‘Cult’ mom Lori Vallow and her husband Chad Daybell have left their hideout in Kaua’i as the search for her missing children continues.
The couple left the island on Sunday and traveled to Maui, the
Lori and Chad have been living in Hawaii since mid-December after they fled their home in Rexburg, Idaho, when police began questioning them about the whereabouts of her children.
Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow, seven, and Tylee Ryan, 17, were last seen in September but were never reported missing by their mother or stepfather, who tied the knot a few weeks after the kids disappeared.
Police say the couple have refused to cooperate with investigators and have repeatedly lied about where the children are.
Lori and Chad became the target of a national media firestorm with the revelations that police are also investigating the mysterious deaths of both of their previous spouses and Lori’s brother, as well as family members’ claims that they are members of a dangerous doomsday cult.
A close friend of Lori’s recently revealed that she has been trying to stay out of the public eye as she waits for the ‘media hype’ to die down – which could explain the sudden relocation to Maui.
Law enforcement say they are keeping tabs on Lori and Chad’s location but have yet to file any charges – even after the mother missed a court-ordered deadline to produce her children in Idaho on January 30.
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‘Cult’ mom Lori Vallow (left) and her husband Chad Daybell (right) left their hideout in Kaua’i for Maui on Sunday as the search for her missing children continues. Authorities say they are monitoring the location of the couple, who have been living in Hawaii since mid-December after they fled their home in Rexburg, Idaho, when police began questioning them about the whereabouts of her kids, Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow and Tylee Ryan
Seven-year-old JJ and 17-year-old Tylee were last seen in Rexburg in September but were never reported missing by their mom or stepfather, who tied the knot a few weeks later
A veteran FBI official has offered an explanation for why no charges have been filed, suggesting that investigators are exercising extreme caution given the complexity of the case.
Frank Montoya, who worked for the FBI for over 25 years, told the East Idaho News that the solution is not as simple as it appears from the outside.
‘The bottom line is what would be the crime? The children are missing but what does that mean? Where are they?’ Montoya asked.
‘If they’re in the care and custody of a family member or friend or somewhere else but they’re still alive, what are we looking at with potential crimes to charge these people with? Maybe child endangerment. Beyond that, at this point, I’m not sure.’
Frank Montoya, a veteran FBI official, suggested that authorities haven’t filed charges against Lori and Chad because they are exercising extreme caution given the complexity of the case
Montoya said the ‘strange and bizarre’ case is unlike anything he’s seen in his career, which saw him serve in a variety of high-profile FBI positions, including as head of national counterintelligence and as the special agent in charge of the Honolulu and Seattle divisions.
‘This is pretty out there,’ he said.
‘When you’re looking at the number of people who are dead that are associated with either individual at the center of this case [Lori and Chad], and when you consider the missing children and how long they’ve been gone, there’s something very suspicious about their behavior.’
Lori was served with a child protection order on January 25 which required that she produce JJ and Tylee to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare or Rexburg Police Department within five days.
Failing to comply could result in civil or criminal contempt of court charges, the order said.
Lori missed the deadline – but two and a half weeks later, it does not appear that police have taken any action against her.
‘There may very well be grounds to have her extradited back to Idaho to at least address the question as to where the children are,’ Montoya said.
‘But it’s all about patience. There are a lot of jurisdictions involved, there’s a lot of interest in law enforcement to resolve it and they’re going to be putting forth their best effort but patience for the public is key.’
Montoya told the East Idaho News that the case is unlike anything he’s seen in his career
Montoya said that while it may appear to the public that investigators aren’t doing anything, a lot more is likely occurring behind the scenes.
‘Your biggest fear as an investigator is when the lead well dries up,’ he said.
‘So keeping it high profile, using the media to promote the investigation, talking to a lot of different jurisdictions – they’re doing anything and everything they can do to uncover more leads.’
Montoya added that he believes the couple will eventually come forward and cooperate with investigators.
‘It’s frustrating the parents aren’t talking, it’s frustrating they’re having a grand old time in Hawaii but maybe at some point, their conscience finally gets to one of them,’ he said.
Based on his experience, he predicted that Chad will be the first to approach authorities.
‘I would note in cases like this that it’s the woman who is the hard nut to crack. The husband is usually the one who comes clean first,’ he said.
Montoya classified Lori and Chad’s recent behavior as ‘suspicious’ and ‘frustrating’. The couple were seen for the first time since the children’s disappearance made headlines on January 26, when an East Idaho News reporter confronted them after police served them with search warrants in Kaua’i (above)
Lori and Chad were named persons of interest in JJ and Tylee’s disappearance in mid-December when the Rexburg Police Department in Idaho issued a press release asking for they public’s help in locating the children, who were thought to be in danger.
Authorities have said they believe Lori knows where her children are or what happened to them.
Timeline of JJ and Tylee’s disappearance
July 11: Lori Vallow’s husband, Charles Vallow, is killed by her brother, Alex Cox, in Arizona
August: Lori moves children JJ and Tylee to Rexburg, Idaho
September 23: The last time JJ was seen at his school in Idaho
October 19: Chad Daybell’s wife Tammy dies at their Idaho home
October 25: A friend of Tylee receives a text from her phone
November 5: Lori and Chad marry
November 26: Out-of-state relatives ask Idaho police to perform a welfare check on JJ. Lori and Chad claim he is in Arizona with relatives. Police also learn Tylee has not been seen since September, either
November 27: Police execute a search warrant at Lori and Chad’s home, discovering the couple have fled Idaho
December 11: Tammy Daybell’s body is exhumed from the Utah cemetery
December 12: Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, believed to have died in Arizona
December 21: Police issue a press release about JJ and Tylee, revealing they believe their disappearance is linked to Tammy’s death
December 24: Lori and Chad issue a statement through an attorney saying they love their son and daughter and look forward to addressing ‘allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor’
December 30: Police accuse Lori and Chad of lying to investigators and say they believe the couple know where the kids are or what happened to them
January 26: Lori and Chad are seen for the first time in months as police serve two search warrants in Kaua’i
January 30: Lori misses court deadline to produce the children to authorities
The search for JJ and Tylee was launched in late November after Rexburg police conducted a welfare check ordered by concerned relatives who said they hadn’t spoken to JJ, who is autistic, in months.
When officers first went to Lori’s home in Idaho on November 26, she told them that JJ was visiting relatives in Arizona – which investigators say was a lie.
Officers returned the following day and found that Lori and Chad – who tied the knot on November 5 – had fled from the home.
It has since emerged they had told people Tylee was dead and that Lori has no minor children.
The search for JJ and Tylee uncovered a web of mysterious deaths surrounding Lori and Chad that has baffled investigators for weeks.
The first death is that of Lori’s estranged husband Charles Vallow, who was shot dead by her brother Alex Cox in Arizona on July 10.
Charles and Lori had gotten into an argument when the father came to pick up JJ at the mother’s home in Chandler.
Lori’s brother intervened and fatally shot Charles.
Police initially determined that he acted in self defense – but the case was reopened amid the multi-state search for JJ and Tylee, who had moved to Idaho, where Chad lived, with their mother in August.
The second mysterious death was Tammy Daybell – Chad’s previous wife – who was found dead at the couple’s home in Salem, Idaho, on October 19.
An obituary stated that Tammy passed away in her sleep and her cause of death was ruled as natural after Chad reportedly declined an autopsy.
Investigators reopened the case after learning that JJ and Tylee were missing, as their mother had married Chad just two weeks after Tammy died. They believe the two cases could be linked.
Tammy’s body was exhumed on December 11 and the autopsy results have not yet been released.
On December 12, Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, was found dead in Gilbert, Arizona.
The 51-year-old’s death is now under investigation as police wait for an autopsy to determine the cause.
Lori’s estranged husband Charles Vallow (pictured together) was shot dead by her brother Alex Cox in Arizona on July 11
Chad’s wife Tammy Daybell (pictured together) was found dead under mysterious circumstances in October, just two weeks before he married Lori
While police have been careful not to publicly cast suspicions on Lori and Chad, a troubling portrait of the pair has emerged from accounts from family members who claim they are members of a dangerous cult obsessed with the end of the world.
Kay Woodcock – the sister of Charles Vallow who is also JJ’s grandmother – issued a statement in December in which she described how Lori turned into a ‘monster’ after she met Chad in 2018.
Chad, 51, is a prolific author of 25 books focusing on doomsday scenarios and near-death experiences. He is what’s known as a ‘prepper’ – someone who is getting ready for the End of Times – and was a member of a group called Preparing a People.
Lori’s brother Alex Cox died under mysterious circumstances on December 12
Last month DailyMail.com exclusively revealed that Chad had been kicked out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints back in the fall after he declared himself a prophet.
Lori reportedly began reading Chad’s writing while she was living in Hawaii with Charles, JJ and Tylee between 2014 and 2017.
It’s unclear how or when exactly Lori and Chad met, but family members say it was sometime around June 2018.
The pair made their first appearance together in December 2017 on a podcast for Preparing a People, a group which, according to its website, organizes conferences and lectures for those who ‘look forward to the rapidly coming changes to our current Telestial way of life, and rejoice in the hope of a far better world to soon come!’
Lori and Charles’ marriage deteriorated rapidly as she became more and more involved with Preparing a People, and he filed for divorce and for custody of JJ in February 2019.
In court documents, he claimed that Lori had become ‘obsessed’ with doomsday and believed she was a reincarnated god sent to Earth to help prepare for the second coming of Christ.
He also claimed she had threatened to kill him if he got in the way of her mission.
Attorneys who represented Charles in the divorce spoke out in January and claimed that their client had predicted either Lori or her brother Alex would kill him.
Five months later, his prediction came true when Alex shot him dead.
Alex told detectives he acted in self-defense after Charles hit him with a baseball bat – but several family members don’t believe that version of events.
Charles’ ex-wife Cheryl Wheeler recently said she believes Charles’ death was ‘100 percent planned’ by Lori.
Wheeler also believes that Lori had something to do with the deaths of Tammy Daybell and Alex Cox, suggesting that they were poisoned.