Lori Vallow's family says that their "strong hope and belief" that J.J. and Tylee were alive has been "shattered"

By Ashley Boucher
June 10, 2020 07:47 PM
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Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, at left, and Tylee Ryan
Rexburg Police Department (2)

Lori Vallow's family is speaking out after the remains of her missing children, 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, were found on her husband Chad Daybell's Idaho property.

"The Cox family — Janis and Barry, Summer, Melani and Ian — is deeply saddened by the recent findings in the investigation into the whereabouts of J.J. and Tylee," the statement, obtained by PEOPLE, said. "Their love for them knows no bounds."

"The family has maintained a strong hope and belief that they were alive and well," the statement continued. "With that hope and belief apparently shattered, they struggle to find comfort and hope in this potential new reality. They miss J.J. and Tylee very much. The family is very grateful to those who have expended so much time and effort in trying to locate them."

The statement went on to say that the family will "continue to closely watch the developing situation and will anxiously await the pending conclusions with heavy hearts."

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

Chad has been charged with two counts of destruction, alteration and concealment of evidence in relation to the police search carried out on his home Tuesday.

He is also currently under investigation for potential murder, attempted murder and conspiracy charges in the death of his first wife.

His current wife, Vallow, is currently in jail on charges of failing to produce her then-missing children to police.

Chad Daybell's brother also spoke out on Wednesday.

Matt Daybell, Chad's brother, issued a statement on the family's behalf to Fox10 Phoneix reporter Justin Lum on Wednesday, one day after Rexburg police, the Fremont County sheriff's office and the FBI executed a search warrant of Chad's property.

"The events of the past nine months have weighed heavily on our family — it has been one of the most difficult things we have ever had to go through," the statement began. "Some in our extended family are still struggling to accept the reality that Chad could have been involved in something so terribly wrong."

Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, at left, and his sister Tylee Ryan

"On behalf of myself, my wife Heather, and our four children, we express our most sincere sympathies to [the children's grandparents] Larry and Kay [Woodcock] and to JJ and Tylee's entire extended families."

"We are devastated by today's news and the apparent role that Chad has played in what has transpired," the statement continued. "Heather and I have communicated many times in person and by phone with Larry and Kay over the past several months — they have been examples of courage, strength and kindness to us throughout this difficult trial they have been forced to endure."

"Throughout this ordeal, we have supported one another in the pursuit of truth, and will continue to do so. They have been praying for our family, as we have prayed for them. Our heartfelt love and prayers continue to go out to them and their family at this very difficult time."

Matt also said that he and his wife have been praying for Chad's adult children and their spouses, admitting that their current relationship is "significantly strained" and that he has not been in contact with them or his brother "for the last many months."

"We do not know where his children stand at this time," Matt said in his statement. "As such, we ask for patience and compassion for them and for all of our extended family as we cope with the horrific events that have come to light."

Earlier on Wednesday, prosecutors said that two bodies found on Chad's Idaho property belonged to children, and relatives of the couple said that the human remains "are indeed our beloved JJ and Tylee."

RELATED VIDEO: Bodies Found on Chad Daybell's Property Belonged to Children, Prosecutors Say

"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," the statement from the Woodcock and Ryan families said.

Chad also made his first court appearance — via video conference — before a Fremont County judge. He remains in jail on a $1 million bail.

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JJ and Tylee disappeared last year amidst a series of deaths under strange circumstances that occurred both before and after Daybell and Vallow's marriage in November.

Vallow faces felony counts 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 failing to produce the two children.

Vallow has pleaded not guilty.

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