Fugitive mother of missing Idaho children, 17 and 7, asked to 'prove they're alive' or face consequences
Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua Vallow, 7, have not been seen since September last year but were only reported missing two days before Thanksgiving
The assistant chief of police in Rexford, Idaho, Gary Hagen, who is the top cop hunting for two missing children from the area, has issued a warning to the children's fugitive mother, saying she must prove that her children are still alive.
"Show us proof that the kids are still alive and this whole thing will go away," Hagen said in an interview with the Daily Mail. The officer said that his officials have not been receiving any cooperation from the children's mother, librarian Lori Vallow, or her new husband, Chad Daybell, author of 'Mormon Doomsday'.
Hagen said that the months-long search for the missing children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow, 7, has led him to fear for the worst.
"We have absolutely no idea where they are. We have no indication that they aren’t alive—but equally, we have no indication that they are not dead," he told the outlet.
The children 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 being unable to contact 7-year-old JJ since September.
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.
Boudreaux, while talking to Arizona Republic, said that his wife Melani, who is Lori's neice, had joined Chad's cult and suddenly asked for a divorce from over the summer this year.
Rexburg police chief Shane Turman, in a press release, said: "We are aware that in the weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death, Lori Vallow/Daybell and Chad Dabell told witnesses that Lori’s daughter had died a year before the death of her father, which is untrue. Around that same time Chad told another witness that Lori had no minor children." The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also joined in with the local forces to search for the children.
"If we find that harm was done to these children within our jurisdiction, we will prosecute whoever caused that harm," Turman said. "Lori Vallow… has completely refused to assist this investigation. We know the children are not with Lori and Chad Daybell and we have information indicating that Lori knows either the location of the children or what happened to them."
"It is astonishing that rather than work with law enforcement to help us locate her own children, Lori Vallow has chosen instead to leave the state with her new husband," he added.
Authorities have not filed any charges against the couple yet as they want to focus on finding JJ and Tylee first. They believe that if the two children are not dead already, their lives are in grave danger.