REXBURG — The deadline for Lori Vallow Daybell to bring her children to Rexburg Thursday passed without any sign of Tylee Ryan or Joshua “J.J.” Vallow.
Daybell was ordered to have the children appear at the Rexburg Police Department or the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in Rexburg by 5 p.m. The mother never showed up, and neither did her husband, Chad Daybell, or the children.
The kids have been missing since September and police say Lori Daybell either knows where they are or what happened to them. Investigators tell EastIdahoNews.com the couple has continually lied about the kids’ whereabouts and they refuse to cooperate.
Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood filed a child protection order Saturday on behalf of 17-year-old Tylee and 7-year-old J.J. Child protection actions are normally confidential and sealed to protect the anonymity of the parties, but a court order allowed Wood to admit to the existence of the document and release a few details.
Wood and the Rexburg Police Department declined to comment Thursday on Daybell’s failure to comply with the order and the mother could now be held in contempt of court. A judge could issue an arrest warrant, but it’s likely the public will not immediately know what steps will be taken next.
“While the court did allow us to announce the existence of the case and the order that Lori Vallow produce her children, any and all other documents, hearings, and court filings are sealed and confidential by law,” Wood said in a statement Wednesday. “As such we legally cannot comment on any other aspect of the case.”
While Lori and Chad failed to appear in Rexburg Thursday, J.J.’s grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, traveled from Louisiana in hopes of seeing the children.
“We’ve had a really rough few weeks and then once we learned about the order being given to her Saturday, that really gave us more hope that at least we’re now seeing things happening,” Woodcock tells EastIdahoNews.com.
The grandmother says she suspected the Daybells were in Hawaii as the state is Lori’s “favorite place on earth” but she wasn’t sure until EastIdahoNews.com confronted them Sunday afternoon after they were served with search warrants from the Kauai Police Department.
Woodcock hopes that Lori will now be arrested and brought to Madison County for defying the court order.
“I would like for her to be in jail until she talks,” Woodcock says. “If that’s a month or a year or whatever the situation, she needs to be there until she talks. She’s got to say where they are. She has to.”
The case of the missing children has attracted international attention, particularly since Sunday when the couple was located in Hawaii. Over a dozen news outlets attended a press conference in Rexburg Thursday evening where Woodcock expressed her frustration at the Daybell’s actions.
“How do you not have your child for four months? What kind of a mother does that? The only word that is coming to my mind right now is ‘monster’ and as much as I loved Lori…all this has just been very disheartening and I have so many questions,” Woodcock said.
As Rexburg Police decide how to move forward on the missing children’s case, Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries tells EastIdahoNews.com his office is still awaiting the autopsy results on Tammy Daybell, Chad’s first wife. She died in her sleep in October and investigators have classified her death as suspicious. Humphries does not know when the autopsy will be complete.