Larry Woodcock last spoke with his grandson J.J. Vallow in an Aug. 10 FaceTime call

By Jeff Truesdell
March 02, 2020 02:02 PM
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As the search for Lori Vallow’s two missing children continues, the grandfather of her 7-year-old adopted boy is pleading with Lori’s newlywed husband to “do some soul searching” and help authorities locate the kids.

Lori’s husband Chad Daybell, an author who writes of religious doomsday prophecies, returned Saturday to his Idaho home from Hawaii, where Lori is jailed and awaiting extradition after her arrest there related to the disappearance of 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and his sister, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, reports East Idaho News.

“Chad, I know you are on your way back to Idaho,” J.J.’s grandfather Larry Woodcock said in an interview with Fox & Friends Weekend.

“When you get there, please do a lot of soul searching,” he said. “Somewhere in that vicinity there are two children and we want them back safe and we hope that you will have this come-to-Jesus meeting with yourself and address these issues as soon as possible.”

Woodcock and his wife, Kay, last spoke with J.J. on Aug. 10 in a brief FaceTime call, he said.

Authorities say J.J., who has autism, was last seen September 23, at his school in Rexburg, Idaho, before his mother disenrolled him and told the principal she was considering home-schooling. The last sighting authorities have of Tylee occurred September 8 on a day trip to Yellowstone National Park with her mother, brother and uncle, according to a court filing in Madison County, Idaho, that led to Lori’s arrest.

Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, at left, and Tylee Ryan
| Credit: Rexburg Police Department (2)

Police in Rexburg have documented several misleading statements about the children from Lori and Chad, and said they “strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger” after Lori and Chad fled their Rexburg home last November as police — tipped to their apparent disappearance by J.J.’s grandparents — began to search for the kids.

That investigation has since yielded a second look at the October death of Chad’s former wife, Tammy, which officials now term “suspicious,” and focused renewed attention on the July shooting death in Lori’s Arizona home of her former husband, Charles, by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, during an alleged altercation. Cox, who claimed self-defense and was not charged in the shooting, also has since died under circumstances that authorities are reviewing.

Until the events of the recent months, “I thought [Lori] was a wonderful mom,” said Woodcock, who has known her for more than 10 years. “Had we not thought that and cared for her and Charles the way that we did, we would have certainly never given up J.J. to allow them to adopt.”

Kay Woodcock and Charles Vallow were siblings. J.J.’s birth father is Kay Woodcock’s son, who lost custody of the boy before he was adopted by Charles and Lori Vallow.

Larry Woodcock said the current case has revealed two sides to Lori, who married Chad in November just weeks after Chad’s wife died.

Chad Daybell, at left, and Lori Vallow
| Credit: Eric Grossarth/ EastIdahoNews.com

“The first Lori is the absolutely wonderful mom, as one lady said recently — the mom that other moms wanted to be like,” he said. “And then there is Lori today and within the last several months that I don’t understand.”

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Authorities searching for Lori and Chad after they left Idaho, to which Lori moved with her two children after the shooting death of Charles, tracked the couple to Kaua’i, Hawaii. Police said there were no signs the children had ever been in Hawaii with them.

Kay and Larry Woodcock
| Credit: Dayley Smith/Rexburg Standard Journal

On Feb. 20, police in Kaua’i arrested Lori and charged her with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children after she defied a Jan. 30 court-ordered deadline to produce the two children. She also is charged with arrests and seizures — resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court — as well as willful disobedience of court process or order.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, according to the prosecutor’s office.

On Wednesday, a judge in Hawaii refused to reduce the $5 million bail set for her. Lori previously had fought extradition to Idaho, where the criminal charges against her were issued, but she waived her right to an extradition hearing and now will be returned to deal with the allegations.

She has not yet entered a plea and her attorney, Craig De Costa, could not immediately be reached. But during a hearing last Wednesday, De Costa characterized the charges against her as “false accusations,” reports CNN.

As Chad prepared to leave Hawaii ahead of his wife’s extradition, he claimed the “kids are safe” in a brief comment to ABC News, but did not otherwise disclose their whereabouts.