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Parents of Chad Daybell reach out; vigil planned to honor slain children

Chad Daybell, left, and his attorney, John Prior, during Daybell's initial court appearance. Courtesy Judge Farren Eddins, YouTube.)

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – There’s been a strong showing of support in Idaho for the families of two children whose bodies were reportedly found in in the backyard of their stepfather, Chad Daybell. 

And some of that support comes from the parents of the man who reportedly hid their bodies.

Jack and Sheila Daybell, the parents of Chad Daybell issued a statement to East Idaho News supporting the grandparents of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan.  They say the families have endured many months of suffering ever since the children disappeared in September.

Families issue statements

Jack and Sheila Daybell issued the following statement:

We have hoped and prayed over the many months for the safety and well-being of JJ and Tylee and we are devastated by their passing. We are heart-broken that these beautiful children’s lives were ended tragically and prematurely and for the emptiness and pain it leaves in the lives of their loved ones. We also continue to mourn for Tammy, who has been a daughter and sister to us and part of our family for nearly 30 years. She was the sweetest and kindest person and a wonderful mother to her children.

The lives of her children have been devastated since she passed away and through the events of the past months and recent days. We empathize and know that for every family and loved one involved, healing may take a lifetime. We send our most sincere love and prayers to all those who are suffering and grieving at this time.

The family of Tammy Daybell issued the following statement:

We share the pain of the tremendous and shocking loss you are enduring. We still suffer and we will suffer with you for many years to come. Please know we will continue our prayers to strengthen your families, as you are finally able to properly lay to rest your precious Tylee and JJ.

Vigil planned for Friday night

Even though Idaho Falls is more than 25 miles away from Rexburg, people living there say their town was also rocked by the disappearance and apparent deaths of the children.

“This community is really close-knit,” D. Lindee told KSL Newsradio. “I don’t know the family directly, but I know friends that know the Daybell family.”

Lindee is organizing a candlelight vigil in Idaho Falls honoring JJ and Tylee.  Visitors will say prayers and sing songs in honor of the kids. The vigil is scheduled for 8:30 at the Soda Tsunami.

“We need to have closure.  We need to cry.  We need to laugh.  We need to remember them,” Lindee said.

Idaho Falls no stranger to tragedy involving children

Idaho Falls has dealt with the heartache of a missing child before.  Lindee says many people she knows are still hurting from the disappearance of two-year-old DeOrr Kunz, who vanished almost five years ago.

“The community rallied around that, and a couple of years later, this,” Lindee said.  “This is hard.  I have five kids and I have eight grandbabies.  I look at my little grandbabies and I couldn’t even imagine [the family’s pain].”

Lindee says she expected a small vigil at first. However, since Wednesday, interest has spiked sky high.  She now expects between 300 and 500 people to attend.  Lindee says honoring the children and giving them a voice is something that their mother, Lori Daybell, should have been doing ever since they disappeared.

“She failed in all of her duties that she was supposed to do, and [the kids] need a mom.”

 

RELATED LINKS

Prosecutor: Unidentified human remains found on Chad Daybell’s Idaho property are children

‘Just unthinkable’: Neighbors respond to discovery of human remains on Daybell property

Watch: Chad Daybell makes first court appearance