Family, friends gather to honor Lori Vallow’s slain children Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow

Family, friends gather to honor Lori Vallow’s slain children Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow

Family and friends have honoured the short lives of Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow — the children of convicted killer Lori Vallow whose remains were found buried on Chad Daybell’s property nearly a year after they vanished.

Mr Daybell, 55, is currently on trial in Boise, Idaho, where many family members and supporters have been filling up the courtroom since the trial started in early April. He faces the death penalty if convicted of murder in their deaths and the 2019 death of his first wife, Tammy Daybell.

But dozens of people travelled several hours east to Idaho Falls for the celebration of life service hosted by Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow’s grandparents Larry and Kay Woodcock on Saturday.

“We’re not sad today,” Mr Woodcock told the attendees. “We’re honouring those who lost their lives in this.”

Mr Woodcock, who attended every day of Vallow’s trial last year and has been a regular at Mr Daybell’s trial, was one of many who shared his favourite memories of the children at the service.

“I’m gonna start this letter,” Mr Woodcock said tearfully. “But I want to tell you, I’ll never make it through it. …I hope you all understand that.”

Larry Woodcock, grandfather of JJ Vallow, speaks at celebration of life service in Idaho on Saturday 27 April (

The heartbroken grandfather, who often played JJ’s favourite song, Queen’s “We Will Rock You” on breaks at Vallow’s trial, noted that he could tell how much the children had an effect on people and how they brought people together.

“We need to let the world know that there is good in the world,” Mr Woodcock said. “There’s righteousness in the world and that it’s not all sadness.”

The grandparents decided to have the service after the children’s remains were returned to the family in 2023 – more than four years after they were killed.

“The last several years have been filled with pain and grief as we travelled this long arduous road. We have waited and prayed for this day for so long and are immeasurably relieved that JJ will finally be laid to rest,” they said at the time.

“As we reminisce in the joy that JJ filled our life with, our hearts ache for those that love JJ and share in the immense grief and loss of such a beautiful little man. Our greatest wish is for JJ and Tylee to be celebrated for the joy and love they brought to this world and for them to finally rest in peace. Only then, will our hearts begin to heal.”

Last year, Lori Vallow was convicted of the three murders and sentenced to life in prison (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The children vanished in the fall of 2019. In October of the same year, Mr Daybell’s wife Tammy died in her sleep. The otherwise healthy 49-year-old was initially believed to have died of a cardiac event — but an autopsy later determined that her cause of death was asphyxiation.

Just two weeks later, Mr Daybell married Lori Vallow on a beach in Hawaii. Her children were still nowhere to be found. Nine months later, in June 2020, their remains were discovered buried in the backyard of Daybell’s Rexburg, Idaho home.

Last year, Vallow was convicted of the three murders and sentenced to life in prison. Jurors heard how she, Mr Daybell and her late brother Alex Cox were fuelled, in part, by their bizarre cult beliefs.

If convicted, Mr Daybell faces either the death penalty or life in prison.