Tylee Ryan’s aunt is raising money to create a database for police, journalists and web sleuths who are investigating the disappearance and deaths of Tylee and her brother, Joshua “JJ” Vallow.
Tylee and JJ’s mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, are both facing felony charges in Idaho and are being held on $1 million bond. JJ and Tylee’s remains were found in Chad’s backyard on June 9, more than nine months after the children were last seen. On Tuesday, a magistrate judge ruled there was sufficient evidence for the case against Chad to proceed to district court.
The investigation into what happened to JJ and Tylee involves three other suspicious deaths, Lori and Chad’s end-times, “cult-like” religious beliefs and a multi-state inquiry involving the FBI. That’s why Annie Cushing, Tylee’s aunt, is hoping to create a searchable database of videos, statements and data visualizations that police, journalists and citizen sleuths can use to help unravel what happened to the children and why.
Cushing, a New York City-based SEO and analytics consultant and a former reporter, has maintained a comprehensive timeline of the case and launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $3,400 to transcribe police and media interviews.
Cushing is the sister of Lori’s third husband, Joseph Ryan, who died on April 3, 2018. She was outspoken during the search for JJ and Tylee and is now demanding justice for the children.
Cushing has previously said that Tylee was her brother’s only child and that “he was over the moon” when she was born.
Lori and Joseph Ryan divorced in 2004 when Tylee was 18 months old, Cushing said, and a bitter custody battle ensued. Tylee moved with her mother from Texas to Hawaii and then to Arizona.
Cushing said the last time she saw her niece was when she visited Lori in Arizona shortly after Joseph’s death. A year and a half later, in September 2019, Tylee and JJ went missing. Cushing told Inside Edition she felt “sheer elation” when Lori was arrested on Feb. 20 in Hawaii and extradited to face charges in Idaho. She’s been in jail ever since.
Lori has been charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in the case, as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt. She has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of wrongdoing. Her attorney, Mark Means, has not responded to Inside Edition Digital’s requests for comment.
Chad has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, as well as two felony charges of willfully destroying, concealing or altering evidence related to the children’s remains. Chad has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of wrongdoing. His attorney, John Prior, has not responded to Inside Edition Digital’s requests for comment.
Lori is due to appear in court in Fremont County for a preliminary hearing on the felony charges on Aug. 10 and Aug. 11.
Chad is scheduled to be arranged in district court in Fremont County on Aug. 21.
Separately, Lori and Chad are currently under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General’s office for “conspiracy, attempted murder and/or murder” in the death of Chad’s first wife, Tammy, who died weeks before the couple married in November 2019.
The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding the case to contact them at 1-208-359-3000.