‘It’s traumatic’: Families of slain JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan 'haunted' by thought of Lori Vallow's victims’ final moments

‘It’s traumatic’: Families of slain JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan 'haunted' by thought of Lori Vallow's victims’ final moments
Kresha Easton (R) said that JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan's (L) families are haunted by thoughts of slain children's final moments (FBI, Madison County Jail, screenshot from Newsnation/YouTube)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised

MADISON COUNTY, IDAHO: As the murder trial of Lori Vallow is nearing the end of the fifth week, relatives of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan have shared that they continue to remain haunted by the thoughts of the final moments of the slain children. While the court heard a series of harrowing testimony over the past five weeks, JJ’s aunt Kresha Easton, who was present in the courtroom throughout the trial, told The US Sun that the thoughts of the children in their last moments of life have bothered her to the “core”. “What were they thinking? What were they seeing, smelling, hearing?” she asked.

Last week, prosecutors revealed JJ’s cause of death for the first time in court. They told jurors that the seven-year-old died after asphyxiation by a plastic bag. Meanwhile, a specific cause of death for his sister, 16-year-old Tylee, could not be determined due to her remains being burned and dismembered. However, forensic experts told jurors that the teen was possibly killed by homicidal means and later dismembered with a pickaxe, according to The US Sun. Vallow is currently on trial for first-degree murder, conspiracy, and grand theft over the deaths of her daughter Tylee, son JJ and Tammy Daybell, the ex-wife of her husband Chad Daybell.


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‘They didn't deserve this’

Amid the harrowing details surrounding JJ and Tylee’s death revealed in the court during the “Doomsday cult mom” murder trial, the former’s aunt said she is the most haunted by thinking about the thoughts going on in the children’s minds during the final moments of their lives. “It's traumatic. This is really traumatizing every step of the way,” Easton told the publication while speaking about being present in the court.


“It's also freeing in a way, because the more [information] I have, the more I understand as to how they died [...] and now my imagination isn't running wild as much and driving me crazy,” she added. “[But what's] haunted me this entire time is just their last moments…Oh, God. That just bothers me to my core,” Easton shared. “They didn't deserve this. We all know that,” she stated. Easton said that JJ and Tylee, who had been described as “zombies” and “dark spirits” by Vallow, were “lights in this world” in reality.

“I can't imagine how she stripped everything away, it was just a steady dehumanization process, just for this elaborate conspiracy,” she said. “And it wasn't to rid zombies. It was to rid the 'zombies' that were in their way, in my opinion,” Easton opined. “JJ and Tylee, they had so much light in this world. And that is something that Lori, Chad, or anyone else on this planet can never wipe away,” she mentioned.


JJ Vallow’s biological father disturbed by his own life choices

JJ was born as Canaan Trahan to parents Mandy Leger and Todd Trahan, Easton’s brother. His biological parents did substance issues, resulting in JJ being born addicted to drugs. He was also diagnosed with autism. Less than a year after his birth, JJ was adopted by Easton's uncle Charles Vallow and his wife Lori. Waston's parents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, temporarily fostered JJ as a baby before the Vallows were granted full custody to raise him as their own child in Arizona.

In the wake of JJ’s death, his biological father has continued to be plagued by the “what ifs” of his and Mandy’s life choices before JJ’s birth, Easton told The US Sun. However, Easton said she has decided to protect her brother, inspired by the bond between Tylee and JJ. “If you’ve ever watched videos of Tylee and JJ, you will know how she cared for him and how [...] she was his protector,” she shared. “And now I see a lot of that dynamic with me and my brother. I want to protect my brother, that’s my brother,” Easton said through tears.


“And I feel like that's the only thing that's choking me up right now is that I just don't want him to hurt more than he already is. He beats himself up about why we're here and how we got here all the time,” she said about Todd’s condition. “He struggles with addiction but he makes strides. And then we all know you can make strides and then backslide,” she continued. “And then each time you know, you inch your way up. And that's what he's doing. And I'm proud of him,” Easton revealed.

“He's the strongest person that I know and I don't know if I could handle it. I try to handle it for him. But I know that's not how it works,” she said. “I hate that he hurts. And, you know, you're already in that kind of mindset with addiction and you're kicking your own butt already. And then this happens, so nobody else gets to beat him up or Mandy or anyone for that matter. He’s doing that for himself already and she did that to herself,” Easton mentioned.


JJ Vallow's biological parents, Todd and Mandy (Facebook)
JJ Vallow's biological parents Mandy Leger and Todd Trahan (Facebook)

JJ Vallow’s family is considering forgiveness

While Todd has remained absent from Vallow’s trial so far, Easton said she previously discussed the possibility of him writing a victim impact statement. While it is currently undecided if Todd will write the statement, Easton said she and her brother have made the decision to “forgive Lori and Chad”. “He said, ‘I would forgive them.’ And I told him that's so powerful," Easton shared.


She also revealed that Vallows were also forgiven by JJ’s biological mother. “Mandy had forgiven them too, she wrote that a lot and I have screenshots of that. She forgave them,” Easton said. “And it's so opposite, right? Like here they are, the ‘drug baby’s’ parents (as Lori referred to JJ), they're forgiving her, and showing her Christ-like love, whereas these super, uber-religious people are casting out demons and allegedly murdering people,” she concluded.

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 JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan’s families 'haunted' by thoughts of slain children’s final moments