Lori Vallow back in Idaho to face felony charges of child abandonment

The wait for Lori Vallow's return to Idaho is finally over.

The mother of two kids with Arizona ties who went missing after moving to Idaho appeared in front of another judge soon after being extradited from Hawaii.

She returned to Idaho on Thursday, and her court appearance is scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. Vallow hasn't been in Idaho since Nov. 26th, however, this is where she will stay, in Madison County Jail.

On Thursday, the FBI released a statement, asking the public for tips in connection to Vallow's missing children, JJ Vallow, 7, and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. The FBI says Vallow and her brother, Alex Cox, and the children drove to Yellowstone National Park on September 8 in a 2017 Ford F-150 with an Arizona license plate CPQUINT.

The FBI is asking for anyone who may have photos or videos to call 1-800-THE-LOST.

The question remains, however, where are her kids? For JJ's grandma, this extradition is another step to finding that answer.

For the last two months, Kay Woodcock has been traveling nonstop getting her message out to the country. Finally, she will see the children's mother face-to-face in Madison County court.

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She says she's feeling "optimistic and I'm relieved that she'll be here. I just pray right now that God just takes the utmost care of her because I don't want anything to happen to her, I want her here and healthy so she can face her charges."

Vallow is facing two felony counts of child abandonment, obstruction, solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of court.

Woodcock is the one who called authorities back in November to do a welfare check for JJ after not seeing him since late August. JJ has autism and police say his prescription for the medicine he needs hasn't been filled in Idaho. 

"JJ ... I'll do anything to get that boy back," she said. "I believe he's still alive."

Not too long after the death of Vallow's husband and JJ's adoptive father, Charles Vallow, Woodcock says Vallow texted her one last time when she found out she was no longer the beneficiary of a $1M life insurance policy.

"Five kids and no money and is that why you want JJ," Vallow told his grandmother. Woodcock says custody of JJ and money had no connection to each other. It wasn't until late January when the Woodcock's filed for guardianship of JJ.

So, what changed with Vallow? Woodcock says the change goes back at least a year ago when she started taking trips to Idaho to meet with a religious group led by Chad Daybell, now Vallow's husband.

The couple vacationed in Kauai since December, two months before police arrested Vallow, who wouldn't cooperate with investigators.

Woodcock believes Vallow still hasn't faced her new reality. "In her mind, I really believe she's convinced herself that we're evil. I do."

This story was reported on from Rexburg, Idaho.

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