Mother of missing Idaho children faces a judge for the first time

Local News

KAUAI, HAWAII (ABC4 News) – Lori Vallow Daybell, 46, has refused to answer questions regarding the whereabouts of her 17-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan or her 7-year-old son Joshua “J.J.” Vallow but now a judge and prosecutors will be asking the questions. 

On Thursday afternoon she was taken into custody on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai where she’s been living with her new husband Chad Daybell since December and on Friday afternoon she made her first court appearance.

The Affidavit of Probable Cause from Madison County, Idaho lays out the following charges: two felony counts of desertion of children, one count of resisting and obstructing officers, one count of criminal solicitation for allegedly asking her friend Melanie Gibb to tell investigators she had the children in Arizona when she actually didn’t and one count of contempt of court for failing to bring Tylee and J.J. to a Rexburg judge by the January 30th deadline.

In the affidavit, Rexburg Police Detective Ron Ball states that Lori and her brother Alex Cox accompanied Tylee on a trip to Yellowstone National Park in September, stating “RPD has obtained a photo from Lori Vallow’s iCloud account of T.R. in Yellowstone National Park that is time-stamped on September 8th, 2019. This photo is the last time we can find any record of T.R. being with Lori Vallow.” 

Two months earlier, Alex Cox killed Lori’s fourth husband and J.J.’s father Charles Vallow in a shooting he claimed was self-defense. Cox was found dead in a Gilbert, Arizona home on December 12th. 

Lori hired a babysitter to watch J.J. on September 19th, but the charging document claims “the babysitter reports that on September 24th, 2019 she reached out to Lori Vallow and Lori told her that J.J. had gone to stay with his grandma for several weeks and that the babysitter’s services were no longer needed.”

Lori married Chad Daybell a few weeks after his wife Tammy died on October 19th.

Private Investigator Rich Robertson says whatever Lori knows about any of this, she like all defendants, has the right to remain silent.

“You can’t be compelled to give information to authorities, but you also can’t give false information to authorities,” Robertson said. “And that seems to be part of what happened here, is that she gave false information about where the kids were.”

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