The mother of two children who have been missing for months has been arrested in Hawaii on a $5 million warrant from Idaho.
Lori Vallow has been charged on two counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, according to a release from the Kaua’i Police Department on Thursday. Police say Vallow failed to comply with a court order to produce her children to authorities by Jan 30.
Police say there is no indication Vallow’s children were on the island of Kaua’i. Vallow’s husband, Chad Daybell, was not in custody, law enforcement sources told NBC News.
The search for Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua Vallow, 7, began in November when police attempted to conduct a welfare check on Joshua, who is adopted and has special needs, according to the Rexburg Police Department.
Joshua and Tylee were last seen in September, according to the Rexburg Police Department in Idaho.
According to Rexburg police, Vallow and Daybell said Joshua was staying with a family friend in Arizona, but investigators later learned that was a lie. A witness also told police that Vallow had falsely said that Tylee was dead.
Tylee’s aunt, Annie Cushing, told NBC affiliate KSL that she is concerned for the safety of the children because she believes Vallow to be “unhinged.”
Cushing’s brother, Joseph Ryan, was Vallow’s third husband and Tylee’s father. He died of an apparent heart attack in 2018.
Rexburg police said they have learned that Vallow either knows the location of Joshua and Tylee or knows what happened to them.
Police have also said that they believe the children’s disappearance could be tied to an investigation into the death of Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, 49. She was found dead in her home in October, and Chad Daybell married Vallow weeks later.
Vallow’s fourth husband, Charles Vallow, also died last year. He was shot to death in July by Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, during a confrontation.
Vallow and Cox were questioned by police but not charged. Cox then died in December, The Associated Press reported.
Before Charles Vallow died, he filed for divorce from Vallow, claiming in divorce documents that his wife believed she was reincarnated and was a god sent to lead people during the second coming of Christ in July 2020, and told her husband that if he got in his way she would kill him.
An attorney who represented him during the divorce proceedings said in a statement that Charles Vallow had a “genuine fear for his life.”
Other court documents, filed in Texas during Vallow and Ryan’s custody battle over Tylee in 2007, revealed that Vallow was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation after she told social workers that “death would be an option before giving Tylee to her father, Mr. Joseph Ryan, even for a visit.”
Police in Kaua’i said they first received a request from Rexburg police to help locate Vallow in December.
Vallow is being held in Hawaii on a $5 million bail and does not yet have a court date. She will have the opportunity to waive or fight her extradition back to Idaho. A lawyer for Vallow did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.