Dateline NBC provided in-depth coverage of the case of two Idaho children who have been missing since late 2019. Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan’s disappearance remains unsolved…and their mother Lori Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, are the primary suspects. As the case is ongoing, more details have unraveled, which have now been revealed on Dateline NBC: What Happened to the Children? As the search for the missing children continues, viewers and social media users want to know where Lori and Chad Daybell are now.
What Happened to Joshua “JJ” Vallow & Tylee Ryan?
Lori Vallow had a son, Colby Ryan, and a daughter, Tylee Ryan, with her ex-husband, Joseph Ryan. Lori and Joseph divorced in 2004, and she married Charles Vallow two years later.
Lori and Charles adopted Joshua “JJ” Vallow in 2014. JJ is Charles’ sister’s grandson. JJ’s grandmother initially cared for him, before he was diagnosed with autism. When JJ’s grandparents could no longer care for him, Charles took him in.
Tylee took to the role of a big sister well. According to Colby, she was like a mother to JJ. Colby has not seen his sister and brother since September 2019.
Police state that seven-year-old JJ was last seen on September 23, when Lori Vallow told his Rexburg School that he would no longer be attending classes. Seventeen-year-old Tylee was last seen on September 8, 2019 at Yellowstone National Park with her mother, brother, and uncle.
Lori and Chad Daybell, who got married in November 2019, never reported the two children missing. However, their relatives expressed concern about the missing children.
And it gets weirder.
Lori’s first ex, Joseph Ryan, died in 2018 of an apparent heart attack. The following year, Lori’s brother Alex Cox shot and killed her second husband, Charles Vallow, on July 11, 2019. Cox claimed it was in self defense, but he himself died on December 12, 2019, of unknown causes. Lori and Charles were in the process of a divorce at the time of his death.
Lori & Chad Daybell Are Suspected in the Children’s Disappearance
The circumstances surround the disappearances of JJ and Tylee and the deaths of the people around them have been suspicious, to say the least. And all fingers point to Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell.
Chad Daybell, a doomsday fanatic, was married to Tammy Daybell for over three decades. They had five children together.
However, Tammy mysteriously died on October 19, 2019. Although Chad claimed she died in her sleep of natural causes, authorities exhumed her body later claiming that the circumstances where suspicious.
JJ and Tylee had been missing for weeks around that time. Their absence was especially conspicuous when Lori and Chad married in Hawaii, within a mere two weeks of Tammy’s death.
People who knew Lori said that she had changed in 2019 when she became obsessed with doomsday theories. That interest connected her to Chad, who was an author of several books on the theme.
Lori Vallow was said to be spouting apocalyptic beliefs and near-death experiences and visions. Disturbing emails exchanged between her and Chad in 2018 reveal that she asked him to check if her children were possessed by “light or dark spirits.” Tylee and her father Joseph were determined to be “dark spirits,” while JJ was allegedly a “light spirit.”
Charles Vallow had become increasingly suspicious of his wife’s relationship with Daybell and her mental state. In his petition for divorce, he explained his concerns and detailed her threats against him if he tried to stop her. Lori’s brother killed Charles before the divorce was finalized.
After Charles died, Lori moved Tylee and JJ to Rexburg, Idaho, where Chad and Tammy Daybell lived with their children.
The absence of the two children in Chad and Lori’s wedding raised alarms for Tylee and JJ’s relatives. The couple reportedly told those around them that Tylee died years ago and that Lori didn’t have any other children under the age of 18.
The concerned relatives asked Idaho police to perform a welfare check on JJ in November. The newlywed Daybells claimed that JJ was visiting a family friend in Arizona.
Police were unable to locate both kids, resulting in a search warrant for the Daybell’s residence. However, when cops returned to Chad and Lori’s place, they had fled.
Authorities determined that running away instead of cooperating with investigators to find their kids was suspicious behavior. While they looked into Tammy Daybell and Alex Cox’s mysterious deaths, police kept the search for JJ and Tylee on.
Where Are Lori and Chad Daybell?
This case of missing children and suspects on the run resulted in a massive investigation being launched on December 20, 2019, with support from the FBI across multiple states. Investigators believed that the children were not with Lori, but that she knew what happened to them and wasn’t forthcoming.
Moreover, Lori’s niece’s Melani Boudreaux (now Pawlowski) and her husband at the time, Brandon Boudreaux, divorced in May 2019, with Brandon claiming his wife was very involved in Lori Vallow’s doomsday beliefs. And, shortly before Tammy Daybell’s death, someone shot at Brandon. Investigators found that the shooter was in a vehicle registered to the late Charles Vallow.
In a desperate attempt to find out what happened to his younger siblings, Colby Ryan posted a YouTube video in January 2020. pleading for his mother to reveal the truth. JJ Vallow’s biological relatives also offered a monetary reward for any information on the children.
On February 20, 2020, Lori Daybell was arrested in Hawaii, where she and Chad had fled. She was extradited to Idaho, where she is now on trial.
Lori Vallow Daybell has been charged with felony child desertion charges, resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court. She was initially held on a $5.0-million bond, which has since been reduced to $1.0 million.
While in custody at Madison County jail, Daybell made her first appearance in court in May 2020 to request a reduction in her bail amount. Her defense attorneys cited a variety of reasons, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as reasons to bring down the bail amount.
As the pandemic is infecting prison inmates, too, there have been queries of whether Lori Vallow, who prefers to be addressed as Daybell now, would be released. However, the Madison County Sheriff’s department denied that any inmates will be released.
Chad Daybell is also reportedly in custody, but he’s currently not facing any charges in relation to the missing children and suspicious deaths. He and Lori are represented by the same lawyer.