Missing Idaho Kids' Grandparents 'Holding Out Hope' Kids Are OK, Say Mom 'Should Be in Handcuffs'

More than five months after J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan were last seen alive, their extended family still hopes for good news

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

The grandparents of two missing Idaho kids are speaking out, telling PEOPLE they’re holding out hope the siblings will return safely.

But they also have harsh words for the mom of the siblings, who has refused to cooperate with the police investigation into their disappearance.

The two siblings — Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17 — were last seen in September, according to the Rexburg Police Department. Their mother, Lori Vallow had recently married Chad Daybell, a religious author who writes about prophecy and the end of the world.

Nothing is known about the kids’ whereabouts — or even if they’re alive or dead. But in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, J.J.’s paternal grandparents say that they’re “holding out hope” the kids are alive.

“There are two phone calls I want to get right now,” says Larry Woodcock, the boy’s grandfather. “The first call is that they’ve been found right now. J.J. and Tylee are safe and they’re heading home. And the second call is that Lori and Chad Daybell have been arrested.”

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

Larry Woodcock and his wife, Kay, are most angry that Chad and Lori have been uncooperative with authorities. The adults were located in Hawaii last month but the children were nowhere to be found. Authorities gave Lori five days to produce the children — a deadline she missed.

No criminal charges are pending against either Lori or Chad, although authorities previously said that her refusal to produce the children would risk civil or contempt of court citations. As of Tuesday morning, there have been no repercussions for failing to produce the kids.

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Larry Woodcock says that Lori’s lack of cooperation is egregious. “She didn’t comply with a court order,” he says. “She belongs in handcuffs.”

Lori Vallow
Lori Vallow. Rexburg Police Department

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In addition to the case of the missing kids, authorities in several states are investigating a spate of suspicious deaths that have swirled around Chad and Lori in the past few months.

Chad’s wife, Tammy, was found dead in October under suspicious circumstances. Lori’s fourth husband, Charles, was shot to death in July 2019 by her brother, Alex Cox — and Cox was later found dead under mysterious circumstances.

It was during the investigation into Tammy Daybell’s death that police discovered the children were missing.

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