The step-father of two Idaho children missing since September told a reporter over the weekend that “the kids are safe” ― a rare public comment from the Doomsday author.
Chad Daybell, the writer of several books about the end of times, reportedly made the tantalizing assertion to ABC News as he left Hawaii, where his wife Lori Vallow is in custody on charges related to her children’s disappearance.
Daybell reportedly didn’t elaborate on the whereabouts of Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7.
The children’s grandfather, Larry Woodcock, said he’ll take Daybell at his word.
“I just think that we have to believe that they’re safe,” Woodcock told ABC News after Daybell’s remark.
Daybell and Vallow have not publicly said where the children are. Authorities have repeatedly accused them of not cooperating with the investigation and lying.
The siblings were reported missing in November after extended family requested a welfare check. Daybell and Vallow left Idaho immediately after that, eventually settling in Hawaii, where they married.
These developments followed the mysterious Oct. 19 death of Daybell’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell, in her Idaho home. Her body was exhumed in December for further testing, authorities have since said.
A judge on Wednesday ordered Vallow to be held on $5 million bail after dismissing her request to reduce the amount. Her defense attorney in response said she would waive extradition and voluntarily return to Idaho, where she faces charges that include felony child desertion and misdemeanor contempt of court. Daybell hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing.
Vallow’s family has painted her as a religious extremist who joined a cult in the year before the death of her estranged fourth husband, Charles Vallow, last summer.
Lori Vallow believed that she had lived numerous previous lives on other planets and was obsessed with near-death experiences, Charles Vallow said in divorce papers he filed against her.
He sought a protective order and a mental health evaluation of her before he was fatally shot by his brother-in-law, Alex Cox, who mysteriously died in his home in December. Cox’s death also remains under investigation, authorities have said.