Annie Cushing, the aunt of Lori Vallow's 17-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan, has broken her silence after human remains were discovered on Chad Daybell's property. In a statement shared to EastIdahoNews.com on the same day the identities of the remains were confirmed by family members as those of Tylee and her 7-year-old brother JJ, Cushing thanked the public for their continued support.
In her statement, Cushing said that she and her family "hope that there will be resolution and closure in the near future" as they await official results regarding the identification of the remains and autopsy reports. Although the months-long investigation has been "sad and taxing," she said that she has "been deeply touched by the heartfelt expressions of grief, kindness, and support throughout this process." Cushing added that "Tylee and JJ won the hearts of people all across the globe" and she has "seen and have been impacted by both the worst and best of humanity." She concluded her statement by expressing her hope that "goodness and justice will win out in the end."
Tylee and her 7-year-old brother went missing in September 2019, though neither were reported missing until late November when JJ's out-of-state grandparents filed a missing-persons. Vallow and Daybell, an author who writes about religious doomsday prophecies, quickly became the target of policy scrutiny after they fled Idaho and were later discovered in Hawaii, where they had gotten married just weeks after Daybell's first wife had died. Throughout the investigation, Vallow and her husband gave numerous misleading statements, police alleged.
Vallow was eventually arrested on Feb. 20 after she failed to produce the children to police or child welfare officials by Jan. 30, defying a court order to do so. She was 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. She remains behind bars on a $1 million bond.
Daybell, meanwhile, was taken into police custody this week after a search of his property found two sets of human remains. He appeared in court Tuesday, during which Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood said that while the identities of the bodies had not yet been confirmed, they were that of children. Tylee and JJ's family members later confirmed that the bodies belonged to the two missing children.
Daybell has been charged with two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. If found guilty of both charges, Daybell could face 10 years in prison. He is being held on a $1 million bond.