Two children—Tylee Ryan, age 17; and Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, age 7—died under suspicious circumstances while under the care of their mother, Lori Vallow. The children were homeschooled.
Tylee was born around 2002. Lori later married Charles Vallow, and the Vallows adopted J.J., who was autistic. The family lived in Chandler, Arizona, where the children attended school.
Around 2017, Lori Vallow began to become involved with a new religious movement called Preparing A People. In February 2019, Charles Vallow filed for divorce, claiming that Lori was not mentally stable and had threatened to kill him. The divorce was never finalized because in July 2019 Charles was killed, allegedly in self-defense, by Lori’s brother Alex Cox. The children reportedly witnessed their father’s death. Shortly after August 31, 2019, Lori Vallow moved her children to Idaho to be closer to the home of her romantic partner, Chad Daybell, who was a speaker at Preparing A People events. Tylee did not want to leave Arizona and had gotten her GED, but she opted to move with her family.
J.J. began attending school at Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg on September 3, and he last attended September 23. The next day, Lori Vallow came to the school to tell administrators she was homeschooling J.J. In late September, Lori told a family friend that the children were “zombies” and that she had “an earthly mission to remove zombies from the world.” The children were not seen after September 2019.
On October 19, 2019, Chad Daybell’s wife Tammy Daybell died under suspicious circumstances. Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow married two weeks later; Lori told a witness that Tylee was dead, and Chad told a witness that Lori had no children. The children were reported missing after a requested wellness check in November, where Lori Vallow falsely claimed they were living with relatives in Arizona. The couple subsequently left the state. Cox died of unknown causes in December 2019.
On June 9, 2020, authorities discovered J.J. and Tylee’s remains on Chad Daybell’s farm. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell have been arrested while authorities search for evidence related to the children’s deaths.
Date: September 23, 2019
Location: Rexburg, Idaho