(REXBURG, Idaho) — The mother of two missing Idaho children is up against the deadline to “physically produce” her 7-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter, whose months-long disappearance has unearthed a mysterious case involving the family.
Lori Vallow, 46, may be subject to civil or criminal contempt of court if she does not bring Joshua “JJ” Vallow and sister Tylee Ryan to either the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare or the Rexburg Police Department by Thursday, according to police. The exact timing of when Vallow has to produce the children wasn’t immediately clear.
Those children haven’t been seen since September.
Vallow was found in Princeville, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, with her new husband, Chad Daybell.
They were served with a search warrant on Sunday for the vehicle they were driving when officers with the Kauai Police Department pulled them over.
The children were not with them, and police said there’s no evidence they ever were in Hawaii.
Vallow and Daybell were still in Princeville as of Wednesday. A lawyer for the couple didn’t respond to a request for comment from ABC News.
Concerns for the safety of JJ and Tylee arose in November after police conducted a welfare check for JJ at Vallow and Daybell’s Rexburg home.
Vallow falsely told police the children were staying with a relative in Arizona, and the next day when police returned to the home with a warrant, both Vallow and Daybell had “abruptly” left the city.
Rexburg police have lambasted Vallow, saying she “has completely refused” to help in the investigation and instead chose “to leave the state with her new husband.”
Authorities have said they think the children’s “lives are in danger.”
Assistant Police Chief Gary Hagen told ABC News that he could not detail exactly what penalties Vallow would face if she’s held in contempt of court, citing the child protection act.
The Madison County prosecutor in Rexburg similarly said in a statement that child protection cases are “sealed and confidential.”
“While the Court did allow us to announce the existence of the case and the order that Lori Vallow produce her children, any and all other documents, hearings, and court filings are sealed and confidential by law,” according to the statement.
The already-mysterious case became even more bizarre after other deaths in the family and rumors of a cult came to light.
Vallow’s former husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed by Lori Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, in July 2019, in a case police are looking at as self-defense after an altercation between the two inside Lori Vallow’s then-Chandler, Arizona, home.
Cox was then found unresponsive in his Gilbert, Arizona, home in December 2019. He was later pronounced dead, and a spokesperson for Gilbert police previously told ABC News the department still was waiting for autopsy results to determine the cause.
In between Vallow and Cox’s death, Chad Daybell’s wife also died under circumstances now believed to be suspicious, authorities said.
A subsequent investigation into Tamara “Tammy” Daybell’s death on Oct. 19, 2019, determined it may have been suspicious, and her remains were exhumed in late December, police said. Authorities are looking into whether or not she was poisoned.
The rumors of the cult appeared to stem from Vallow and Daybell’s involvement in Preparing a People, an organization that preaches about preparing citizens “of this Earth for the second coming of Jesus Christ.”
Preparing a People issued a stark and lengthy denial.
“It is not a ‘group’ and is not a ‘Cult’ or something people join, but has educational lecture events that can be attended or watched on video,” their statement reads. “We also do not share any of Chad Daybell’s or Lori Vallow’s beliefs if they are contrary to Christian principles of honesty, integrity and truth.”
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.