The FBI has released new pictures of J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan, taken shortly before their disappearance

By Steve Helling
March 06, 2020 03:03 PM
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Joshua "J.J." Vallow, at left, with sister Tylee Ryan, center, and Alex Cox

The FBI has released new photos they hope will aid in the search for Lori Vallow’s two missing children — and they’re encouraging anyone with photos from that day to come forward.

The photos, taken on September 8, 2019, show Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow at Yellowstone National Park. The photos are notable because they are the last known photographs of Tylee, who hasn’t been seen since the family took a day trip to the park.

Her younger brother, J.J., was last seen on September 23 at his school in Rexburg, Idaho, before Lori unenrolled him and told the principal she was planning to homeschool the boy.

“An ongoing investigation has determined that the children were in Yellowstone National Park on that date with their mother, Lori Vallow, and uncle, Alex Cox,” the FBI said in a statement. “The group was traveling in a 2017 silver Ford F-150 pickup, with Arizona license plate CPQUINT.”

J.J. Vallow, Tylee Ryan

Lori, 46, was extradited this week to Idaho from Hawaii, where she was arrested on February 20 in Kaua’i. She faces multiple charges including two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, resisting or obstructing officers, contempt of court and criminal solicitation to commit a crime.

Lori and her husband Chad Daybell — a religious doomsday author — have been accused of lying about the children’s whereabouts, and police in Rexburg have said that they “strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger.”

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Credit: FBI

Lori’s bond was set at $5 million, and she waived her right to an extradition hearing on February 26. She is set to appear in court later on Friday.

That investigation has since yielded a second look at the deaths of Lori and Chad’s former spouses. Chad’s wife, Tammy, died in her bed on October 8 — a death which officials now call “suspicious.” Lori’s ex-husband, Charles, was shot by her brother, Alex Cox, during an alleged altercation.

Cox, who is seen in the recently-released FBI photos, claimed self-defense and was not charged in the shooting. He has since died under mysterious circumstances. Authorities are investigating his death.

Credit: Rexburg Police Department (2)

Lori and Chad were tracked by authorities to Kaua’i in January, where Lori was arrested after failing to turn over the two kids to police or child welfare authorities in Idaho by the deadline set in a court order. There have been no signs that the children were ever in Kaua’i with the two adults.

Lori has not yet entered a plea, but her lawyer has said the charges against her are false accusations.

PEOPLE’s calls to Lori’s attorneys Mark Means, Brian Webb and Edwina Elcox on Friday weren’t immediately returned

In a brief comment to ABC News as he prepared to leave Hawaii ahead of his wife’s extradition, Chad claimed the the “kids are safe,” but did not disclose any other information on their whereabouts.

Chad has not been charged with a crime.

Anyone with information on the missing kids is asked to call the Rexburg Police Department at (208) 359-3000 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST).