Mother could be in contempt after deadline passes with no sign of missing Idaho kids

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REXBURG, ID (ABC4 News) – The mother of two missing children was a no-show Thursday as the deadline passed for her to prove to a judge her son and daughter are alive and well. Now she could be held in contempt of court.

7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and his 17-year-old half-sister Tylee Ryan haven’t been seen or heard from since September. Rexburg Police call their mother, Lori Vallow Daybell and her new husband Chad Daybell persons of interest in their disappearance. They’ve reportedly been living for months on the island of Kauai. On Sunday police there seized their rental SUV and served Lori with a warrant ordering her to bring her kids to Rexburg within five days. 

JJ’s grandfather Larry Woodcock is offering a $20,000 reward for the kids and on Thursday appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“Do I honestly believe she’ll bring ’em, do as the warrant said, you know about producing the children on this day? I’d be very surprised if she did,” Woodcock said during the interview. “Nothing with Lori right now makes sense.”

Investigators claim Lori and Chad have been uncooperative, initially lying about JJ and Tylee’s whereabouts then going silent, as Lori was when East Idaho News reporter Nate Eaton approached her Sunday.

“Can you tell me where your kids are? Where are your kids?” Eaton asked. “No comment? They’ve been missing for four months, you have nothing to say?”

Family members say that Lori vanished for a 58 day stretch over February and March of last year. 

Lori’s former husband Charles Vallow, Chad’s former wife Tammy Daybell and Lori’s brother Alex Cox all died suddenly over a five-month span of 2019. Now police are investigating whether their deaths were tied to a so-called “doomsday cult” while continuing the desperate search for JJ and Tylee.

“If Lori loved JJ and Tylee the way that she did a few months ago, let’s say 10 to 12 months ago, then those children would be with her,” Woodcock said. “Ever since she’s been involved in this doomsday cult, that is not the same Lori that we knew for 13 years…We just don’t understand how any mother can walk away from her children for months now and for two and a half months prior to this so I don’t know who that person is anymore.”

In Idaho, contempt of court is a misdemeanor offense punishable by five days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

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