgraded — would only amount to him serving five years maximum if convicted. Eddins sided with Wood, who argued that there are aggravating circumstances because the remains are of children.
The judge set aside July 1 and July 2 for Daybell’s preliminary hearing.
Daybell has authored more than 20 books, many of which are centered on the apocalypse and Latter-day Saints beliefs. He is Vallow’s fifth and most recent husband.
Vallow — sometimes referred to as Lori Daybell or Lori Vallow Daybell — has been in custody since her February arrest in Kauai after she failed to prove to a court that her children were okay. While she was initially booked on a $5 million bond for felony child abandonment, misdemeanor resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt of court charges, her bond was later reduced to $1 million.
In addition to the missing children, there are other bizarre circumstances surrounding the case. Vallow’s ex-husband Charles Vallow was shot to death by Vallow's brother, Alex Cox, last summer. Cox, who claimed the shooting was in self-defense, then died in December from an apparent blood clot.
Daybell’s former wife, Tammy Daybell, with whom he started a book company, died in her sleep last October from apparent natural causes. However, officials had her body exhumed in December and now deem her death as possibly suspicious.
Court documents filed as part of a custody dispute between Vallow’s niece, Melani Boudreaux Pawlowski, and her former husband Brandon Boudreaux claims that Vallow and Daybell are part of a religious cult. He also claimed that Vallow also believed her children were possessed by zombies.
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