Unidentified human remains discovered at an Idaho man's home have led to felony charges as part of an investigation into the disappearance of two missing Idaho children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, a case that has attracted worldwide attention.
On Wednesday, Rexburg County authorities announced that Chad Daybell, the husband to Lori Vallow and the mother of the two missing children, has been charged with two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
The charges were announced one day after a search warrant executed by Rexburg police revealed two sets of unidentified human remains at a property owned by Daybell.
Rexburg police were joined by investigators with the FBI and the Fremont County Sheriff's Office as they searched Daybell's home in the eastern Idaho town of Salem for the second time. According to a statement from Rexburg Assistant Police Chief Gary Hagan, the warrant is sealed and the department is unable to reveal any details about the search other than to say, it was linked to the disappearance of Vallow's two children.
Authorities have not identified the remains they found.
Investigators say Daybell and Vallow have lied to them about the children's whereabouts ever since they were last seen in September. The couple has also come under scrutiny for their doomsday beliefs.
Vallow is currently awaiting trial in Idaho on charges of child abandonment and obstruction. She has pleaded 'Not Guilty.'
Police have stated they believe Tylee and J.J. are in danger, but that Vallow, and her husband, a self-published author of apocalyptic fiction, have not cooperated with the investigation.
Vallow and her new husband, Chad Daybell, married shortly after the death of Daybell's former spouse. They have both denied any wrongdoing in connection with the missing children, in a statement issued through her Idaho attorney. Another lawyer who represented her in Hawaii, where she was arrested, said Vallow did not produce her children to authorities when she was ordered to because she didn't want them to go to foster care.
The investigation into the children's disappearance is only the beginning to this strange and complex case.
Authorities say Tylee was last seen alive in security camera footage at the entrance of Yellowstone National Park. A photo on Lori Vallow's iCloud account also showed the 17-year-old with her brother, mother and uncle, Alex Cox at the park that same day.
Vallow's 7-year-old, JJ, was last seen attending an elementary school in Rexburg, Idaho before she withdrew him from the school, telling school officials that JJ would be home-schooled.
At some point, Lori became involved with Chad Daybell, the author of several religious-themed self-published fiction books, some of which that focus on near-death experiences. According to court documents obtained by The Arizona Republic, Lori Vallow once claimed that she was a "god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020" and that Lori didn't want anything more to do with her family so she could better focus on her "more important mission."
Authorities initially questioned Vallow and Daybell about the two children's whereabouts in November. However, when investigators returned the next day to follow-up, they discovered the couple had fled their home in Idaho. It wasn't until January that detectives were able to track them down in Kauai.
The case also involves the investigation into three separate deaths - including the death of Chad Daybell's former wife, Tammy, who died unexpectedly in their Idaho home a few weeks before Daybell and Vallow got married. Her death is now being treated as suspicious. Authorities exhumed Tammy's body to perform an autopsy, but those results are still pending.
A second death, Vallow's estranged former husband, Charles Vallow, is also being investigated. Charles was shot and killed by Lori Vallow's brother, Alex Cox in Chandler, Arizona, on July 11, 2019. Cox told authorities that he'd killed Charles in self-defense after an argument got out of hand between Lori and Charles.
The third death involves Cox, who was found dead in Gilbert, Arizona from from unknown causes in December. A 911 call from the son of Cox's wife, said Cox was discovered in the bathroom, breathing heavily and unconscious.
Photos: Rexburg Police Department, Kauai Police Department