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Former prosecutor: FBI, police asking for pictures meant to help with where trail ends

Posted at 9:20 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 23:20:03-05

REXBURG, Idaho — The Rexburg, Idaho Police Department and the FBI are reaching out to people who visited Yellowstone National Park on September 8, 2019, in an effort to find new images of 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow.

This was the last place Tylee was seen, her younger brother, J.J., was seen in late September at his school.

Related: Family reacts to new details in children's disappearance as Lori Vallow-Daybell appears in court

According to the FBI, the children were traveling with their mother, Lori Vallow-Daybell, and uncle, Alex Cox, in Yellowstone that day. They were traveling in a silver 2017 Ford F-150 pickup with Arizona license plate CPQUINT.

The plea for pictures and videos likely means investigators trail has hit a dead end, Greg Skordas, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, said.

“They are putting together a trail, they are putting together the map, they are putting together probably a criminal prosecution at some point, saying, ‘okay, these kids were healthy and happy on this day. We don’t know where they are today. And we don’t even believe that they are being cared for anymore,’” he said.

Vallow-Daybell is currently being held in Idaho on several charges over the disappearance of her children.

Asking for photos could also help investigators and prosecutors build a case, Skordas said.

“So, if in fact, they take Lori or Chad to a trial for homicide and they say the trail ended in Yellowstone on such and such date. The jury will say ‘well what did you do to find out where they went after that’ and the FBI can say, ‘we asked for photographs, we asked for everything, we asked the mom to come to court and produce the children, we’ve asked the public have you seen these kids since that day’. And then, a jury may be allowed to assume the worst,” he said.

Anyone whose photos taken on September 8 in Yellowstone National Park may prove useful in the investigation is urged to upload the photos at fbi.gov/rexburg.

Other tips can be submitted to the Rexburg Police Department at 208-359-3000 or The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.