After nearly a year of questions and headlines, it appears as though the investigators working the case of missing children J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan are getting answers to some of those questions. As Mamas Uncut reported, J.J. and Tylee’s bodies were found on their stepfather Idaho property in June.
Now both their mom, Lori Vallow, and their stepfather, Chad Daybell, are behind bars waiting for their day in court. Although both Vallow and Daybell have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, Vallow has been charged with felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, as well as resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, contempt of court, and willful disobedience of court process or order for failing to produce the two kids.
And Daybell has been charged with two counts of destruction, alteration, and concealment of evidence. He also remains a suspect in the active investigation into his first wife’s suspicious death. Both are being held on $1 million bonds.
In earlier reports, it was alleged that Vallow and Daybell married soon after his first wife’s passing and after her two children went missing in September 2019. Daybell is a gravedigger, who authored religion-based books about “prophecy and the end of the world.” Vallow reportedly believed she was the reincarnation of God.
Now new interviews revealed Vallow also believed J.J. and Tylee were “zombies.”
According to a close friend of Vallow’s, Melanie Gibb the mom allegedly told her friend that she believed J.J. and Tylee had become “zombies.” In this context, zombies reportedly “refers to an individual whose mortal spirit has left their body and that their body is now the host of another spirit,” Rexburg police Lt. Ron Ball wrote in an affidavit obtained by People.
“The new spirit in a ‘zombie’ is always considered a ‘dark spirit.’ While the ‘dark spirit’ inhabits the host body, the person’s true spirit goes into ‘limbo’ and is stuck there until the host body is physically killed. As such, death of the physical body is seen as the mechanism by which the body’s original spirit can be released from limbo.”
Vallow and Daybell were on a mission to “to rid the world of ‘zombies’.” That same affidavit revealed how J.J. and Tylee were discovered on Daybell’s property. As People reported, J.J. was wrapped in black plastic which was secured with duct tape, while Tylee appeared to be dismembered and burned.
Vallow’s brother Alex Cox helped investigators in a major way.
Although Cox’s brother is dead, his cell phone helped investigators get some of the answers they were looking for. By tracking Cox’s cell phone they were able to locate where J.J. and Tylee were buried. According to People, the affidavit shows that prior to his death, Cox was on Daybell’s property “on two dates that align with the last time the children were seen.”
Although Cox passed away in December, new questions are arising around his involvement in his niece’s and nephew’s alleged murders. Cox was responsible for Vallow’s first husband, Charles Vallow’s, death, but claimed it was self-defense. J.J. reportedly witnessed the shooting.
Vallow’s sister is now apologizing for defending her.
In a lengthy statement shared on her Facebook page, Vallow’s sister Summer Cox Shiflet admitted she 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.”
Below is a transcription of Shiflet’s full statement:
“Words are hard and inadequate. Trying to type through this pain is difficult. The last few months have been hard. The last week has been excruciating. Losing our precious Tylee and JJ in this horrific way is more than we can bear.
I have a tremendous amount of gratitude to all of the law enforcement that have worked so hard to find Tylee and JJ. When I first heard that remains had been found, I immediately felt the need to pray for those who found them. And I continue to pray for those who were on the scene, removed the remains, and have to analyze them to try to piece together what those poor babies endured. I feel for those who do this work and am so grateful they are willing to do this, to help bring peace and closure to families.
I am also grateful to the Woodcocks for ordering the wellness check. I pray for them to have peace and comfort as well. My mother has been here with me the past few days and we both feel the same about this. I feel so incredibly grateful to all of our friends and family and even the strangers that have reached out to offer their love and support. I have leaned on them more than they know.
We have prayed for the truth to come to light, but we never thought it would look like this. 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. When you have been up close and personal, you can’t discount your own interactions, and just go by what everyone else says and thinks.
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.
While I am no where close to perfect, I strive to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want to show love to everyone regardless of their imperfections. I do not find any joy in condemning people or in the mob mentality. There is no joy in finding out about my precious niece and nephew. And while I have moments of extreme anger… right now there is so much sorrow and hurt that I can’t even fully process all of it. The last thing I want to do is perpetuate more hate. There is already too much of that in this world. I am praying for healing for all of those who knew and loved Tyty and JJ. Even those who didn’t know them, but have been hurt by this news. I pray for healing for all who need it. Especially those who choose to lash out in anger over this. I pray for them especially, as I know when you are in pain from your own life circumstances, it is easy to act out in anger. I am trying my best not to do that.
It is going to take time to work through all of these emotions and all of this grief. But I have experienced the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life many times, and I have great hope and faith that He can heal all those who turn to Him for comfort.
Tylee and JJ are completely irreplaceable in our family. I have loved them greatly all of their lives. There are no words that can capture this loss. Words are just inadequate. We have dozens of Tylee and JJ stories that we love and share frequently. We had prayed our hearts out for them and hoped with all of our hearts they were safe. But we sadly have to face this new reality and our family will never ever be the same.
Sadly, there is no way to go back and undo what has been done. We can only go forward. As much as we miss them here, I know my beautiful Tyty and precious JJ are in a beautiful place with people they love. I am going to do my best to help what’s left of my family to honor Tyty and JJ by putting our trust in our Savior Jesus Christ, by trying to show an abundance of love and kindness, and look into ways of helping victims of abuse, children suffering from chronic illnesses, and children on the autism spectrum. Love you forever Tylee and JJ!!!”
Still, as of June 25, neither Vallow nor Daybell have been handed additional charges for their children’s deaths.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.