The Arizona school where Lori Vallow's son Joshua "JJ" was a student before his family moved to Idaho will hold a memorial to honor the late 7-year-old after police confirmed that human remains found on Chad Daybell's property were that of JJ and his 17-year-old sister Tylee Ryan. In a press release, Laurens Institute For Education announced that a memorial will be held on Friday, June 19 at 8:30 a.m. local time, just a little more than a week after the search for the missing children came to a tragic end.
In the press release, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Margaret Travillion, the school's co-founder and CEO, said that they had "been so hopeful for a different outcome" and that "at this time we must honor JJ and we must show our support for his grieving family." Travillion added that the Laurens Institute For Education family "owe it to JJ and all those we serve to stand up for and advocate for these very fragile children who need a greater sense of protection and advocacy." She remembered the 7-year-old as someone who "was beyond special" and said that "he was truly a light in this world."
JJ and Tylee had last been seen in September of 2019 — Tylee on Sept. 8 on a family trip to Yellowstone National Park and JJ at school in Idaho just a few days later – though they were not reported missing until late November, setting off a months-long investigation. On June 9, authorities served a search warrant on Daybell's property, with Daybell being taken into police custody shortly after. It was later confirmed that two sets of human remains were discovered on the property and Daybell was charged with two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
In a statement on Saturday, the Rexburg Police Department confirmed that the remains found on the property were that of JJ and Tylee. The statement explained that investigators "found what appeared to be two sets of unidentified human remains" after serving the search warrant. The remains were then transferred "to the medical examiner's office where an autopsy and positive identification were performed," Assistant Chief Hagen said.
At this time, it remains unclear how the children died or if charges for Vallow or Daybell will upgraded. Vallow was arrested on Feb. 20 and charged with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, as well as resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, contempt of court and willful disobedience of court process or order. Both she and Daybell remain behind bars on a $1 million bond.