• Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan were last seen September 2019
  • The bodies of two children were found in the backyard of their mother’s new husband
  • Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell have been arrested

Relatives of two Idaho children who went missing in September have confirmed their deaths after investigators found the bodies of two children in the backyard of their mother’s new husband.

Seven-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and his 17-year-old sister, Tylee Ryan, were last seen a few weeks before their mother Lori Vallow Daybell married Chad Daybell.

Prosecutors believe Chad, who has been arrested, helped Lori hide the remains of both children fearing that they would be used as evidence in court. Lori was arrested in February in Hawaii for child abandonment and obstructing the investigation.

The case spans several states and began when Lori’s brother Alex Cox shot and killed her estranged husband in Phoenix, Arizona, in what Cox said was self-defense. Court documents showed that Charles Vallow filed for divorce alleging that Lori threatened to kill him if he got in the way of her preparing for Christ’s second coming in July 2020.

Cox died December of an apparent blood clot in a lung.

Lori and the children moved to Idaho, where Chad lived and ran a small publishing company, shortly after Charles’s death. Chad was publishing mainly fiction books loosely based around apocalyptic scenarios from the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He reportedly claimed to friends that he received visions from “beyond the veil” and recorded podcasts about preparing for the apocalypse.

Chad was married to Tammy Daybell, who died in October of what an obituary said was natural causes in her sleep. Authorities launched an investigation and exhumed Tammy’s body after Chad married Lori just two weeks later. Authorities have not released the results of that autopsy.

Authorities conducted a welfare check in November shortly after the marriage at the request of relatives, who have not heard from JJ in months. JJ was last seen at his school in September 22. Tylee was last seen in photos during a family visit to Yellowstone National Park on September 8.

Lori told police that Chad was not home because he was staying with a family friend. The next day, police attempted to serve a search warrant after finding out that it was not true, only to find both Lori and Chad gone.

The couple was later found in Hawaii, where Lori was arrested for failing to cooperate with authorities and present her children. She is being held on a $1 million bond. Chad was charged Wednesday (June 10) with destroying or concealing two sets of human remains; the judge set bail at $1 million and ordered that he not be allowed to leave Idaho.

Authorities have not yet confirmed the identities of the bodies found in Chad’s property but extended family have said in the statement that they believe the bodies belonged to the missing children.

A statement from JJ’s biological grandparents and Tylee’s brother said, “This is the worst news we will ever get in our lives and want to be left alone for the time being.”

“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,” the statement also read. “Official statements from The Rexburg Police, The Medical Examiner and the FBI will be released soon.”