Idaho police questioned why remains of Lori Vallow's missing kids weren't found in first raid on Salem property
SALEM, IDAHO: Questions are being asked of local police department officers after remains of "Cult mom" Lori Vallow's missing children were found this week at her husband's house, which had already been searched by police in January. Police have also come under the scanner over why it took so long for the children's mother and stepfather to be charged in the case.
The children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow, 7, had reportedly disappeared in September last year, however, authorities only realized they were missing two days before Thanksgiving when one of their relatives asked them to conduct a welfare check after they were unable to contact 7-year-old JJ since September. The children's mother then fled to Hawaii the first time she was questioned by police regarding Tylee and Joshua's whereabouts.
Vallow and her current husband, Chad Daybell, a former gravedigger, and doomsday fanatic, evaded police shortly after the children were reported missing and refused to answer questions of their whereabouts for months. Vallow was eventually arrested in December 2019 on charges of neglect. There had been no development in the case since then until last week when the Rexburg Police Department in Idaho carried a search warrant on Daybell's Salem property, allowing the officials to bring cadaver dogs there for the first time. They found two bodies in what appeared to be Daybell's backyard, the identities of the remains have not yet been confirmed.
The details of the search warrant have reportedly been sealed and the police department has refused to answer questions on why it took them so long to find the remains and arrest Vallow. Police, in January this year, had seized multiple items from Daybell's house, however, it was believed to be in connection with his former wife's death and not the disappearance of the children.
Shedding some light on the new developments, legal experts said that authorities must have had some form of new evidence which led them to the bodies buried in Daybell's home. Former police officer and crime lab manager Jennifer Shen, while talking to the Daily Mail, said: "I don't know when it was the police would have gotten the information from that there were bodies on that property but they can't do any of that without probable cause. It's called fruit of the poisonous tree. If you wind up finding evidence but not legally, that evidence can be thrown out, all the evidence could be no longer useful they have to do it the right way. It could have catastrophic consequences," Shen said, adding that the case was "tragic" and "really complicated."
"[It is] one of the most bizarre cases from start to finish. This case has got dead bodies everywhere - you have to do things the right way," she added.
Daybell, who has been charged with one felony count of destruction or concealment of evidence, is being held on a $1 million bond after Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood, argued in court, saying he was a flight risk.
Lori, 46, and Chad, 51, during this duration have been linked to at least four deaths and one attempted murder spanning over the past two years.
The pair married nearly two weeks after Chad's first wife, Tammy, died at the age of 49. Her obituary stated that she "passed away peacefully in her sleep" on October 19. Authorities, who have reasons to suspect foul play, had exhumed her body to reevaluate the cause of her death.
Lori's husband, Joseph Ryan, died of an apparent heart attack in 2018 at the age of 59. He was cremated so his body cannot be exhumed. She then married Charles Vallow, who was eventually shot dead by her brother Alex Cox after the trio got into a heated argument in July this year. Charles Vallow was 62 when he was killed. The latest update in the case stated that, just a day after Tammy's body was exhumed, Cox — who had served prison sentences in Texas and Utah—also died, on December 12. Another person, Brandon Boudreaux, was shot at in a possibly linked case on October 2. According to court papers, the jeep that his would-be killer was driving was registered to Charles Vallow, who had died three months earlier.