Bond lowered for woman at center of missing kids case
Lori Vallow, mother of two missing children who have a connection to Lake Charles, was arraigned on several charges in an Idaho courtroom on Friday after being extradited from Hawaii this week.
Many spectators outside the Madison County Courthouse in Rexburg wore T-shirts or held signs that read “Where are the children?”
Vallow was arraigned on charges of desertion and nonsupport of children, resisting and/or obstructing an officer, solicitation and contempt.
Her bond was lowered from $5 million to $1 million after her attorneys argued the higher bond was unconstitutional. Prosecutors said they did not want it lowered because Vallow is a flight risk.
Vallow is next set to appear in court in Idaho March 18-19 for a preliminary hearing, according to authorities.
The Kauai Police Department earlier arrested Vallow in relation to an investigation conducted by the Rexburg (Idaho) Police Department.
Kay and Larry Woodcock of Lake Charles, grandparents of the two missing children — Joshua Jaxon “J.J.” Vallow, 8, and his sister, Tylee Ryan, 17 — were in Idaho for Vallow’s arraignment.
The children were last seen in September in Idaho and Vallow has refused to tell authorities where they are.
Tylee apparently disappeared first, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Rexburg (Idaho) Police Lt. Ron Ball. In the affidavit, Ball said the teenager went on a day trip to nearby Yellowstone National Park with her mother, J.J., and an uncle who has since died. A National Park Service camera captured her image at the entrance, and a photo from Vallow’s computer showed that Tylee made it into the park. But Ball wrote she has not been seen since that day.
The document says J.J. was enrolled in an elementary school for a few weeks in September of 2019, and was last seen there shortly before Vallow told employees of the school she planned to home-school him.
Ball wrote in the affidavit, “We have not been able to find any witnesses who have seen him since Sept. 24, 2019.”
Kay Woodcock’s brother, Charles Vallow, was J.J.’s father. Charles and his wife, Lori, adopted J.J., while also raising Lori’s daughter, Tylee, from a previous relationship, at their home in suburban Phoenix.
Charles Vallow filed divorce documents in an Arizona court last year, claiming Lori Vallow believed she was a “translated being.” Vallow also accused Lori of threatening to kill him if he got in her way and he sought an order of protection.
The divorce never took place because Charles Vallow was killed last July by Lori Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, according to police. Cox told authorities he shot Charles in self-defense after the man hit him with a baseball bat, and the case remained open. Cox died of unknown causes in December.
“We know it was murder; we know Charles’ death wasn’t a justifiable homicide,” Kay Woodcock has said.
Last August, shortly after Charles died, Lori Vallow, 47, moved to Rexburg, Idaho, with J.J. and Tylee, according to the grandparents. It brought her closer to Chad Daybell’s home in Salem, Idaho, where he lived with his wife, Tammy Daybell. Two months later, Tammy Daybell was dead of what police then said were natural causes but that has since been questioned and the body exhumed. Results have yet to be released.
Lori Vallow, in what was her fifth marriage, got married to Chad Daybell on a beach in Hawaii within weeks of Tammy Daybell’s death. Chad Daybell is a publisher and author who has written several books loosely based on the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, mostly focused on doomsday scenarios.
Kay Woodcock has said a $1 million life insurance policy could be partly to blame for the children going missing.
Days after Charles Vallow was killed, Lori Vallow reportedly called his insurance company and asked about his $1 million life insurance policy. The agent told her Charles had changed his beneficiary information and she would not be receiving any money.
Kay Woodcock told a reporter with an Idaho television station that months before her brother died, he went to her to discuss life insurance. “Charles and I had a conversation,” she said. “He had a $1 million policy with Lori as the beneficiary and he told me he wanted me to be the sole recipient. I told him to leave it to the boys (he also had two sons from a previous marriage).”
She said they didn’t talk about it again but Kay Woodcock has confirmed she received the money which was not contingent on having custody of J.J.
A couple of weeks after Charles’ death, Woodcock said she received a text message from Lori that said: “Five kids and no money; his sister gets everything.” The text message was the last time she heard from Lori. She believes the money could be the reason the children are missing.
“She (Lori) puts a price on people and if they are no longer of value to her she eliminates them,” Woodcock said. “To her, it’s all about the dollars. It’s about the fact we got the money and she did not. She was bound and determined to hurt us and she used J.J. That’s been her revenge.”
Police previously called Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell “flight risks,” saying Daybell received about $430,000 in insurance proceeds after the death of his wife.
The FBI continues to investigate this case along with authorities in Hawaii as well as in Arizona and Idaho, where Vallow and Daybell previously lived.
Kauai Police Department