Idaho Mom Had 5 Days to Produce Her 2 Missing, Endangered Kids — and She Missed Deadline
Lori Vallow and husband Chad Daybell were found Saturday in Hawaii, but without her children — who have been missing since September
“The only word coming to mind right now is ‘monster,’” Kay Woodcock, grandmother to one of the missing kids, said at a news conference Thursday where she confirmed the no-show, reports the Associated Press. “All this has just been very disheartening … I’m a lot less optimistic at the moment.”
“She’s not going to be able to keep doing the ‘Lori thing’ and not have to be accountable,” Woodcock also said, reports AZFamily.com. “Everybody has to be accountable.”
Authorities who found Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, in Hawaii on Saturday had given Vallow five days to turn over her two missing kids — 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan — to police or child welfare authorities in Idaho. Now, she risks a civil or contempt of court citation, authorities have said.
The couple “abruptly vacated” their Rexburg, Idaho, home last November as local police carried out search warrants related to the disappearance of the children, police said, and they appeared to have been on the run since then. Woodcock said she was told the couple remain for now in Hawaii.
Daybell is an author who writes about prophecy and the end of the world, and Vallow allegedly believes she is “a God assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020,” according to a court filing by the children’s father, Charles Vallow, who cited her beliefs as a factor in a divorce filing.
Daybell and Vallow married soon after the October death of Daybell’s then-wife, Tammy, that authorities are investigating as “suspicious.” Charles Vallow himself was shot and killed in July at Lori Vallow’s former home in Chandler, Arizona, by her brother, who told authorities it was an act of self-defense. The shooter, Alex Cox, also later died.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Police have said they “strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger,” and previously issued in a statement alleging that Vallow “has refused to work with law enforcement to help us resolve this matter.”
“We are grateful for the concern and attention being shown regarding the location, health and safety of Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow,” Madison County, Idaho, prosecutor Rob Wood said in a statement Wednesday obtained by PEOPLE. “We hope and pray that the children will be produced or found and that they are safe and healthy.”
Woodcock’s comments to reporters reiterated her fears.
“There’s too many deaths — people dying — around Lori for it to all be natural. Unless she is the most unlucky person in the world,” she said, reports AZFamily.
Directing her comment to Vallow, she said: “This could end rather quickly. But this could [also] end rather badly if you don’t follow the order and do what you’re supposed to do.”
Authorities have not detailed a next step, except to say that Vallow risked a civil or contempt of court citation if she failed to turn over the children. There are no pending criminal charges or related warrants for the arrests of Daybell and Vallow, say police on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, where the couple was located last weekend and have been staying for an “unconfirmed period of time.”
In a separate statement to PEOPLE, Rexburg police said Vallow’s two children were not with the couple when they were stopped on Saturday, “and there is no evidence” the kids were ever in Hawaii.
Before moving to Arizona, Lori and Charles Vallow previously had lived on Kaua’i, reports AZFamily. After Charles Vallow’s shooting, Lori Vallow moved to Idaho, where she married Daybell.
“I can’t say for sure what’s going to happen next other than to say I hope it’s something that will get her attention, because I would love to know where those kids are,” Kay Woodcock said, reports the AP. “I think all America wants to know where they are.”
The grandparents have offered $20,000 for tips leading to the children’s recovery.
Anyone with information about either missing child is asked to call Rexburg police 208-359-3000 or 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).