REXBURG — The grandparents of a missing Rexburg boy are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of him and his 17-year-old sister.
Kay and Larry Woodcock announced the reward during a news conference Tuesday morning. Their grandson, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, and his sister, Tylee Ryan, were last seen in Rexburg in September.
The Woodcocks traveled from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and spent Monday in eastern Idaho meeting with Rexburg police and the FBI for six hours. The grandparents say until somebody tells them differently, they believe JJ and Tylee are still alive.
“These are beautiful young children. They’re two extremely intelligent young children and we want them back. We want them back in our family,” Larry Woodcock said. “We don’t say the ‘D word.’ We don’t want to and we’re not going to because we truly believe and we hope and pray these kids are alive.”
The Woodcocks are the biological grandparents of JJ, who was adopted by Kay’s brother, Charles Vallow. Charles was married to Lori Vallow Daybell. Police are calling Lori and her new husband, Chad Daybell, persons of interest in connection with the children’s disappearance. Investigators say the couple has repeatedly told lies about the kids and that Lori knows where they are or what happened to them.
During the news conference, the grandparents said they do not know where Chad and Lori are and made an appeal to the children’s mother. They said she always had the “best interest at heart for JJ” until things slowly began changing two years ago.
“If there is anything that Lori can come forth with and help us, please do it,” Larry Woodcock said. “She knows how much we love these kids, and we want only the best for them. That’s it. It’s that simple. Please give them back to us.”
The Woodcocks often spoke with JJ and say he loved to Facetime with them. The last conversation with their grandson on Aug. 10 was less than a minute. This did not worry them at the time, as he would often call them briefly. However, since then, they’ve tried to contact him repeatedly with no success.
“We don’t know why we weren’t allowed more access to him, but we reached out constantly in every way – email, voicemail, text, phone call, whatever – and never, ever got a response so that was very concerning to us,” Kay Woodcock said.
JJ loves to swim and is hardly afraid of anything in life, Larry Woodcock said. Tylee is a typical teenage girl who graduated early from high school and has a close group of friends.
The grandparents have launched the Find JJ and Tylee website in hopes of receiving tips from the public. They support law enforcement’s effort to bring JJ and Tylee home and hope the reward will help.
“All I want before I go is just to see those children,” Larry Woodcock said. “I just want to hear him beat on the drums, I want to hear him say, ‘Papa, let’s go ride’ or ‘Let’s go to Checkers and let’s go get a hamburger.’ I’m hoping beyond hope that that happens in the near future.”
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the children is asked to contact the Rexburg Police Department at (208) 359-3000, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at (800) THE-LOST.
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