'Cult mom' Lori Vallow's daughter Tylee was molested by biological father when she was 5, therapist reveals
Lori Vallow's daughter Tylee Ryan was allegedly molested by her biological father when she was just five, years before she and her brother Joshua 'JJ' Vallow mysteriously went missing and sparked a nationwide hunt, new court documents have revealed. Long before she became known as the 'Cult mom' because of her obsession with doomsday prophecies, Vallow had been married to Joseph Ryan between 2001 and 2004. They would go on to have two children together, a boy named Colby and a girl named Tylee, both of whom later revealed to a therapist that they had been abused by Ryan.
The court documents detailing the claims were filed as part of a years-long custody battle between Vallow and Ryan following their divorce, and have come to light in the wake of the recent discovery of Tylee's and JJ's remains. The documents, penned by a social worker, recounted what the therapist, Leslie Smith, had shared about her sessions with Tylee. "Ms. Smith informed us that Tylee reported being happy about the visits with her dad and wanting those visits to continue during their last session," the social worker wrote, before adding that the young girl expressed concerns about spending the night at his house.
"'[The therapist] then reported that Tylee added something along the lines of 'I am scared about overnights,'" the worker noted. When [the therapist] questioned her about this, she said something like 'because Joe molested me and Colby.'"
When Vallow joined the session toward the end, Smith said Tylee looked at her mother and said, "I told her."
Ryan died of an apparent heart attack in 2018, by which point Vallow had gone on to marry her fourth husband Charles Vallow. He was never formally charged despite the accusations, and it is unclear if the police even investigated him. Tylee, 17, and 7-year-old JJ went missing in September 2019, a few months after Charles was shot and killed by Vallow's brother Alex Cox in 'self-defense.' As authorities investigated their disappearance, Vallow and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, went on the run.
With the search for the children into its eighth month in May, Colby appeared on NBC's 'Dateline' and seemingly corroborated his sister's claims that they had been abused by Ryan. "He went out of his way to make a point, he would spank me and just did weird things like little hits on the head, thought it was funny," Colby shared. "He was sexually abusive as well."
Asked if Vallow had been aware of the abuse, Colby said he had told her about it and that she seemed devastated. "I remember how devastated she was," he said. "I can't imagine that feeling and that's why I didn't want to tell her in the beginning."
Tylee's and JJ's whereabouts remained unknown until last month when Fremont County Sheriff's deputies, Rexburg Police officers, and FBI agents raided the Salem, Idaho, home of Daybell and uncovered human remains. Court records showed that while JJ had been easy to identify, Tylee's body was so badly burned and decomposed, investigators had to call upon the expertise of an orthodontist. "It was not possible to identify those remains by simply looking at them as they were too damaged by fire and dismemberment and no longer had any recognizable features," a report read. "However, Dr. Glen Smith, an orthodontist and Deputy Coroner in the Ada County Coroner's Office was able to identify these remains as belonging to Tylee Ryan by matching an irregular jawline with an X-ray of Tylee when she was alive."
Vallow is facing several charges in connection to her children's death, including conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, and criminal solicitation to commit a crime. Daybell has been charged with two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.