Police in two Idaho jurisdictions investigating the mysterious death of a woman in October are now looking for two missing children, their mother, and the dead woman’s husband, who married the children’s mom two weeks after his wife’s death, EastIdahoNews.com reports.
The FBI is assisting in the search for Joshua Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, who haven’t been seen since late September. The children’s mother, Lori Vallow, and her new husband, Chad Daybell, have stopped cooperating with law enforcement and abruptly moved out of their home in late November.
Daybell’s then wife, Tammy Daybell, was found dead in the couple’s home on October 19. The initial cause of death was listed as natural causes, but investigators with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office later determined her death was suspicious. Her body was exhumed on December 11 for an autopsy.
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Meanwhile, the Rexburg Police Department put out photos of the children, Lori Vallow, and Chad Daybell seeking help in locating them. Rexburg Police Chief Shane Turman said that the adults have not been charged with a crime.
“They’ve told us several stories about where the children are, but when we investigate, the children don’t exist where they say they should,” he said. “We don’t know where they are at, but we think they are in pretty serious danger.”
Rexburg police said that relatives from outside Idaho had requested a welfare check for Joshua, Vallow’s adopted, special needs son, the Idaho State Journal reported. During the November 26 visit, Vallow and Daybell told them Joshua was with relatives in Arizona, which turned out to be untrue. The following day, detectives served search warrants at locations connected with Vallow and learned that the couple had left their home and Rexburg abruptly. During the investigation, police learned about the teen girl, who had also not been seen since September.
While Rexburg police concentrate on looking for the children and the two adults, Fremont sheriff’s deputies are digging into Tammy Daybell’s death. Tammy Daybell, 49, was an elementary school librarian. As they wait for the results of the autopsy, Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries said the couple were considered persons of interest.
“We’re working very hard to find more information and to follow up everything that we can,” Humphries said.
And there’s more. Lori Vallow’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, was shot to death in July in Chandler, Arizona, by her brother, Alex Cox. Charles Vallow had come to Chandler to visit his wife and the children, and he and Lori got into an argument. Cox told investigators he feared the argument would turn violent, so he intervened. The fight between the two men escalated. Vallow allegedly hit Cox with a baseball bat, and Cox shot him, Fox 10 reported.
Fox 13 Salt Lake City said that Cox later died as well, but detectives provided no further information because of the breadth of the investigation.
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[Featured image: Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan/Rexburg Police Department]