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Search for missing Idaho kids: "No sign of life, no sign of death"

17.05.20, 14:11

Produced by Liza Finley, Richard Fetzer and Emily Wichick

She's become a national obsession -- Lori Vallow Daybell, the Rexburg, Idaho, mother who never reported her 7–year-old son JJ and 17- year-old daughter Tylee missing. No one has seen the children in months. And despite her arrest on child abandonment charges, she's still not talking.

But according to her family, there is a reason for that.

"JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan disappear in September. Months later, there's no sign of life. There's no sign of death. There are just questions, frustrating questions," said investigative reporter Morgan Loew. Kay Woodcock

Now, as a nationwide hunt for the missing children continues, Lori Vallow Daybell's mother, Janis Cox, and her sister, Summer Shiflet, reveal theories to "48 Hours" on what may have happened -- even whether the children could be hidden in a bunker somewhere out of sight – and why she's staying silent.

"She would never harm her children," Cox tells CBS News correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti. "And I know her."

"I don't know all of her reasons for doing what she's doing," says Shiflet. "But I know she has … has the reasons."

But first, back to the Lori Vallow Daybell the rest of the world knows: a woman who has a lot of explaining to do, says investigative reporter and "48 Hours" consultant Morgan Loew. "Lori Daybell has two missing children. Lori Daybell is connected  to suspicious deaths. Lori Daybell appears to be somebody that has a black cloud over her ...  unless she's the one that is causing these bad things to happen."

That's what the FBI and authorities in at least three states are trying to figure out as they sort through a convoluted tale that many believe will lead to murder charges

A DEADLY PREMONITION

The allegations that still shock friends who knew Lori Vallow Daybell before she became one of the most vilified women in America.

April Raymond: You never wanna believe that somebody … you cared about or … looked up to … is capable of something heinous. But, unfortunately …  that might not be the reality here …

This Lori is nothing like the friend she used to know, says April Raymond, whom "48 Hours" spoke to on Skype. They met in 2015 at the local Mormon church when Lori and her husband, Charles Vallow, moved to Kauai from Arizona.

April Raymond: Everyone fell in love with her right away … she really did bring a lot of joy to the people that she surrounded herself with.

Everything about Lori seemed to sparkle, says Raymond, including her marriage to Charles, a successful investment advisor.

Charles and Lori Vallow Kay Woodcock

April Raymond: I had never seen two people married that were … what I perceived, as genuinely happy with one another. And I— I thought that those two were.

Charles was Lori's fourth husband. He'd been married before, too, and both had grown children. But together they were raising a new family: Tylee Ryan, Lori's daughter from a former marriage, and the recently adopted JJ, Charles's sister's grandson.

April Raymond: Lori was an exceptional mother. She was the mother that, you know, everyone wanted to be.

Echo Itaaehau: My daughter loved Lori just as much as she loved Tylee.

Echo Itaaehau's daughter, Vaisia, was best friends with Tylee, and a constant visitor at the Vallow home in both Arizona and Hawaii.

Echo Itaaehau: When the girls would go to the mall, or to the movies, or to the lake. In Hawaii they would go — paddle boarding, go to the beach, ziplining, all those adventures. Lori was always there and always a part of it.

And so was Lori's son JJ, who has autism and special needs.

April Robertson: I really admired how patient she was with him and how much care she took of him.

That included a service dog named Bailey. Neal Mestas was Bailey's trainer.

Neal Mestas: The dog helped settle him down, keep him calm.

But even Bailey could not take the place of his big sister.

Echo Itaaehau: Tylee and JJ have — an incredible bond and just a beautiful relationship. And she took care of him — and takes care of him as a second mom would.

Echo Itaaehau: And she's super sweet. She can be sassy. She's just— a wonderful, awesome girl. 

But in 2017, the family dynamic began to shift. Tylee was missing her friends on the mainland, so they moved back to Arizona. Then something in Lori began to change.

Morgan Loew: From what we have heard she started to pay a little less attention to the kids … and that's when the rift in the marriage started happening.

April Raymond says Lori had begun reading the books of Chad Daybell, a novelist and podcaster from Rexburg, Idaho, who told stories about doomsday and people preparing for the end of the world. Over time, some say Lori became more and more obsessed with these extreme religious beliefs, venturing way beyond traditional Mormon doctrine.

Morgan Loew: In the beginning of 2019, Lori disappeared. She took off and left Charles with the two kids. …  they had no idea where she was, and this was for about, like, two months.

Morgan Loew: We think that she met up with Chad Daybell at that point, and she starts communicating with Charles in some really strange language … she was saying that she believes that she's a chosen one. And that she can speak to dead people.

She also spoke to April Raymond about it.

April Raymond: She felt like she had existed on Earth several times. She felt like she had supernatural powers.

Jonathan Vigliotti: The friend you knew before was basically the world's perfect soccer mom and now she's … saying she is essentially a reincarnated God?

April Raymond That's correct.

Then, Raymond says, Lori said something that would take on an even more sinister cast in the months ahead.

April Raymond: She — told me that Charles was already dead and that there was a demon living inside of him.

Morgan Loew: According to Charles, she even said, "If you get in my way, I will murder you.  I will murder you." … and at that point, Charles Vallow decided he is going to file for divorce.

Charles was so spooked by his wife of almost 13 years, he put his fears in writing.

Morgan Loew: It's right there in the divorce paperwork. Charles was worried about his life, and he was also worried about the lives of JJ and Tylee … He knew that bad things were on the horizon.

Sadly, Charles Vallow could not have been more right. Around 7:40 a.m. on the morning of July 11, 2019, Charles went to Lori's rental home in Chandler, Arizona, to take JJ to school. Less than an hour later, Charles was dead. Lori's brother, Alex Cox, had shot him. At 8:36 a.m., Alex Cox placed this 911 call:

911 DISPATCHER: Is he breathing?

ALEX COX: I can't tell.

Morgan Loew: He said, "I need to report a shooting. I — I shot my brother-in-law in self-defense."

911 DISPATCHER: And is he hurt? Is he alive or —?

ALEX COX: Yeah, there's blood. He's not moving.

Chad Cox talks with police after shooting Charles Vallow. Chandler Police Department

The police arrived and shot bodycam video of Alex Cox on the curb outside the home. He tells them that Charles and Lori got into a fight:

CHANDLER POLICE OFFICER. [bodycam video]: So, you get in an argument? What is it over?

ALEX COX: Well, it was over my sister. He was getting physical with her.

Then he says Tylee came out of her room with a bat:

ALEX COX [bodycam video]:  She came out to defend my sister with her bat.

Cox says Charles then grabbed the bat from Tylee and came at him, hitting him in the back of the head:

ALEX COX [bodycam video]:  So, I went to my room and got my gun.

Cox then tells the officer he came back and shot Charles twice in the chest.

Both Tylee, who had run outside, and Lori say they heard the shooting but didn't see it. Lori says she then walked past Charles's body and left the house to get JJ – who'd been waiting in the car. She and Tylee then drove him to school.

Morgan Loew: And at some point, a little later that morning, Lori and Tylee come walking up to the house.

CHANDLER POLICE OFFICER [Bodycam video]: Hi, who are – are you?  [Lori speaks] OK, just stand over there for just a second, guys.

In the bodycam video, police blurred Tylee's face because she was a minor.

POLICE OFFICER [Bodycam video]:  Does your husband live here or no?

LORI VALLOW: No.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

Morgan Loew: What was striking about the footage … was that …  they were very nonchalant.

A smiling Lori Vallow Daybell on police bodycam video Chandler Police Department

POLICE OFFICER [Bodycam video]: How long have you lived here?

LORI VALLOW: Like 3 weeks.

POLICE OFFICER:  Oh geez, yeah, OK.

LORI VALLOW: That's why the neighbors don't know us very well.

POLICE OFFICER:  Gotcha.

LORI VALLOW: Like, "Hi neighbors, sorry" [laughs].

POLICE OFFICER: Are you working at all?

All three were questioned at the police headquarters and released. Raymond learned of Charles's death on Google.   

April Raymond: it all started to make a lot more sense.

Suddenly, Raymond remembered that strange thing Lori said in the months before the shooting: that Charles was already dead and had a demon living inside of him.  

Jonathan Vigliotti: What went on in your mind?

April Raymond: I felt really sick. … And I just knew something was very, very wrong

A CHOSEN ONE      

Lori Vallow didn't waste any time, says reporter Morgan Loew. Less  than two  months after her estranged husband, Charles Vallow, was shot dead, she packed up her two kids and moved to Rexburg, Idaho, home of that author and podcaster Chad Daybell — a known voice among doomsday preppers.

Morgan Loew |Reporter and "48 Hours" consultant: They believe that the end of the world is coming, and it is coming soon. And that it is incumbent upon them to prepare for it. And that means stockpiling food and supplies, so that they can survive until they are taken to heaven.ad been ordained to lead the chosen ones.

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell Rexburg Police Department

April Raymond: In her mind there were 144,000 people that were going to survive Armageddon.  She had been appointed to gather the remaining members of the chosen.

Raymond says Lori tried to recruit her as one of the chosen, but it would have come at a heavy price: her two boys.

Jonathan Vigliotti: What did being a chosen one entail?

April Raymond: Basically, that I would — need to separate myself from my children and join her and … find the other chosen ones so that we could all be together.  … I respectfully declined her offer because that was just— was going too far.

In early September, Lori, Tylee and JJ moved into a townhouse in Rexburg. Her brother, Alex Cox, moved into the same complex.

Morgan Loew: Alex and Lori had a really close relationship. I think it was more than brother who looks after sister. I think it was more of brother who was the enforcer, who punished people who crossed sister.

In 2007, long before Alex Cox shot and killed Charles Vallow, he attacked Lori's third husband Joe Ryan with a taser gun and was sentenced to 90 days in jail

Morgan Loew Lori sort of viewed Alex as the destroyer of bad things in her eyes … he was there to take care of the problems.

That's what makes a now-famous picture of Tylee so terrifying to so many. It was taken on September 8, about a week after they arrived in Idaho, says private investigator Rich Robertson.

Rich Robertson: There are photographs that show her and JJ and Alex … in Yellowstone Park.

Morgan Loew: And that was the last time she was seen … And the key there is that Alex was there.

Tylee Ryan, 17 and Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, at Yellowstone National Park on September 8, 2019 -- the last time Tylee was seen. At right is their mother's brother Alex Cox.  There is no evidence Tylee ever left the park FBI

We know JJ left the park that day. Pictures from a neighbor's doorbell camera show him nine days later. We also know he attended school until September 23. On September 24, Lori told JJ's teachers she was going to homeschool him.

Morgan Loew: That's the last anybody saw … him …

The following week, Lori bought a $36 ring on Amazon. The next day she reportedly shopped online for a wedding dress. It would soon be clear who the intended groom was: Chad Daybell. 

Morgan Loew: Most of the arrows point to them having a relationship … while they were still married to other people.

Charles Vallow was now gone.  But when Lori bought that ring, Daybell's wife of 29 years, Tammy Daybell, was still very much alive. All that changed just 17 days later when the 49-year-old died unexpectedly.

Morgan Loew: Tammy's death was odd from the beginning. Family said she died in her sleep. They didn't want an autopsy performed. She was buried in Utah.

Approximately two weeks later, Chad Daybell married Lori Vallow in Hawaii. They did more than just start new lives. They reinvented their old ones, telling Chad's parents that Lori was an empty nester.

But then the façade came crashing down when JJ's grandparents in Louisiana, Kay and Larry Woodcock, could take it no more.

Morgan Loew: Every time grandma Kay Woodcock would call, there would be a different excuse about where the kids were. … And finally said, "Something is weird here." She had heard enough excuses. She finally reached out to the police.

In late November, over two months after the children were last seen, Rexburg Police knocked on Lori's door to check on the kids.

Rich Robertson: Lori said they weren't there. Lori told … 'em that the kids were staying … with a friend of hers down in Arizona.

Arizona authorities then went to that friend's house who told them JJ and Tylee were not there.

Rich Robertson: So, at that point, somebody was lying. … And it was most likely Lori

But she wasn't the only one. When questioned by police, detectives noted that "Chad acted as if he didn't know Lori very well." Chad Daybell left out one crucial detail: that he and Lori had been married for three weeks.

Morgan Loew: These lies were starting to catch up with Chad and Lori.

Rich Robertson: At that point Rexburg Police executed a search warrant

Rich Robertson: But… they were gone.

They had left town. The police quickly issued a statement that the children's "lives were in danger."

Rich Robertson: At that point … everything changed.

Lori was about to become one of the most hated women in America.

Summer Shiflet | Lori's sister:  I've heard things said about Lori …  that none of them are true. … This mob mentality of … Lori … just … hung in a public square, basically is what it feels like.

WHERE ARE JJ & TYLEE?

When news hit that the two smiling siblings disappeared and their mother never reported them missing, people the world over were transfixed by the bizarre story of the "cult mom" and her missing kids.

Armies of citizen cyber sleuths came together online. Rexburg mom Dee Ann Carter is one of them.

Jonathan Vigliotti: What is it about this story that brings together so many people from so many different backgrounds from all over the world?

Dee Ann Carter: It's these two children … people connect … you wanna help. You wanna do what you can.

Their Facebook group, Christmas Misery, is 14,000 strong and growing, says Annie Southam.

Annie Southam: With so many people, with so many different areas of expertise, putting those pieces together, hopefully the whole puzzle can kinda be solved.

On the home front, JJ's grandparents Larry and Kay Woodcock launched a public crusade.

Larry and Kay Woodcock KPHO

Larry Woodcock: It breaks my heart; it's killing my soul. … I just want those kids back.

As family, friends and strangers were begging for answers, Lori and Chad were in Hawaii enjoying an extended honeymoon.

Annie Southam: There's some stuff that … disgusts me, like … their pictures on the beach … where he's playin' the ukulele and she's dancing around in her dress.

Morgan Loew: But, as …  this case started building steam, their ability to live a normal life there started to erode. They had trouble just going outside their front door. Because they didn't know if they were gonna run into investigators or journalists.

East Idaho News reporter Nate Eaton tracked them down at a local resort:

Lori Vallow Daybell has "no comment" about her children's whereabouts when tracked down at a resort in Hawaii. East Idaho News

EAST IDAHO REPORTER:  Lori, Nate Eaton with East Idaho News.  Can you tell me where your kids are

EAST IDAHO REPORTER:  Where are your kids?

LORI VALLOW DAYBELL:  No comment.

EAST IDAHO REPORTER:  No comment?  There's people around the country praying for your children, praying for you guys…why don't you give us answers?

LORI VALLOW DAYBELL: That's great.

EAST IDAHO REPORTER:  That's great.  That's great that they're praying for you, praying for your kids, what?

LORI VALLOW DAYBELL: [doesn't answer]

On January 25, 2020, Lori was ordered to produce the children to Idaho authorities in five days. She ignored it.

Morgan Loew: So … she's placed under arrest. She's taken into custody in Kauai.

Lori was charged with three misdemeanors and two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children. It was a devastating blow to Lori's mother Janis Cox and sister Summer Shiflet.

Cox spoke to her daughter after the arrest.

Jonathan Vigliotti: And when you asked her how are my grandchildren doing, what did she say?

Janis Cox: As far as I can I remember, she said, "you know me mom, the kids are fine."

Jonathan Vigliotti : Deep down do you believe that?

Janis Cox: I did believe it. Yes.

Summer Shiflet: She said the same thing to me …

Janis Cox: We know there's a whole 'nother side to this story.

Cox and Shiflet sat down with"48 Hours" for their first television interview – to try and tell us that story. A story they say that began almost a year ago back in Arizona.

Summer Shiflet and Janis Cox. "She's not a monster. She's not a heartless, cold, calculated-- murderous type of person," said Shiflet. CBS News

Summer Shiflet: After Charles had died, Lori had been continuously threatened. And she wanted to go somewhere safe. … she didn't wanna tell any of us where she was going because she was being followed and threatened.

Jonathan Vigliotti: Threatened by who?

Summer Shiflet: By people who loved Charles and want revenge for his death.

Charles Vallow's family say there never were any threats— not even close, but Cox and Shiflet say Lori was so scared, she fled to Idaho to protect herself and her children. They believe she could be hiding them now to keep them safe.

Summer Shiflet I don't know all of her reasons for doing what she's doing. … But I know she has … has the reasons.

But that still doesn't explain why Lori was off in Hawaii dancing on the beach with Chad Daybell while her children were nowhere to be found. 

Jonathan Vigliotti: Something's not adding up here. Where are they? Where is JJ and Tylee?

Summer Shiflet: It's a great question. We would love to know the answer to that. We don't know. But … we are very confident that Lori would never harm her children…

Summer Shiflet: She's the best person I know … She's just the kindest, loving person that there is.

Cult expert weighs in on Idaho missing children's case

They say the real Lori is nothing like the doomsday zealot Charles wrote about in his divorce papers. 

Jonathan Vigliotti:  Is Lori part of some strange cult?

Janis Cox:  No.

Summer Shiflet:  No, not that we know of, no—

Janis Cox:  No.

Jonathan Vigliotti:  Not — she's not preparing for the end of the world, she doesn't believe that she is leading the 144,000—

Janis Cox:  No.

Summer Shiflet: She has never said the end of the world is gonna happen in July. That has never come from her mouth or lips ever.

Summer Shiflet : A lot of the things that have been reported … any small truths that are in there have been twisted. But most of them are flat out not even true.

For example, the police reported no one saw or heard from JJ after September 23, but Janis Cox says she called Lori on October 1 — a full week later — and could hear JJ playing in the background. She gave "48 Hours" her phone records that showed a 97-minute call.

Janis Cox:  He was alive and well.

Jonathan Vigliotti:  How do you know that though?

Janis Cox: Because I know JJ … no one's gonna pretend to be JJ.

At one point, she says JJ actually got on the phone and said, "Hi Mimi," his nickname for her.

Jonathan Vigliotti: You spoke with him though on the phone?

Janis Cox: Yeah. Yes.  And I heard him and he was out playing … And— he just takes the phone, you know — and he knows — you know, he knows who we are.

Janis Cox: So he still knew I'm Mimi, you know? He still knew me, Mimi.

The Rexburg police aren't commenting on the call. But Cox and Shiflet want to set the record straight on something else – or rather someone else: their son and brother Alex Cox, Lori's so-called enforcer — the man who shot and killed Charles Vallow.

Jonathan Vigliotti: Is Alex the henchman here?

Summer Shiflet: No [laughs].

Janis Cox: No, he's not.

Summer Shiflet: Alex was the most easygoing, relaxed, hilarious h— type of person. … There's nothing about him that was a hit man...

But we may never know the true story. On December 12, Alex Cox suddenly passed out and later died; an autopsy determined of natural causes

But we're still awaiting the autopsy results in another death. Tammy Daybell's body was exhumed two months after being buried to perform toxicology tests.

Morgan Loew: And … why do you run a toxicology test? Because you're looking for drugs or you are looking for poison. And why would they be looking for poison? Because they're investigating the possibility that she was murdered.

What started as a hunt for two missing children expanded into something much bigger and even darker. And despite what her family believes, it wasn't looking good for the former beauty queen, says Morgan Loew.

Morgan Loew: Looking at these cases separately, you begin to see that there is a common denominator. And that common denominator is Lori Vallow. She has a dead husband … She has two missing children. She has a new husband who has a dead wife. … She is the factor that connects all of these separate cases together.

THE MYSTERY DEEPENS

On March 5, 2020 – five months after police say Lori Vallow Daybell's children were last seen – she was extradited from Hawaii to a tiny airport in Rexburg, Idaho, to face child abandonment charges. Morgan Loew was there.

Morgan Loew: She gets out of the plane and she's wearing a bulletproof vest. And surrounded by officers. And they whisk her into this vehicle.

After being one of the first reporters in the country on this story, Loew had Lori within earshot.

Morgan Loew: The SUV stopped right in front of me. And I find myself four inches away from Lori.

"Where are your kids? How come you're not telling anybody where your kids are?" investigative reporter Morgan Loew asks Lori Vallow Daybell. KPHO

Morgan Loew:And she looked through the window … with this weird sort of blank expression on her face, and then turned her head. 

Morgan Loew: The day of Lori's initial appearance in Rexburg, the courtroom was jam-packed. … And Lori walks in. And she's wearing this orange and white stripped jail outfit and this red lipstick

Morgan Loew: It was such an odd sight to see.

JUDGE: Ms.  Daybell, do you understand what Count 1 alleges, as well as the maximum penalties?

LORI VALLOW DAYBELL: Yes.

On Lori Vallow Daybell's initial appearance in Rexburg, the courtroom was jam-packed.   Pool/NBC

Dee Ann Carter: I don't like to — hate on people [laughs] or talk badly. But it — it did make me mad. She … had done herself up, made herself look good, but still nothing about the children.

Kay Woodcock is trying to hold onto hope, but her mind keeps going back to something Charles told her Lori said about JJ.

Kay Woodcock: She didn't want JJ anymore. JJ was too much for her to handle.

Adding to Kay's concerns, police discovered a bottle of prescription medicine for JJ's autism with 17 pills remaining. The last time it had been filled was months before JJ disappeared.

And remember JJ's service dog, Bailey? The one he loved so much? Lori returned him three weeks before JJ disappeared, which still baffles the dog's trainer.

JJ Vallow with his service dog Bailey. Kay Woodcock

Neal Mestas: At first, I said, "I don't think I heard you right." … it would take — a very cold and callous person, which I— I think that's who she is.

Lori's sister and mother say that's nonsense. They claim Lori stockpiled JJ's medication, so he didn't need that pill bottle found by police. And as for Bailey?

Janis Cox:  I don't think Bailey's an issue, as far as JJ is concerned.

Jonathan Vigliotti: There's a lot going on that just doesn't add up —

Janis Cox: OK.  I — I do know about the dog. I was over there a lot. Charles loved Bailey. JJ was not really attached to it—

Summer Shiflet: He was fine without him.

But in the months after JJ and Tylee went missing, Lori made several trips to a Rexburg, Idaho, storage unit. And inside that unit?

Morgan Loew: Things that belonged to the kids: bicycles, toys, things like that. … It's pretty tough to come to a different conclusion other than … the kids were no longer around and no longer needed this stuff.

Even more damning than what Lori left behind, may be what she took with her to Hawaii: JJ and Tylee's birth certificates, Tylee's bankcard, which had been used since her disappearance, and Tylee's cell phone.

April Raymond: I don't know any teenage girl … that would be OK with being separated from her phone

Jonathan Vigliotti:  How about Tylee's cell phone?

Janis Cox: She told me … in — September … that she had confiscated Tylee's cell phone.

Janis and Summer say Lori didn't want Tylee to be tracked through her phone; she was always fearful of those who she said threatened her and the kids.

Summer Shiflet: She put her daughter first all the time. … she loves her daughter and her children. And … she always was, like, putting Tylee's … and JJ's needs ahead of her own.

But by April 2020 the investigation had moved beyond the children's disappearance. Authorities were looking into Lori and Chad for murder in Tammy Daybell's death, and they were taking a harder look at the death of Charles Vallow.

INVESTIGATOR [at the crime scene]: He shot the f--- outta him, I'll tell you that.

Morgan Loew: Maybe this wasn't self-defense. Maybe this was a setup. And, I can tell you that people who know Charles or knew Charles … believe that he was lured to that house to be murdered.

April Raymond, for one, has never believed that story about Charles hitting Alex in the head with a baseball bat.

April Raymond: One, because Charles wasn't a violent person. The second being that Charles had been a baseball player and an athlete in college and if he had hit Alex with the bat in the way that they claimed that he did — Alex would have been a lot more injured.

POLICE OFFICER: Got a little laceration, do you want me to call paramedics?

ALEX COX: No, I'd really like some water, though.

Charles Vallow was afraid of Lori according to those divorce documents.

Rich Robertson: He wrote about what he thought might happen to him. … And he was rightfully afraid of that.

Summer Shiflet:  He wasn't scared of Lori. … even the whole time he was filing for divorce and all those things, he was begging for her to come back.

Today it is JJ's grandparents who are doing the begging:

LARRY WOODCOCK [to reporters]: I have a tendency to get very emotional when I talk about the children. I get extremely emotional when I talk about JJ. JJ is my heart.

The Woodcocks are offering a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the children's return.

While they wait and hope, the FBI has turned its attention to Yellowstone – the last place Tylee was seen.

Aaron Teasdale: Yellowstone is one of the last truly wild places left in this country … There are many ways to die in Yellowstone Park.

THE SEARCH CONTINUES

It's still hard for Echo Itaaehau to believe that life went from forever to gone.

Echo Itaaehau:  It's so sad. …  Just this whole thing. Just all of it is just heartbreaking.

Itaaehau says she and her daughter Vaisia, Tylee's best friend, are praying she and JJ are still alive and hidden somewhere safe to ride out the apocalypse. 

Echo Itaaehau: The only place they could be is in a compound, or a bunker, or someplace completely off the grid.

Jonathan Vigliotti: Janis, do you think they're in a bunker somewhere?

Janis Cox:  I think that's possible.

But with all the headlines, accusations Lori believes in zombies, and Lori's past talk of demons and possession, April Raymond is fearing the worst. 

Jonathan Vigliotti:  Do you think Lori Vallow is capable of killing her two kids?

April Raymond: The Lori I knew, absolutely not. But … I don't know what the real Lori Vallow is capable of.

Lori allegedly asked Chad Daybell to judge her children in terms of dark and light spirits. A recently uncovered email from Chad to Lori in October 2018, gives Tylee a rating of "4.1 D" — "D" meaning "dark." Sadly, it's not surprising to April.

April Raymond: It pains me to say, but — she would say that Tylee had a dark spirit.

The FBI is reportedly about to launch a dark mission of its own — a search in Yellowstone National Park, the last place Tylee Ryan was seen.  Aaron Teasdale is a Yellowstone expert and "48 Hours" consultant.

Can you get away with murder in Yellowstone’s “Zone of Death?”

Aaron Teasdale:  Yellowstone Park is a very mysterious place. …  You've got— places that are quite remote. … So, if you wanted to get away with something, or hide something, Yellowstone is an excellent place for that.

A possibility almost too terrible to consider — that theory that Tylee could have been pushed into one of Yellowstone's many boiling pools, the so-called "hot pots."

Annie Southam: There are cases of people that have fallen into those and their bodies just completely dissolve. … that's a really terrible thought.

Aaron Teasdale is skeptical of this theory. 

Aaron Teasdale:  There's different acidities. There's different temperatures. … If you don't pick the right pool, it's not necessarily going to work.

But Yellowstone – with its rugged terrain and wild ways – is good at keeping its secrets, says Teasdale.

Aaron Teasdale: If there is a dead thing in Yellowstone, the living community of the park will find it. … Sometimes the bones will even get eaten. … In a situation like this — it's entirely possible that there will be very little to find. 

Lori Vallow Daybell remains in jail in Rexburg, Idaho.  In May 2020, she appeared in court to ask a judge to reduce her million dollar bond, wearing a mask due to the coronavirus pandemic.  That request was denied. Lori's lawyer, Mark Means, spoke after the hearing:

MARK MEANS [to reporters]: Regardless of how you feel about religious beliefs, personal beliefs, actions, inactions, she's entitled to a defense. … we maintain her innocence. 

Chad Daybell has not been charged with any crime and appears to stand by Lori. JJ's grandmother, Kay Woodcock, is now appealing to Chad on Facebook, writing, "SHOW US IF TYLEE & JJ ARE OKAY" and "I am begging you, CHAD end this NOW."  In a little over a week it will be JJ's 8th birthday. 

If you have any information about Tylee and JJ, contact Rexburg Police at (208) 359-3000. CBS News

Jonathan Vigliotti:  Every night, before you go to bed, you know you're waking up to this reality … What do you think before you fall asleep?

Kay Woodcock:  I pray. … We just pray about it. That's all we can do. 

Tylee and JJ's other grandmother says she's doing the same thing. 

Janis Cox:  We love Tylee and JJ with all of our hearts. 

As the search for Tylee and JJ continues. their silent presence hovers over the town of Rexburg … two children who vanished into thin air with no sign of life, no sign of death. 

If you have any information about Tylee and JJ, contact Rexburg Police at  (208) 359-3000.

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