The bodies of Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and Tylee Ryan were found Wednesday

By Steve Helling
June 11, 2020 01:11 PM

The search for missing Idaho siblings Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and Tylee Ryan took a tragic turn on Wednesday when family members said police had found their remains on a property belonging to their stepfather, Chad Daybell.

While authorities haven't confirmed the identity of the bodies or announced the cause and manner of death in the cases, the children's relatives have expressed their grief.

In a statement shared on Twitter by Justin Lum of Fox10, relatives of the families wrote, "The Woodcocks and The Ryans 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."

Here are the latest developments in the case after Wednesday's tragic discovery.

Chad Daybell, left, and Lori Vallow
| Credit: Rexburg Police Department ; Madison County Sheriff's Office/AP/Shutterstock

1. Authorities Searched Property in January, But Didn't Find Kids

Rexburg Assistant Police Chief Gary Hagan told reporters at a Wednesday press conference that investigators had made the grim discovery during the second search of the property. Authorities had checked the property in January but had not found the children.

Hagan did not give any details of where on the property the discovery was made, nor the conditions of the remains. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause and manner of death.

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

Upon finding the children's remains, authorities arrested Daybell, an author of religious-themed doomsday writings. He has been charged with two counts of destruction, alteration and concealment of evidence. He has not yet entered a plea.

Lori Vallow
| Credit: AP/Shutterstock

Daybell is married to Lori Vallow, the Idaho woman who was arrested in February on charges stemming from the disappearance of the children. At the time, authorities alleged that she had failed to produce the children or to present any evidence that they were safe.

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Chad Daybell, at left, and Lori Vallow
| Credit: Eric Grossarth/

2. Lori Vallow Remains in Jail

After a nationwide manhunt, Daybell and Vallow were located in Hawaii in January. Authorities gave Vallow five days to produce the children — a deadline she missed on January 30, though authorities didn’t take action until her arrest on Feb. 20.

Rexburg police alleged in a statement that Vallow “has refused to work with law enforcement to help us resolve this matter." 

Vallow has been 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 has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million bond.

Attorneys for the couple have not responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Authorities have not commented whether the charges will be upgraded against Vallow after the discovery of her children's remains.

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

3. Mysterious Deaths Surround Couple — and Authorities Are Investigating

In addition to J.J. and Tylee, several people close to Daybell and Vallow have died under mysterious circumstances, including Daybell's former wife as well as Vallow's ex-husband and her brother.

Vallow's fourth husband, Charles, was shot to death during a July 2019 altercation by her brother, Alex Cox, who claimed he was acting in self-defense and was never charged. Three months later, Daybell's wife, Tammy, was found dead in her bed -- a death police later called "suspicious." Her body has been exhumed.

After Charles' death, Vallow moved to Idaho and married Daybell; Cox was later found dead under mysterious circumstances.

Additionally, authorities are investigating the 2018 death of Joseph Ryan, Vallow's third husband. His death was classified as a heart attack at the time.

Police have not charged Daybell or Vallow with any crimes in connection with the suspicious deaths of family members other than J.J. and Tylee.