The stepfather of two missing Idaho children claimed this weekend that the children are “safe,” but declined to elaborate on their conditions or whereabouts.
ABC News reports that Chad Daybell briefly spoke to a reporter for the news station as he was leaving Hawaii for Idaho, where Lori Vallow is to be transferred to face child abandonment charges.
Daybell reportedly said, “The kids are safe,” but did not provide any specifics.
According to the report, Daybell had also told his neighbors in Hawaii, where he and Vallow were found to be living in late January, that 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow were safe.
The children have not been seen since September, and Vallow never reported them missing. Police who performed a welfare check at Vallow’s Rexburg, Idaho, home in late November first discovered the children were missing, and Vallow allegedly lied to police about their whereabouts. She and Daybell fled Idaho shortly after the welfare check. Vallow was arrested there on February 20 and is expected to return to Idaho imminently, if she has not already been transferred.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Daybell spoke to a woman at a Hawaii thrift store on Thursday, who asked him why Vallow wouldn’t just tell police where her children are, and possibly be let out of jail.
“Well, it’s not that easy,” Daybell reportedly said. “It’s more complicated than that.”
Vallow’s relatives have expressed concern that she and Daybell are part of a so-called “end-days” religious group. Both Vallow and Daybell’s spouses died in 2019; Daybell’s wife Tammy Daybell died just weeks before he married Vallow. Authorities initially determined that Tammy Daybell died of natural causes, but have since exhumed her body and re-opened the death investigation. Vallow’s previous husband Charles Vallow was fatally shot in July by Vallow’s brother Alex Cox, who reportedly claimed self-defense. Cox died in December 2019, and authorities have not yet released his cause of death.
Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated that Lori Vallow was already in Idaho. It is not known yet if she has arrived in Idaho from Hawaii.
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