By LAUREN SILVER
FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (Court TV) — Four years after he was murdered by his mother, the body of JJ Vallow can finally be laid to rest.
Lori Vallow Daybell was convicted by a jury in May on charges of conspiracy and murder in the deaths of her two youngest children, Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow, as well as her fifth husband’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.
In a court order published on Monday, a Fremont County judge ruled that JJ’s body can be released to his next of kin. The bodies of JJ and Tylee were found buried in Lori’s fifth husband, Chad Daybell’s, property in June 202, several months after the children had been reported missing.
JJ’s grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, were the people who first reported the kids missing after they were unable to reach them for months in 2019. Vocal advocates of their slain grandchildren, the Woodcocks were present for Lori’s trial. Though they have repeatedly expressed patience with the judicial process, Larry told Court TV in a Sept. 2022 interview that they are ready for closure. “We cannot bury my grandkids. That’s all I’m asking the court, is when will they allow Kay and I some closure? When will they allow our family some closure there?”
In a statement to Court TV on Monday night, the Woodcocks said, “The last several years have been filled with pain and grief as we traveled 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. We have spent the past days immersed in the memories of the love and happiness that JJ shined and continues to shine on our life. 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. We are grateful for the love and support of everyone that has come to love JJ, Tylee and Charles. As we continue to fight for justice, the dedication and strength given has helped to carry us through. We are anxious to find out when Tylee too can be laid to rest. 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.”
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During Lori’s trial, testimony revealed that JJ’s remains were found wrapped in black and white plastic and duct tape at a burial site marked by rocks. Forensic Pathologist Dr. Garth Warren, who performed the autopsy, testified that JJ was killed with a plastic bag over his head and duct tape over his mouth, saying the bag was wrapped around the child’s head multiple times and duct tape reached down to his neck. A hair found stuck to the duct tape matched Lori’s DNA.
Tylee’s remains were split into three separate sealed bags. Warren testified that her remains were difficult to identify and many of her organs had been charred and burned to the point they were falling apart. No indication was given on whether her remains would be released at any time in the future.
Lori has filed an appeal of her conviction. No hearing date has been set.