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Mom of 2 missing kids found on Kauai with new husband

Couple ordered to produce her kids in Idaho by Thursday

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Police say the mother of two missing kids has been found in Hawaii along with her new husband, but there’s still no sign of the children in the cross-country investigation that includes several mysterious deaths.

Police in Kauai pulled over Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell near a beachside resort Saturday, later searching them and their car for any evidence. But authorities in Idaho say there’s no sign that 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan ever made it to Hawaii, and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are still searching for the kids who haven’t been seen since September.

They also served Vallow with a court order from Idaho, directing her to bring her kids to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare by Thursday or face legal action. Still, neither Lori Vallow nor Chad Daybell have been charged or arrested in connection with the matter, Kauai police said Sunday in a prepared statement.

The strange case began in July, after Vallow’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed by her brother, Alex Cox, in an altercation at their home in Phoenix. At the time, Cox said the shooting was in self-defense, but the case remains under investigation. In December, Cox died of unknown causes, and police in Gilbert, Ariz., are still waiting for toxicology test results in his death investigation.

Lori Vallow moved to eastern Idaho with the kids about a month after Charles Vallow’s death. Extended family members grew concerned as their contact with the kids tapered and then stopped completely, and police in Rexburg, Idaho, say the children were last seen in late September, though Vallow never reported them missing.

Meanwhile, investigators just one county away were also digging into a mystery. Daybell’s last wife, Tammy Daybell, died of what her obituary said was natural causes on Oct. 19. Chad Daybell married Vallow about two weeks later.

In November, responding to concerns from extended family that they hadn’t heard from the children, Rexburg police paid a visit to Vallow to ask her and Daybell about the kids. The couple told officers the kids had gone to live with relatives in Arizona, police said — a claim they quickly discovered wasn’t true. When investigators returned to Vallow’s home the next day, the couple was gone.

The Fremont County Sheriff’s office began to question the circumstances surrounding Tammy Daybell’s death. They worked with authorities in Utah, where she was buried, to have her body exhumed for an autopsy and additional testing in December.

The county is still waiting on forensic tests of Tammy Daybell’s remains and items seized from the home, Humphries said, calling Chad Daybell a person of interest in the death and in the case of the missing kids.

“Of course, for Lori to present the kids, that would solve a lot problems, but we’re also waiting for test results to happen,” Humphries said Monday.