Lori Daybell mugshot. | Courtesy Kauai Police Department
PRINCEVILLE, Hawaii — The grandparents of a missing Rexburg boy say they are relieved that the child’s mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, was arrested Thursday afternoon in Princeville, Hawaii.
“We are elated. We are relieved. We are ready for the next step which for Lori is: where are the kids? Where are the kids? Where are the kids?” Kay Woodcock tells EastIdahoNews.com.
Daybell, 46, was arrested on a Madison County warrant that was delivered to her by the Kauai Police Department. She is now being held at the Kauai Police Department Detention Facility on $5 million bond pending extradition to Idaho.
Her two children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, have been missing since September.
Daybell failed to comply with a court order to produce her children before authorities on Jan. 30 in Madison County, according to a Kauai Police Department news release.
Daybell is charged with two counts of felony desertion of a child, as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt. The complaint filed by the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office alleges that Vallow abandoned her two minor children, delayed law enforcement’s attempts to locate her children and encouraged another individual to delay law enforcement’s attempts to locate her children.
The prosecutor also alleges that Daybell disobeyed a court order to physically produce her children to authorities in Idaho.
“First of all, we wish to thank the public for the massive outpouring of concern regarding this case,” Kauai Chief of Police Todd G. Raybuck said in a news release. “We also want to thank everyone for their patience while investigators worked diligently to comprehensively gather everything they needed in order to obtain this arrest warrant.”
Lori’s husband, Chad Daybell, was not arrested or charged but neighbors say he was questioned by police.
Frank Montoya, a retired FBI special agent in charge, tells EastIdahoNews.com it’s likely investigators have been planning to arrest Daybell for some time.
“They’ve been working to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. They knew they had one shot at this and want to make sure they have as strong of a case as possible for this warrant process,” Montoya says. “This doesn’t mean the investigation is over, but it is just another step in the process. Getting her back here is going to be key to finding out what happened to the children or where the children are.”
Daybell’s attorney, Sean Bartholick of Rexburg, could not be reached for comment Thursday. The maximum sentence on each count of desertion of a child is 14 years in prison.