Bail will remain at $5 million for a mother arrested in Hawaii over the disappearance of her two Idaho children
HONOLULU — Bail will remain at $5 million for a mother arrested in Hawaii over the disappearance of her two Idaho children, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Lori Vallow wore an orange jumpsuit in court on the Hawaiian island of Kauai for a hearing on her request to reduce bail. After the judge denied the request, her defense attorney, Craig De Costa, said she is waiving an extradition hearing, which had been scheduled for March 2.
She wants to expedite her return to Idaho, De Costa said. Kauai Prosecutor Justin Kollar said he will work with Idaho authorities on logistics for her departure. The judge set a March 4 status hearing to make sure she has been picked up.
Kauai police arrested Vallow last week on an Idaho warrant. She has been charged with two felony counts of child abandonment.
Seven-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan have not been seen since September. Their disappearance captured worldwide attention after authorities pleaded for help in finding them late last year. Police in the city of Rexburg, Idaho, have said they “strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger.”
Earlier this week, her Kauai defense attorneys filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider Vallow’s $5 million bail. On Wednesday, De Costa urged Judge Kathleen Watanabe to “ignore the publicity, ignore the hype” and set reasonable bail.
Vallow, 46, is a flight risk, prosecutors said. “Given the extensive media attention, she is clearly aware that the authorities have prioritized her case,” prosecutors said. “She also has the means to move across an ocean.”
Prosecutors noted that Vallow’s husband, Chad Daybell, had $152,000 in a First Hawaiian Bank account.
Police also have said Vallow and Daybell have lied about the children’s whereabouts.
Vallow, also known as Lori Daybell, is also accused of disobeying a court order that required her to bring her children to Idaho authorities last month. De Costa said she is fighting the order because it would allow authorities to take her children into foster care.
The tangled case includes investigations into three deaths. Vallow’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed in Phoenix last July by her brother, Alex Cox. Then Cox, who claimed the shooting was in self-defense, died of unknown causes in December.
Vallow moved her family to Idaho in late August. In October, Chad Daybell’s wife, Tammy Daybell, died of what her obituary said was natural causes. When Daybell married Vallow roughly two weeks after Tammy’s death, law enforcement became suspicious and had her remains exhumed.
Test results on Daybell’s remains and toxicology results for Cox have not yet been released.
Vallow reportedly believes she is “a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020,” according to divorce documents Charles Vallow filed before his death.
Daybell has written several apocalyptic novels based loosely on theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both he and Vallow were involved in a group that promotes preparing for the biblical end times.
Rexburg police questioned Daybell and Vallow about the missing children in late November, and when detectives returned the next day for a follow-up interview they discovered the couple had left town.
In December, Idaho authorities asked police on Kauai for help finding the couple. On Jan. 26, Kauai police served a search warrant on a vehicle and condo the couple were renting in the resort town of Princeville.
The couple’s move to Kauai was “pre-planned,” De Costa said. Kollar said it’s concerning that it seemed to have been planned before Vallow’s husband died.
Kauai police did not arrest Daybell and he doesn’t face any charges.
Daybell visited his wife for an hour on Tuesday at the Kauai Community Correctional Center, said Toni Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety.
Signs posted on poles around Kauai read, “Where are the children?”