Defense attorney says Lori Vallow faces 28 years in prison

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)– The mother of the two missing Idaho kids, Lori Vallow, was extradited from Hawaii back to Idaho Thursday.  Friday, Vallow is scheduled to stand before a judge.  

Vallow is being held in the Madison County Jail; she faces charges in the connection of the disappearance of two of her children.  

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Authorities say 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan have been missing since September 2019.  

FILE – This combination photo of undated file photos, released by National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, show missing children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, left, and Tylee Ryan. Police say the mother of two missing kids has been found in Hawaii, along with her new husband, but the children still have not been located. Seventeen-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow have been missing since September 2019, and police say their mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, and her new husband Chad Daybell, lied to investigators about where the children are. When police returned to their home in Idaho to question them again, the adults had disappeared. (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children via AP, File)

Local defense attorney Greg Skordas says this initial hearing is the first step in a long process.  

Related: Doorbell camera video shows missing ‘JJ’ Vallow alive days after his sister was last seen

“We keep seeing these children and they are beautiful cute kids and it tugs at all of our heartstrings and we see a mother who doesn’t want to seem to cooperate,” attorney Greg Skordas said.   

Skordas says Vallow is charged with two counts of desertion.   

“Idaho has filed what they believe to be strongest current charges they’ve got,” Skordas said.

“It doesn’t appear they are even being taken care of; desertion charges alone carry up to 14 years each, but you can be assured that Idaho is looking at more serious charges including the potential of a child homicide or two.” 

Related: Mother of two missing Idaho children abandoned storage unit with their belongings inside

Skordas says the only way Vallow can avoid possible jail time is to produce the children.  

“If you want to cooperate and you want to produce the children, we can get you out of jail,” Skordas said.  

Skordas says this is going to be a difficult defense for Vallow’s attorneys.  

We will have continuing coverage on this hearing.

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