Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan, from the US state of Idaho, have been missing since September 2019.
The mysterious case has frequently made global media headlines, especially after the children’s mother Lori Vallow and her Doomsday author husband Chad Daybell retreated to Hawaii and refused to aid police in their investigation.
This week, human remains were found at Daybell’s Idaho property. The Christian Doomsday author, who is the children’s step-father, is in police custody.
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Although the bodies are yet to be formally identified, the grandparent’s of the children released a statement saying the remains “are indeed our beloved JJ and Tylee”, CNN reported.
Here’s a look at the latest developments
According to US authorities, Ryan, 17, was last seen when she visited Yellowstone National Park in September with her brother, her mother and her uncle Alex Cox.
Joshua, 7, who is nicknamed “JJ” was last seen at his Idaho school later that month.
Police first began investigating in November after relatives asked officials to do a welfare check on Joshua. The 7-year-old was Vallow’s adopted son and had special needs. Tylee was Vallow’s biological daughter from another marriage.
Authorities say Vallow, 46, and Daybell, 51, lied to them and claimed the children were staying with friends. Following the police visit, the couple fled.
They later reappeared in Hawaii. In January, police served Vallow with an order that gave her five days to physically produce her children to Idaho’s department of health and welfare.
Two American children are missing and police believe the answers behind their disappearance lie with their mother.
However, Vallow did not comply. She was arrested in February, and then extradited from Hawaii in March, according to CNN.
She was later charged with child abandonment and obstructing the investigation. Police had previously said Vallow had “completely refused to assist this investigation”.
In January police released a statement saying they strongly believed Joshua and Tylee’s lives were in danger.
On Thursday Daybell was charged with two counts of destruction of evidence following the discovery of human remains at his property, ABC News reported.
In a statement sent to the East Idaho News, Joshua’s grandparents said they were “filled with unfathomable sadness that these two bright stars were stolen from us and only hope that they died without pain or suffering”.
“This is the worst news we will ever get in our lives and want to be left alone for the time being.”
But there’s more to this bizarre mystery, and investigations are ongoing into other family member’s deaths.
The death of Daybell’s former wife, Tammy Daybell is currently being investigated by police.
Tammy’s death in October was originally ruled as being from natural causes, but police later stated it was being investigated as suspicious.
Vallow and Daybell married just two weeks after her death.
Police said that after the pair married, they had told witnesses that Tylee had died the year before, and that Vallow did not have any young children.
In January, officers searched Chad Daybell’s home in connection with his first wife’s death, removing more than 40 items including several pieces of computer equipment, AP reported.
Another death that Vallow was questioned about, was that of her fourth husband’s Charles Vallow. He also died in 2019 after he was shot to death by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, during a family row. Cox had claimed he acted in self-defence.
Vallow and Cox were questioned by police but were not charged. Cox later died in December from natural causes, NBC News reported.
Daybell, who is a self-published author, has written more than two dozen books about doomsday, apocalyptic and near-death events.
Earlier this year, Tylee’s aunt Annie Cushing told KSL TV that Lori had always been religious but that she had also become obsessed with end-of-times ideas.
“It’s like she wanted me to be afraid of the end times.”
Police also released body camera from last year of Vallow’s ex-husband saying his marriage to Vallow had rapidly deteriorated and that “she thinks she’s a resurrected being and a god,” CNN reported.
Divorce documents filed by Charles Vallow before his death, state that Lori had allegedly threatened to kill him if he got in her way, claiming she had “an angel there to help her dispose of the body”. Following the threat, he took out a protection order, the BBC reported.