‘Dateline’ dives in to ‘Doomsday Couple’

  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children via AP file Missing children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, left, and Tylee Ryan, are seen in these undated photos.

LIHU‘E — Two missing children. Multiple dead bodies. A Kaua‘i connection.

“Dateline NBC” is diving into the mysterious story of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell, known as the “Doomsday Couple,” rumored to still be staying on Kaua‘i and ignoring court orders to disclose the whereabouts of Vallow’s two children: Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17.

The “Dateline” segment is set to air Friday, with a long list of interviews that brings viewers up-close to a story that started in the summer of 2019 — a story with many twists and turns; one that includes two dead spouses and a group prepping for the July 2020 as the end of the world.

The “Doomsday Couple” story starts with the death of Vallow’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, in July. He was shot by Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, claiming self-defense. Vallow and the two children moved to Rexburg, Idaho, in August, and Daybell met them there shortly after.

Fast-forward about two months to October 2019, when Daybell’s wife, Tammy Daybell, died “of natural causes,” according to the obituary.

Almost directly after Tammy Daybell’s death, Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow were married.

The two children have been missing since September. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare handed down a Jan. 30 deadline for Vallow to produce the children, which she did not do.

The couple also has ties to Preparing a People, a group whose purpose, according to their website, is to “prepare people of this earth for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”

The group puts out literature focused on self-reliance and person preparation, provided to speakers connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

The group has a December statement posted saying the couple didn’t have any ownership in the business and the group is working with the authorities.

In January, the couple was spotted on Kaua‘i.

On Jan. 25, Kaua‘i Police Department officers served Vallow with an order of petition in an attempt to have her physically produce her children to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and, on Jan. 26, Rexburg police executed a search warrant of the place they were staying.

In February, East Idaho News reported an Idaho storage company released security footage from October and November, where Vallow was stashing children’s items like clothing, photographs and blankets. East Idaho News reports Vallow’s card was denied in January when the storage company tried to complete payment on the unit.

Vallow and Daybell remain out of custody and the children are still missing.

Friday, “Dateline NBC” dives deep into the mysteries surrounding the couple and the children.

“It seems to be a case that touches everyone,” said Kaua‘i resident Louis Soltren Sr., associate producer for “Dateline,” who is working on the segment. “It’s a lot of people found dead.”

Through the process of filming the segment, Soltren said he’s come to the conclusion that Vallow could end the issue simply by telling police where her children are located.

“You could end it now,” he said, making a plea to Vallow in a Wednesday interview with TGI. “I believe there are two sides to every story, and if Lori Vallow would reach out, we’d host a private interview.”

Soltren continued: “As a father, I know how much I love my children, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this lady loves her children.”

Why she hasn’t given even a hint of the whereabouts and health of the two children is a question only Vallow can answer, but it’s one everyone is asking.

“There are two kids missing, and the mother is not looking for them. She must know where they are. Logic would tell you that,” Soltren said. “Her actions tell you that she’s not worried. She could end it now.”

“Dateline NBC” will air the two-hour segment on the story at 8 p.m. on KHNL, channel 8 on the Spectrum cable system.


Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Peyton Sloan February 13, 2020 12:35 pm Reply

    Her kids are dead. She killed them. There is no question about this, or someone would have revealed their location by now. I hope she gets the needle.

    1. Nina Goldfrapp June 24, 2020 6:56 am Reply

      These posts are out of date. The children were found buried in the backyard of Daybells home. No one knows who killed them but their uncle buried them. He died of blood clots in his lungs shortly after.

  2. Kamalani Kaui February 13, 2020 7:28 pm Reply

    “ The group puts out literature focused on self-reliance and person preparation, provided to speakers connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).”

    As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it burdens me that TGI is trying to tie our religion to these people. I hope that they make an edit saying that this does not mean that the church or its members are in any way supportive of this couple and their “Doomsday” ideologies. We do not support this ideology.
    I don’t even think they are actual members of the church, even though they attend our Kapa’a chapel. Members need to comply with the law, which she is ignorantly refusing to do.

  3. John Royer February 17, 2020 7:58 am Reply

    This really makes LDS look bad, I’m not a member of this church, but if I was I would take this as a personal attack!!

    It’s not Dateline’s fault that these people did what they did and they are just doing there job in journalism, but there if definitely damage done to the church reputation.

    1. steve February 18, 2020 12:02 pm Reply

      KK: TGI is doing nothing of the sort!—ie. “tying your religion to these people.” The reporter is merely reporting the facts of the case. Even the cultish-looking fringe group they belonged to is trying to disown them. In fact no one would know from the tgi article that the two suspects were attending your church in Kapaa if YOU hadn’t mentioned it. Perhaps Dateline made some connections, but your criticism of tgi here is inaccurate. I do wish however, since this article is a week old that tgi would have provided info on where to find the Dateline segment now that it’s been aired. It doesn’t appear to be available on any of the streaming services at this point.

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