Authorities say they have located the mother of two children who disappeared late last year from Idaho — but still have seen no sign of the children's whereabouts.
Lori Vallow Daybell, 46, and her new husband, Chad Daybell, 51, had previously refused to cooperate in the investigation into her missing children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, instead choosing to leave Idaho for a new state.
Although the couple faces no charges, police suspect they may be involved in Joshua and Tylee's disappearance. The children have not been seen since September and a welfare check in November found no trace of the children at their Rexburg home. Lori and Chad abruptly left Idaho soon after that welfare check.
“We know that the children are not with Lori and Chad Daybell and we also have information indicating that Lori knows either the location of the children or what has happened to them,” police said in an earlier statement. “Despite having this knowledge, she has refused to work with law enforcement to help us resolve this matter. It is astonishing that rather than work with law enforcement to help us locate her own children, Lori Vallow has chosen instead to leave the state with her new husband.”
But now the Daybells have been found in Kauai, Hawaii on Saturday, January 25, according to Fox 10 Phoenix. However, the children were not with Lori and Chad, and the couple was given a court order to physically produce the two children to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in Rexburg within the next week.
"There are no local charges or any current warrants of arrest," Kauai Police Department officials told Fox 10.
Rexberg police had previously stated the couple never reported the kids missing and had misled police about where their children were located.
The Daybells had little to say to reporters looking for news about the children's disappearance.
“That’s great,” Lori told a reporter with the Idaho Statesman when she was informed people in Idaho and across the country are praying for her kids.
An attorney for Chad and Lori Daybell previously denounced allegations linking the couple to Joshua and Tylee's disappearance.
“Chad Daybell was a loving husband and has the support of his children in this matter. Lori Daybell is a devoted mother and resents assertions to the contrary. We look forward to addressing the allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor," attorney Sean Bartholick told EastIdahoNews.com in December.
The disappearance of the children has uncovered a tangled web involving the couple's previous relationships, most notably the death of Chad Daybell's last wife, Tammy. The 49-year-old Tammy died of apparent natural causes last year, and Chad went on to marry Lori just two weeks after her death.
Lori's first husband, Charles Vallow, also died earlier this year. He was shot to death in July by a family member after getting into an argument with Lori that escalated into a physical confrontation. No charges have been filed in Charles Vallow’s death.
Police are now questioning the cause of Tammy Daybell's death and have exhumed her body for an autopsy, according to AZFamily.com. Results have not yet been released.
Earlier this year, the biological grandparents of Joshua announced they were offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Joshua and Tylee, according to the Idaho Statesman.
“These are beautiful young children. They’re two extremely intelligent young children and we want them back. We want them back in our family,” family member Larry Woodcock said. “I am hoping this will allow one person to simply say, ‘I saw, I know where he’s at,’ and give us that information so that we can bring JJ and we can bring Tylee back.”
“We don’t say the ‘D word.’ We don’t want to and we’re not going to because we truly believe and we hope and pray these kids are alive,” Woodcock said.
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