Invisible Children

Tylee Ryan and Joshua Vallow

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Joshua Vallow (L) and Tylee Ryan (R)

Two children—Tylee Ryan, age 17; and Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, age 7—died under suspicious circumstances while under the care of their mother, Lori Vallow. The children were homeschooled.

Tylee was born around 2002. Lori later married Charles Vallow, and the Vallows adopted J.J., who was autistic. The family lived in Chandler, Arizona, where the children attended school.

Around 2017, Lori Vallow began to become involved with a new religious movement called Preparing A People. In February 2019, Charles Vallow filed for divorce, claiming that Lori was not mentally stable and had threatened to kill him. The divorce was never finalized because in July 2019 Charles was killed, allegedly in self-defense, by Lori’s brother Alex Cox. The children reportedly witnessed their father’s death. Shortly after August 31, 2019, Lori Vallow moved her children to Idaho to be closer to the home of her romantic partner, Chad Daybell, who was a speaker at Preparing A People events. Tylee did not want to leave Arizona and had gotten her GED, but she opted to move with her family.

J.J. began attending school at Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg on September 3, and he last attended September 23. The next day, Lori Vallow came to the school to tell administrators she was homeschooling J.J. In late September, Lori told a family friend that the children were “zombies” and that she had “an earthly mission to remove zombies from the world.” The children were not seen after September 2019.

On October 19, 2019, Chad Daybell’s wife Tammy Daybell died under suspicious circumstances. Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow married two weeks later; Lori told a witness that Tylee was dead, and Chad told a witness that Lori had no children. The children were reported missing after a requested wellness check in November, where Lori Vallow falsely claimed they were living with relatives in Arizona. The couple subsequently left the state. Cox died of unknown causes in December 2019.

On June 9, 2020, authorities discovered J.J. and Tylee’s remains on Chad Daybell’s farm. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell have been arrested while authorities search for evidence related to the children’s deaths.

Date: September 23, 2019
Rexburg, Idaho


Documents: Date:
‘Investigations need facts, not more rumors’: Investigators continue the search for missing Idaho kids 12-24-2019
Mom of missing Idaho children lied to witnesses, won’t cooperate with police, investigators say 12-30-2019
Idaho Cops Blast Doomsday Parents of Missing Kids 01-01-2020
‘Show us proof’: Idaho police warn doomsday cult mom who refuses to cooperate in search for her own missing children 01-02-2020
Justin Lum Fox 10 01-03-2020
Cops in Missing Siblings Case Search Doomsday Writer’s Home 01-03-2020
BREAKING: FBI raids Idaho home in search for missing children of doomsday cult mom; forensic teams search for blood, chemicals 01-03-2020
Lori Vallow: Dead husband filed for divorce, got restraining order before he was shot; cult mom of missing children claimed she was a god and would kill him if he got in her way 01-03-2020
New texts show last known contact from Tylee Ryan’s phone 01-06-2020
Case of Idaho Siblings Missing for Months Grows to Include Deaths, Cult Rumors 01-08-2020
Principal offers explanation about why Joshua “JJ” Vallow wasn’t reported missing in September 01-11-2020
Idaho Police Give Mom of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan Jan. 30 Deadline To Show Them To Authorities 01-28-2020
Bodies Found on Chad Daybell’s Property Belonged to Children, Prosecutors Say 06-10-2020
Idaho mother called missing children ‘zombies;’ affidavit says 06-22-2020