More than four years after Tylee Ryan disappeared, her family is getting the 16-year-old’s remains back in a case that garnered widespread attention for the role of cult-like doomsday beliefs in the murders of her and her 7-year-old brother.
The judge’s Thursday order to release her remains to her next of kin comes months after her mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, was convicted in Idaho of the murders of Tylee, her brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tammy Daybell, the first wife of Vallow Daybell’s fifth husband, Chad Daybell.
Vallow Daybell, 50, was sentenced to life without parole, but is still facing charges in Arizona related to the 2019 death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot by her brother, Alex Cox, as well as the attempted murder of her niece’s ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux. Cox died later that year. Boudreaux was one of the prosecution’s witnesses in the Idaho case.
Daybell, who is also charged in the murders of JJ, Tylee and Tammy Daybell, lost a bid to dodge a possible death sentence earlier this week. Judge Steven W. Boyce, who had taken the death penalty off the table for Vallow Daybell, denied the defense team’s motion to strike the death penalty in the 55-year-old’s case Tuesday.
Daybell’s trial is set to start April 1. He’s pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy and three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of JJ, Tylee and Tammy Daybell and two counts of insurance fraud.
Tylee and JJ, who were reported missing in 2019, were found buried on Daybell’s property in 2020 after a monthslong search spurred by JJ’s biological grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, who had reported the 7-year-old missing. JJ’s remains were ordered released to the Woodcocks in October.
Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell’s fringe religious beliefs were at the heart of Vallow Daybell’s trial. Witnesses testified about the couple’s ideas about doomsday, classifying people as “dark” and “light,” Vallow Daybell referring to people as “zombies” whose bodies had been taken over by evil spirits, and discussions of their past lives as biblical figures.
In a statement at her sentencing hearing, Vallow Daybell, who did not testify in her own defense, claimed to have communicated with the spirits of her murdered children, “my friend Tammy Daybell” and Jesus Christ along with angels she said had visited her.