Police have not yet issued a statement about the identities of the bodies that were found

By Jeff Truesdell
June 10, 2020 05:17 PM
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Family members of Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow have spoken out about the human remains discovered during a search of Daybell's property on Tuesday, saying the remains belong to 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and his sister, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, who were last seen in September.

Police have not yet confirmed the identities of the bodies.

In a statement shared on Twitter by Justin Lum of Fox10, relatives of the families wrote, "The Woodcock's and The Ryan's are confirming that the human remains found by Law enforcement on Chad Daybell's property are indeed our beloved JJ and Tylee. 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. Official statements from The Rexburg Police, The Medical Examiner and the FBI will be released soon."

Daybell's brother, Matt, also released a statement reacting to the news of the grisly discovery on the property. The statement was also posted by Justin Lum of Fox 10 on Twitter.

Lori and her newlywed husband, Chad Daybell, an author who writes about religious doomsday prophecies, quickly became the targets of police scrutiny in the kids’ disappearance after J.J.’s out-of-state grandparents filed a missing-persons report in late November.

But before police could execute a search warrant on the couple’s home in Rexburg, Idaho, police say the couple fled the area, only to be located again without the kids on Jan. 25 in Kaua’i, Hawaii.

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

J.J., Lori’s adopted son who has autism, was last seen Sept. 23, at his school in Rexburg before his mother disenrolled 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 an uncle, according to a court filing in Madison County, Idaho.

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

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While in Hawaii, Vallow defied a court order requiring her to produce the children to police or child welfare officials by Jan. 30. She was arrested Feb. 20 and charged with two 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.

Vallow is behind bars on  a $1 million bond.

Lori Vallow, at left, and Chad Daybell
Rexburg Police Department (2)

Chad and Lori were married on Nov. 5, two weeks after the Oct. 19 death of Chad’s then-wife, Tammy. The investigation into the children’s disappearance has since yielded a second look at Tammy’s death, which officials now term “suspicious.”

After being arrested on Tuesday, Daybell made his first court appearance before a Fremont County judge Wednesday via video conference. Daybell has been charged with two counts of destruction, alteration and concealment of evidence.

During the hearing, Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood said the bodies' identities had not been confirmed yet, but said they were children. He also said "the manner of concealment" of one of the bodies was "particularly egregious."

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

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On Tuesday morning, Rexburg police, along with the Fremont County sheriff's office and FBI, executed a search warrant of Daybell's property. 

It was the second major search of the property this year— the first being in January.

Vallow remains jailed in Madison County, Idaho, on 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 kids. She has pleaded not guilty.

Daybell remains behind bars on a $1 million bail.

Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood  said during Wednesday's hearing, "One of the primary reasons we are asking the bail be set in that amount is the evidence that has been concealed in this case -- it’s not simply a document, drugs, a gun. These are human remains. ... We are aware that those remains are the remains of children, which we believe is an aggravating factor."

Daybell's attorney, John Prior, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. If found guilty of both charges, Daybell could face 10 years in prison.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.