A doomsday-obsessed couple from Idaho who are at the center of several missing-child and suspicious death investigations have been found in Hawaii, police announced Monday.
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow were served with a search warrant on Sunday—but authorities did not find Vallow’s children, Tylee and J.J., with them in Princeville on the island of Kauai.
Daybell and Vallow got married weeks after first wife, Tammy, died of what authorities at first listed as natural causes. They have since exhumed the 49-year-old’s body to conduct an autopsy, which has not been released yet.
Less than three months earlier, Vallow was widowed when her fourth husband, Charles, was shot to death by her brother in what police initially described as a self-defense situation but is now being reinvestigated.
The newlyweds attracted scrutiny when extended family told police they were worried because they had not heard from Vallow’s children, 17-year-old Tylee and 7-year-old J.J., who has special needs.
Daybell and Vallow then skipped town. Rexburg, Idaho, police publicly pleaded with the couple to disclose the children’s whereabouts but they refused to cooperate.
“We strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger,” Rexburg police said in a statement at the beginning of the month.
So Idaho authorities initiated a child-protection action on behalf of the missing kids and obtained a court order to force Vallow to produce them within five days.
“We can confirm that Lori Vallow was served with that order in the city of Princeville on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, on Saturday, January 25th by the Kauai Police Department and that Chad Daybell was with her,” police said in a statement.
“We can further confirm that Tylee and J.J. were not with Lori and Chad and there is no evidence that Tylee and J.J. were ever in Hawaii.”
The next day, Daybell and Vallow were pulled over by police with a search warrant, and their car was seized, according to the East Idaho News, which had a reporter on scene.
The reporter asked Vallow where her children were, and she replied, “No comment.” Told that people across the country are praying for her children, she said, “That’s great,” and refused to answer further questions.
Lori and Charles had lived in Kauai for several years before moving to Arizona. She reportedly became obsessed with Daybell’s books on doomsday scenarios and near-death experiences, marketed for a Mormon audience, and bonded with the author.
After Charles was killed by her brother—who later died under unknown circumstances—Lori moved to Idaho, where Daybell also lived. It’s believed they got married in November, reportedly in Hawaii.
If Vallow doesn’t comply with the court order to produce Tylee and J.J., she could be arrested on contempt of court charges, police said.
J.J.’s grandparents have offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to their return. “We truly believe and we hope and pray these kids are alive,” grandfather Larry Woodcock said at a press conference earlier this month.