BOISE, Idaho – The bodies of two children uncovered in rural Idaho are a boy and his big sister who have been missing since September, relatives said Wednesday, bringing a grim end to a search that captivated people worldwide but no fewer questions about a case that has put their mother and her husband behind bars.
Authorities have not released the identities of the bodies discovered on the property of Chad Daybell, who married the children’s mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, a few weeks after the kids were last seen.
But Joshua “JJ” Vallow’s grandfather Larry Woodcock told the Post Register in Idaho Falls that “both children are no longer with us.”
Relatives of JJ, who was 7 when he vanished, and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan sent a joint statement to Phoenix television station KSAZ-TV confirming the deaths and asking for privacy.
It’s another gruesome turn in a case that had dragged on for months without answers and grew ever stranger with its ties to the couple’s doomsday beliefs and the mysterious deaths of their former spouses.
But developments were rapid this week: Investigators searched Chad Daybell’s property for evidence, they found children’s bodies, and prosecutors charged him with destroying or concealing two sets of human remains. Then finally, relatives reported that the children they have been fighting to find for months were dead.
Daybell's attorney, John Prior, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A judge set bail at $1 million during a short court hearing Wednesday.
In court documents, Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood said he believes Chad Daybell either concealed or helped hide the remains knowing that they were about to be used as evidence in court. Wood said the first body was hidden or destroyed sometime on or after Sept. 8 — the last known day that Tylee was seen — and the second on or after Sept. 22, the last known day that JJ was seen.