A vigil honoring the lives of two Idaho children missing since September is planned for Friday after authorities confirmed human remains were found on their stepfather's property.
The family members of Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan told local media the two sets of human remains found at Chad Daybell's house were the children as authorities have yet to confirm their identities pending autopsies.
"Both children are no longer with us," JJ's biological grandfather, Larry Woodcock, told the Post Register in Idaho Falls.
Chad Daybell appeared in court Wednesday after his arrest on charges of concealing, altering or destroying evidence. Court documents allege Daybell concealed or aided in concealing the human remains that were found on his property when authorities executed a search warrant Tuesday.
The children's mother, Lori Vallow, who says she prefers to go by Lori Daybell after her marriage to Chad Daybell last year, remains in custody on child abandonment charges. The disturbing case spans multiple states, death investigations and allegations of cultlike religious beliefs.
More on missing Idaho Kids: Husband in missing Idaho kids case hid remains of children, prosecutor says
Vigil planned for Friday
People plan to gather Friday in Idaho Falls, less than 30 miles from JJ and Tylee's most recent home in Rexburg, Idaho, to honor the two children and "come together as a community."
Event organizer Timanee Olsen told East Idaho News about planning the event: "I just got this kick in the butt today that was like, 'You've got to do something.' Everybody on my Facebook page is talking and wants to do something but doesn’t know what. So I just thought, 'Let's do this.'"
Olsen told the news outlet she hopes those who attend wear a mask and purple and blue to honor the children.
Family says JJ, Tylee 'no longer with us'
Speaking with the Post Register in Idaho Falls, Larry Woodcock confirmed the two sets of human remains were JJ and Tylee.
“Both children are no longer with us,” he told the newspaper. East Idaho News reported that Woodcock and his wife, Kay, arrived in Idaho and were at Daybell's home on Wednesday where police continued to search the property.
The Woodcocks first alerted authorities that JJ and his sister may be missing when they told authorities that they had not heard from the boy in months. Police announced in December that the children had been missing since September and possibly in danger as their mother and stepfather had fled after allegedly lying to authorities.
Kay Woodcock, JJ's biological grandmother, is Charles Vallow's sister. Charles Vallow was Lori Vallow's ex-husband before Alex Cox, Lori Vallow's late brother, fatally shot him in July.
Charles and Lori Vallow adopted JJ in 2014.
Police say JJ, whose 8th birthday was in May, was last seen Sept. 23 when his mother told his Rexburg school he'd no longer be attending. Tylee, 17, was last seen Sept. 8 in Yellowstone National Park with her mother, brother and late uncle.
In a joint statement to East Idaho News, the Woodcocks and Colby Ryan, the children's brother and Lori Vallow's eldest son, said they were "filled with unfathomable sadness."
"We are filled with unfathomable sadness that these two bright stars were stolen from us and only hope that they died without pain or suffering," the statement said.
Other extended family members released statements Wednesday, including Tylee Ryan's aunt and members of the Daybell family. Chad Daybell had five children with his late wife, Tammy Daybell, who died in October under what police say may be "suspicious circumstances."
Chad Daybell bail set at $1 million
At a hearing Wednesday, Judge Faren Eddins set Daybell's bail at $1 million and set other requirements that Daybell must meet if he were to meet bail.
Prosecutor Rob Wood argued for the $1 million bail, saying that the evidence that Daybell allegedly concealed were "the remains of children." Wood said the alleged manner of concealment for one set of the remains was particularly disturbing without going into detail.
"This is the beginning of an investigation into the deaths of children who were found on his property," Wood added.
In court documents filed Wednesday, Daybell was formally charged with two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, each charge carrying a punishment up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
The documents allege Daybell concealed or aided in concealing human remains on or between dates that line up with when JJ and Tylee went missing.
Who is Chad Daybell and where is Lori Vallow?
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow married late last year in a beachfront ceremony in Hawaii as Vallow's children were nowhere to be seen and Daybell's late wife had died weeks earlier.
Daybell is a self-published author of many apocalyptic, doomsday books, and friends and family say he and Vallow adhere to divergent religious beliefs. In an autobiography, Daybell wrote that he worked as a grave digger.
Vallow is in custody after she pleaded not guilty to charges of felony child desertion, resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of court.
Vallow failed to meet a court-ordered deadline in January to bring JJ and Tylee to authorities in Rexburg after she and Daybell were located in Hawaii. Vallow was arrested Feb. 20 in Hawaii and later extradited to Idaho.
The Idaho attorney general agreed to investigate her and Daybell in April.
A string of suspicious deaths tied to Vallow and Daybell
When Daybell's wife, Tammy, was found dead in October, police initially believed it was due to natural causes as Daybell said she had died in her sleep. But police exhumed her remains in December and said the circumstances "may be suspicious."
In July, Charles Vallow, Lori's ex-husband and adoptive father of JJ, arrived in Arizona, where she and her children had been living.
Police in Chandler said Lori's brother, Alex Cox, called 911 and said he shot Charles Vallow after an argument between Charles and Lori broke out.
Cox claimed self-defense, but on an NBC "Dateline" special, detectives said details in Cox's and Lori Vallow's stories did not add up and that they exhibited strange behavior not typical of family members whose relative had just died.
Kay Woodcock told "Dateline" that her brother was not a violent man, but Cox said Charles Vallow struck him with a baseball bat.
Chandler police had an open homicide investigation into the incident, but no arrests were made.
In December, Cox was found unresponsive in Arizona. An autopsy report released in May said that Cox died from a pulmonary blood clot. Police in Gilbert said at the time that detectives investigating his death would review the autopsy report and that the case was still active.
What are the 'doomsday' beliefs that Vallow and Daybell allegedly have?
In divorce filings, Charles Vallow said Lori Vallow believed she was "a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020."
In Charles Vallow's divorce filings, he said Lori Vallow said she would kill him if he got in her way and that she had "an angel there to help her dispose of the body." Shortly after her alleged threats, Charles took out an order of protection against Lori Vallow, according to court documents.
Charles Vallow claimed that Lori Vallow had "become infatuated and, at times, obsessive about near-death experiences and spiritual visions."
According to East Idaho News, Vallow and Chad Daybell first appeared on a podcast together almost a year before the children were announced missing.
In an autobiography, Daybell described near-death experiences, deep connection with a spiritual world and visions of "the decline and downfall of the United States" and an "upcoming foreign invasion of America."
"I don’t know when an earthquake will come, but I have seen in vision the damage it will cause. I hope we still have a few years before it strikes, but it would be best to be prepared if it comes sooner," Daybell wrote.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell children: Vigil set for missing Idaho kids