SALT LAKE CITY — Family members of two Idaho children missing since September are now offering a $20,000 reward for information that will help authorities locate the children.
Larry and Kay Woodcock, grandparents of 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow, announced the reward during a press conference at the Rexburg Standard Journal newspaper Tuesday.
The reward will be given for information “leading directly to the recovery” of JJ and his 17-year-old sister, Tylee Ryan, who have been missing since September.
The full video of the press conference can be accessed here.
JJ and Tylee's mother and stepfather, Lori and Chad Daybell, have not been cooperating with police in their investigation into the children’s disappearance. The Daybells have been named persons of interest in the case but have not been charged with any crimes.
Several family members have made pleas for the Daybells to cooperate with police. On Friday, police served a warrant on the Daybells’ home and seized 43 items, including computers, cellphones, journals and other items.
Larry Woodcock said on Tuesday he and Kay are hoping that the reward will help convince anyone to come forward who may have seen the children or might know where they are.
"JJ is my heart, and I’m hoping that this will allow one person to simply say, 'I saw, I know where he’s at ...' so that we can bring JJ and we can bring Tylee back," Larry Woodcock said. "These are beautiful young children. They’re two extremely intelligent children, and we want them back. We want them back in our family."
Larry Woodcock said he and Kay, who live in Lake Charles, Louisiana, are working in coordination with FBI and local authorities, who have been investigating the case around the clock.
"There’s been a number of FBI agents, management, that we know are putting in a non-stop effort," he said. "Everybody wants to be positive about it."
Authorities have not said where Lori and Chad Daybell are or where they are believed to be, according to Larry Woodcock. He also said he did not know about any reported sightings of the children.
Both Larry and Kay Woodcock say they believe both of the children are still alive.
"They’re good kids. They don’t deserve this," Larry Woodcock said. "And we, as a family, don’t deserve this."
Kay Woodcock asked for cooperation in the case from Lori on Tuesday. "I plead for her ... to just let us know where the kids are," she said.
JJ Vallow loves to swim and is hardly afraid of anything in life, Larry Woodcock said. JJ would often call or video chat Larry and Kay, sometimes four or five times in a row.
Tylee Ryan is a typical teenage girl who graduated early from high school and has a close group of friends, the Woodcocks said.
"They are the most unbelievable children you’d ever meet," Larry Woodcock said.
The family also announced a website, www.findjjandtylee.com, which people can use to get in contact with police if they have any information about the children.
People with information about the case can also contact the Rexburg Police Department at 208-359-3000.