HONOLULU—A mother arrested in Hawaii over the disappearance of her two Idaho children wants a judge to reconsider her $5 million bail.
A court hearing for her request is scheduled Wednesday on Kauai, where Lori Vallow was arrested 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 2019. 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.”
Bail for the equivalent felonies in Hawaii usually range from $2,000 to $20,000, Vallow’s attorney, Craig De Costa said in a court motion seeking a reduction in bail. She isn’t a flight risk and had offered to turn herself in to authorities before her arrest on Thursday, the motion said.
Daniel Hempey, a lawyer who represented Vallow at Friday’s hearing, asked for bail to be lowered to $10,000.
The judge has the discretion to set bail, Kauai prosecutors said in a court filing opposing Vallow’s request.
Vallow 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 is accused of disobeying a court order that required her to bring her children to Idaho authorities last month.
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.
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.
She faces another Kauai hearing on March 2 for her extradition to Idaho.
By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher