In June, the bodies of the Idaho mother's two missing children were found on her husband's property

By Harriet Sokmensuer
August 05, 2020 05:59 PM
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Chad Daybell, left, and Lori Vallow
Rexburg Police Department ; Madison County Sheriff's Office/AP/Shutterstock

A phone call between Lori Vallow and her husband on the day the bodies of her two missing children were found in his Idaho backyard has been released.

The three-and-a-half-minute phone call between Vallow -- who is currently behind bars on a $1 million bond -- and Chad Daybell was played as evidence during Daybell’s two-day preliminary hearing Tuesday, report the East Idaho News, KSL Radio and Fox13.

"Are you okay?" Vallow can be heard asking Daybell on the call, placed June 9.

"They’re searching the property,” he replies, sounding upset.

“The house right now?” Lori asks quietly, to which Daybell confirms, before saying that her attorney will speak with her.

Vallow asks Daybell what she can do for him and offers to pray, but Daybell tells his wife, “I’m feeling pretty calm."

Daybell faces charges that include conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in the disappearance of J.J. and his 17-year-old sister, Tylee Ryan, whose bodies were found on June 9 on Daybell's Idaho property.

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Vallow and Daybell, an author who writes about religious doomsday prophecies, were married last Nov. 5 and quickly became the targets of police scrutiny in the kids’ disappearance after J.J.’s out-of-state grandparents filed a missing-persons report later that month. J.J. is the adoptive son of Vallow and her previous husband, Charles Vallow.

Chad Daybell, left, and Lori Vallow
Rexburg Police Department ; Madison County Sheriff's Office/AP/Shutterstock

Before police could execute a search warrant on the couple’s Rexburg home, however, police said the couple fled, only to be located without the kids on Jan. 25 in Kaua’i, Hawaii. Vallow was arrested there on Feb. 20 after refusing the court order to turn over the children to police or child welfare officials.

While looking for the children, Rexburg police say they documented several misleading statements about their whereabouts from the pair, and said then that they “strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives [were] in danger.”

J.J. was last seen Sept. 23 at his school in Rexburg, before his mother unenrolled him and told the principal she was considering home-schooling. The last known image of Tylee was taken Sept. 8 while Tylee was on a day trip to Yellowstone National Park with her mother, brother and her uncle, Alex Cox, according to a court filing in Madison County, Idaho.

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

Authorities using Cox's cell phone records allegedly placed him on Daybell's property on two dates that align with the last time the children were seen, and used that as a basis to search there for the children's bodies.

Authorities who found the remains of the children said J.J., clad in his red pajamas, had been duct-taped at the hands and feet and had a plastic bag taped over his head.

In a nearby pet cemetery, authorities recovered a mass of burned flesh and bone contained in a melted green bucket, and under the bucket was a partial human skull, Rexburg police Det. Ray Hermosillo said in court. Those remains were later confirmed to belong to Tylee Ryan.

No one has been charged in the children's deaths.

Vallow is being held on $1 million bond on earlier charges of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, as well as resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, contempt of court and willful disobedience of court process or order for defying a December court order to produce the two kids. She has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Vallow has also been charged with conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, but has not yet entered a plea.