Stepfather of missing Idaho kids refuses to say if children are OK

Chad Daybell is the husband of Lori Vallow, who is facing charges in the case.

February 26, 2020, 1:34 PM

The husband of Lori Vallow, an Idaho mother facing charges amid her children's monthslong disappearance, spoke out for the first time in the case, thanking his supporters but refusing to say if the kids are ok.

Chad Daybell, Vallow's fifth husband, told ABC News' National Correspondent Marcus Moore that he couldn't comment on the whereabouts or well-being of 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, who were last seen in September 2019. He is not the biological father of either child.

"Are the kids ok?" Moore asked Daybell at a gas station in Kauai, Hawaii, where he and Vallow had been living for about a month, on Monday.

"I just can't comment," he replied. "I just can't comment."

When asked by Moore if there was anything he wanted to say to people who are concerned about the children, himself and Vallow, Daybell responded with, "Just grateful for any support. We just have to wait for the legal process to work through."

PHOTO: Chad Daybell speaks to ABC News.
Chad Daybell speaks to ABC News.
ABC News

Pressed once more about whether or not JJ and Tylee are ok, Daybell said, "I have to go. No comment."

Vallow is currently behind bars and awaiting possible extradition to Rexburg, Idaho, where she and the children lived before they disappeared.

She will be in court Wednesday afternoon local time. Vallow was arrested last week by police in Kauai on an arrest warrant issued from authorities in Madison County, Idaho. Daybell was not arrested.

Vallow is facing multiple charges, including two felony counts of desertion and non-support of dependent children, according to police.

PHOTO: Lori Vallow, also known as Lori Daybell, the mother of two Idaho children missing since September, was arrested Feb. 20, 2020, in Hawaii, Kauai police said.
Lori Vallow, also known as Lori Daybell, the mother of two Idaho children missing since September, was arrested Feb. 20, 2020, in Hawaii, Kauai police said.
Kauai Police Department

She is being held at Kauai Community Corrections Center on $5 million bond. Her request to have her bail lowered was denied, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

JJ and Tylee have been missing since September, with JJ last seen in Rexburg and Tylee last seen in Yellowstone National Park in California, according to authorities.

Her arrest comes about four weeks after she failed to comply with a court order to produce them in Madison County on Jan. 30.

During the investigation, numerous details led authorities to believe that she'd deserted her children. Authorities said JJ's prescription to manage his autism had not been filled since Vallow moved to Idaho in September 2019, that she hired a babysitter for JJ only to tell her days later her services were no longer needed, and that Vallow has been living in Hawaii since December without the children.

An affidavit states that police have found "no evidence or verification of anyone providing for the housing, food, clothing, education, or medical care" for the children since September.

PHOTO: Missing children Joshua Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, were last seen on Sept. 23, 2019 in Rexburg, Idaho.
Missing children Joshua Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, were last seen on Sept. 23, 2019 in Rexburg, Idaho.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The mysterious case goes beyond just the missing children and also includes the deaths of Vallow and Daybell's former spouses, as well as rumors of a cult.

Vallow's brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed her fourth husband in her Chandler, Arizona, home on July 11, 2019, police said. Police said Charles Vallow's death is being looked at as self-defense.

About six months after that shooting, on Dec. 11, 2019, Cox was found unresponsive in his Gilbert, Arizona, home and was later pronounced dead, according to Brenda Carrasco, a public information officer for Gilbert police. Autopsy results from Cox's death have not yet been made public.

In between Charles Vallow and Cox's death, Chad Daybell's wife also died under circumstances that are now believed to be suspicious. Tamara "Tammy" Daybell's death on Oct. 19, 2019, was initially thought to be natural. However, her remains were exhumed in late December and authorities were looking into whether or not she was poisoned, police said.

Authorities later learned through their investigation that Daybell collected at least $430,000 in life insurance after his wife died, according to a probable cause statement.

Both Vallow and Daybell have also been accused of being members of a cult. Vallow's niece, Melani Boudreaux, is also accused of being in the same cult, according to documents from a custody battle between her and her former husband Brandon.

The documents, released last Friday and obtained by ABC News, allege that Boudreaux is "involved in a cult where numerous members, adults and children alike, have been being killed off like flies." It also claims that Boudreaux knows where Vallow's two missing children and her "unwillingness" to help authorities find them is "daunting."

ABC News' John Capell and MaryEllen Resendez contributed to this report.

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