Mother of missing Idaho children faces Thursday deadline to produce them

(Rexburg Police Department)



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REXBURG, Idaho (CNN) — The grandparents of a missing Idaho boy pleaded for his safe return Wednesday, a day before the child's mother faces a deadline to physically produce him to authorities.

"I'll get on my knees and beg," Larry Woodcock said. "Just give me JJ."

Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, have not been seen or heard from since September. Their mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, and her husband Chad Daybell fled their home in Rexburg, Idaho, in November when authorities began searching for the missing children.

They were found in Hawaii this month. The children were not with them. Lori Daybell has until today to turn them over to authorities, according to a court order served by police on Saturday.

JJ's grandparents told CNN affiliate KIFI Wednesday that they are not optimistic Daybell will appear.

"She's got all the attention on her — good, bad or indifferent — and it's going to be bad if she doesn't show up," Kay Woodcock told the station.

But whether she cooperates or not, the family will continue fighting, Larry Woodcock said.

"We're in this for the long haul. This is not going to end tomorrow. I'm not going to let it end. Kay is not going to let it end. Our family is not going to let this end," he said.

The Daybell have not been charged and no arrest warrants have been issued for them in Hawaii.

Couple flees the home

Lori Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell face a Thursday deadline to physically produce the children to authorities. The pair fled their home in Rexburg, Idaho, in November when authorities began searching for the missing children. Photo: Rexburg Police Department
Lori Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell face a Thursday deadline to physically produce the children to authorities. The pair fled their home in Rexburg, Idaho, in November when authorities began searching for the missing children. Photo: Rexburg Police Department

Police determined the children were missing in late November — four months after Lori Daybell's estranged husband was killed in their former home state, Arizona, and shortly after she moved with the children to Idaho and married Chad Daybell.

Police conducted a welfare check for JJ — Lori's adopted son with her late husband — on November 26 at their home in Rexburg after relatives raised concern about not hearing from him since September.

During the welfare check, both Lori and Chad told investigators the boy was staying with a family friend in Arizona, police said.

But police determined that he wasn't staying with a family friend. When police returned November 27 to execute a search warrant, investigators determined Chad and Lori had fled the home. And according to authorities, they didn't appear to have taken JJ with them.

Investigators also learned that Tylee hadn't been seen since September, though she'd most recently lived with Lori and JJ in Rexburg.

Investigations into death of Chad Daybell's wife

The children's disappearance is part of a complex past 12 months for the family. Police have investigated two deaths in the couple's family in that time frame.

One of those deaths is that of Lori's estranged husband, who was shot and killed in July during a fight with Lori's brother in their former home state, Arizona.

Details about the motive in the killing weren't immediately available. Lori's brother was not charged in the case and died in December, according to CNN affiliate KIFI/KIDK. His cause of death has not been released, and an investigation is pending the results of an autopsy, CNN affiliate KNXV reported earlier this month.

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Shortly after, Lori moved with the children to Idaho and married Chad, who had links to a religious content website.

Lori's former husband said she had "recently become infatuated and at times obsessive about near death experiences and spiritual visions," according to a petition for dissolution of marriage filed last February.

The second death authorities are investigating is that of Chad's previous wife, Tammy Daybell, in Idaho in October. Though she was originally believed to have died of natural causes, Rexburg police announced in December that it was suspicious, and her remains were exhumed.

A few weeks after she died, Lori and Chad were married, police said.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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