The d0omsday-obsessed mother of two missing children was arrested in Hawaii on Thursday for failing to comply with a court order to produce her 17-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.
Lori Vallow has refused to cooperate with Idaho authorities investigating the disappearance of Tylee Ryan and her adopted brother J.J. almost five months ago.
She and her husband, Chad Daybell, the author of apocalyptic novels aimed at a Mormon audience, fled Idaho when police began poking around and have been holed up in Hawaii.
Police are also investigating the deaths of Vallow’s and Daybell’s previous spouses shortly before they got married. Through an attorney, the couple have denied wrongdoing.
Authorities have said they believe the children’s lives are in danger and don’t believe Vallow and Daybell took them to Hawaii. Their belongings were stashed in an Idaho storage locker, and Vallow reportedly had Tylee’s phone when officers executed a search warrant on Jan. 26.
An Idaho judge issued a court order for Vallow to appear with the children days later, but she was a no-show. She was then charged with two felony counts of desertion and non-support, obstructing officers, contempt of court and criminal solicitation of a crime.
The Madison County, Idaho, prosecutor said in a statement that the complaint “alleges that Vallow abandoned her two minor children, delayed law enforcement’s attempts to locate her children, and encouraged another individual to delay law enforcement’s attempts to locate her children.
“Additionally, the State alleges that Vallow disobeyed a court order to physically produce her children to authorities in Idaho.”
The Kauai Police Department said it arrested her on a warrant out of Idaho. She is being held in lieu of $5 million bail until a hearing where she can decide whether to waive or fight extradition back to Idaho.
“We are elated. We are relieved,” J.J.’s grandmother, Kay Woodcock, told East Idaho News. “We are ready for the next step, which for Lori is: Where are the kids? Where are the kids? Where are the kids?”
Vallow and Daybell got married weeks after his wife died; her last husband had been killed months earlier—by her own brother during what was described as a domestic dispute. Police are now re-investigating both deaths and exhumed the body of Daybell’s wife to conduct the autopsy he initially declined.
The couple reportedly met after a still-married Vallow began reading Daybell’s books and got involved in his doomsday-prepper community.