Vallow's two children, J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan, were found dead in her husband's backyard

By Harriet Sokmensuer
July 01, 2020 11:51 AM

Lori Vallow, the mother of slain children J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan, appeared to cry during a court hearing for new charges.

On Tuesday, Vallow appeared before Madison County Judge Faren Eddins via video conference for her initial court appearance on two felony charges of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. The 15-minute hearing was also attended by Colby and Kelsee Ryan, Vallow's son and daughter in-law.

During her appearance, Vallow wiped tears from her eyes and asked by Eddins if she understood the charges against her, Vallow quietly replied, "yes."

Lori Vallow

Police are still investigating what happened to 7-year-old J.J. and 17-year-old Tylee, whose remains were found burned and buried on the property of Vallow's new husband, Chad Daybell.

J.J. was last seen on September 23 in Rexburg, Idaho, when his mother withdrew him from school, telling the principal she planned to homeschool him. Tylee was last seen during a Sept. 8 day trip to Yellowstone National Park. After they hadn't heard from the children in months, their grandparents called authorities.

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Lori Vallow
Joshua “J.J.” Vallow; Lori Vallow; Tylee Ryan
| Credit: Rexburg Police Department

In January, authorities gave Lori Vallow five days to produce the children and prove that they were safe. After she failed to do that, she was arrested and charged with felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, 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 children.

She pleaded not guilty to the previous charges and is being held on $1 million bond.

She has not entered a plea on the new charges.

On June 9, investigators located the bodies of the children in Daybell's backyard by tracking the cell phone of Vallow's deceased brother, who was there on two dates that align with the last time the children were seen. The revelation raises further questions about the role of the brother, Alex Cox, who was himself found dead in December.

Daybell has also been charged with two counts of destruction, alteration and concealment of evidence. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

No charges have been filed for the deaths of the children. An attorney for Vallow and Daybell has not returned PEOPLE's calls for comment.