The sister of Lori Vallow has released a statement after investigators found the remains of Vallow’s two missing children in her husband’s backyard.
According to East Idaho News, Summer Cox Shiflet posted a lengthy statement on Facebook this week which the news outlet published with her permission. In it, she said that her family “had prayed our hearts out for [Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow] and hoped with all of our hearts they were safe,” and acknowledged that she has to face a “new reality.”
Vallow’s sister and mother, Janis Cox, gave an interview to “CBS This Morning” in May in which they both vehemently defended Lori as a devoted, loving mother who would never hurt her children. Shiflet and her mother both insisted they believed the children were unharmed, though they did not offer any explanation for Tylee and JJ’s disappearance last fall.
On June 9, investigators found human remains at the Idaho home of Vallow’s husband Chad Daybell, which were later confirmed to be the bodies of 17-year-old Tylee and her half-brother JJ, who was on the autism spectrum.
Details included in Daybell’s arrest affidavit, obtained by CrimeOnline, strongly indicate that Tylee died on or before September 9, and JJ on September 22 or 23.
“We have prayed for the truth to come to light, but we never thought it would look like this,” Shiflet said in the statement.
“Believe me when I say, this has looked very different from my perspective than what the public has seen. It’s easy to jump on a bandwagon when you don’t personally know all the people involved.”
In the May interview with CBS, Shiflet said that Lori Vallow had been a victim of biased media coverage, and said there was another side to the story, while admitting that she was not sure exactly what that side was.
“I have to see my family slaughtered on the news every day. This mob mentality calling for Lori be hung in a public square basically is what it feels like,” Shiflet said in the interview.
In the same interview, Janis Cox claimed to have spoken to JJ Vallow on the phone in October, after he was last seen alive. The details of Daybell’s arrest affidavit strongly indicate this statement could not have been true, though Cox apparently shared a phone bill with CBS that purportedly backed up her claim.
Shiflet did not acknowledge her mother’s previous comments in her recent statement, but did indicate that she was wrong in her insistence that Vallow had done no harm to her children.
“I know there are people waiting for me to admit I was wrong. If that’s all you want to know… here it is… I was wrong. I am an extremely imperfect person that loves my family with all my heart, and I wanted to believe the best in them, and I held out hope for the best possible outcome. I have always said things truthfully as I understood them, and will continue to do that as I learn new information.”
Read Shiflet’s full statement on EastIdahoNews.com.
Vallow is currently awaiting trial on felony child desertion charges in Madison County, Idaho, while Daybell is in custody in a neighboring county on charges of felony destruction or concealment of evidence. Neither have been charged with murder, but a prosecutor at Daybell’s preliminary hearing earlier this month suggested that more charges would be forthcoming.
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