Relatives have confirmed the two sets of human remains found on the property of Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow’s husband, were identified as her missing children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow.
Kay and Larry Woodlock, JJ’s grandparents, made the confirmation hours after the bodies were found in the backyard of Daybell’s home in Salem, Idaho.
The confirmation came as the former gravedigger appeared in court, facing two felony charges for concealment or destruction of evidence, with bail set at $1 million. Daybell ‘willfully’ concealed or helped someone conceal the bodies, according to the charging document.
Lori Vallow has spent months in jail on charges of desertion and abandonment in connection with the disappearance of her children. It is not clear whether prosecutors are getting ready to file more charges against her after the discovery of the remains.
FBI agents and Idaho law enforcement officials have faced criticism over how long it has taken to find out what happened to the children. Tylee, 17, disappeared on September 8 while JJ, 7, was last seen on September 23.
Criticism increased with the confirmation that the children were buried in the most obvious location, which had already been searched earlier this year.
Vallow and Daybell had repeatedly refused to answer where the children were and insisted they were safe. Some family members believed that the mother would never hurt Tylee and JJ but others have long feared the children could be dead.
After the remains were identified, family members wrote in a statement: “The Woodcock’s and The Ryan’s are confirming that the human remains found by Law enforcement on Chad Daybell’s property are indeed our beloved JJ and Tylee.
“We are filled with unfathomable sadness that these two bright stars were stolen from us, and only hope that they died without pain or suffering.”
Tylee’s aunt, Annie Cushing, said: “Thank you for the overwhelming outpouring of love for Tylee and JJ throughout this crisis. My family and I eagerly await the results of the identification of the remains and autopsies but have hope that there will be resolution and closure in the near future.
“As sad and taxing as this protracted investigation has been, I’ve been deeply touched by the heartfelt expressions of grief, kindness, and support throughout this process.
“Tylee and JJ won the hearts of people all across the globe. I’ve seen and have been impacted by both the worst and best of humanity. Hopefully, goodness and justice will win out in the end.”
Matt Daybell, Chad’s brother, and his wife Heather wrote: “The events of the past nine months have weighed heavily on our family – it has been one of the most difficult things we have ever had to go through. Some in our extended family are still struggling to accept the reality that Chad could have been involved in something so terribly wrong.
“On behalf of myself, my wife Heather, and our four children, we express our most sincere sympathies to Larry and Kay and to JJ and Tylee’s entire extended families. We are devastated by today’s news and the apparent role that Chad has played in what has transpired.”
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