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Attorney explains what's next after mother of missing Idaho kids hops plane with husband

Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 17, 2020

The mother of two children missing from Rexburg, Idaho has apparently left Kauai, according to an East Idaho News report.

Lori Vallow-Daybell and her new husband, Chad Daybell, had been staying on Kauai over the past couple of months, as they refused to cooperate with police and the FBI on the whereabouts of Lori’s daughter, 17-year old Tylee Ryan, and adopted son, 7-year old Joshua “JJ” Vallow.

The two children haven’t been seen since September, according to Rexburg Police.

Over the weekend, a woman sent photos to East Idaho News showing Lori and Chad at a car rental service counter in Maui, after witnesses reported that the couple flew from Kauai to Maui.

In the picture, each person is standing with a suitcase and carrying a full backpack.

It’s the first major movement by the newlyweds, since authorities served a search warrant on the couple three weeks ago in Kauai.

In addition to the investigation into the missing kids, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho is looking into the death of Chad’s late wife, Tammy Daybell. They consider her October death suspicious, and are awaiting autopsy results.

“The parents and the step parent are traveling around, flying from island to island in Hawaii, and seemingly living high,” said defense attorney and former prosecutor Greg Skordas.

He explained that the couple’s conduct is “troubling.”

“They can travel anywhere they want, seemingly,” he said.

As far as police have said, Lori and Chad still won’t tell them where JJ and Tylee are. Lori missed a court deadline in late January to prove the kids are alive and well.

The case is sealed, so it’s unknown if a judge found her in contempt of court. Even so, it’s clear no arrests have been made.

“What’s frustrating, I think, for everyone, is that these children are still missing,” Skordas said. “No one’s been held accountable for that.”

The frustrations can be seen on a poster someone hung up on a speed limit sign in Kauai, which features bold, red-lettering that asks “Where are the children?” surrounded by blue question marks.

Skordas indicated that right now it’s difficult to bring a charge against the Daybells, and that might be reason the public hasn’t seen much recent advancement from police or the FBI.

“The Idaho authorities aren’t just going to file charges that they can’t prove,” He said. “So they’re… putting their case together, and waiting until they’ve got enough evidence to charge them with either the abduction or kidnapping of the children, or a homicide or something else.”

However, Skordas said the couple is likely on a pretty short lease with law enforcement, even if they’re scheduling flights and traveling.

“I think that the authorities in Idaho, and the federal authorities, and the authorities in Hawaii as well are tracking their every move,” he said.

For FOX 13's previous coverage of the search for JJ and Tylee, click here.