REXBURG — Kay and Larry Woodcock have filed for temporary guardianship of their missing grandson, 7-year-old J.J. Vallow.
The couple’s hope is that once J.J. and his 17-year-old sister, Tylee, return to Rexburg, the state will allow them to take custody of J.J. While they have no legal right to Tylee, Kay Woodcock said that they would willingly help her as well.
The couple has retained a lawyer in Rexburg and filed paperwork last week with the state asking to be J.J.’s guardians once he returns. The temporary guardianship lasts for six months, she said.
“We just want to make sure that we’re first in line for J.J. to be placed with us,” she said.
Kay suggested that Tylee might want to live with her older brother in Arizona. If not, she’s welcome to stay with the Woodcocks.
“We will definitely offer that to Tylee. We’re more than happy to have her as well,” Kay said.
The Woodcocks cared for J.J. for 10 months after he was born to Kay’s son and his girlfriend. The Woodcocks continued caring for him until Kay’s late brother, Charles Vallow, and Lori Vallow asked to adopt him.
“Charles said, ‘Lori and I would love to adopt him. We want our own child. This would be our child together,’” she said.
Kay said that it was the “easiest hard decision” she had ever made. Following J.J.’s adoption, Charles and Lori agreed to have the Woodcocks continue as J.J.’s grandparents.
Kay says that her son has been very worried about his missing son.
“He is very upset about all of this. Larry spoke with him and is telling him that he can talk to us about his feelings. He’s definitely upset,” she said.
Kay has been urging her son to focus on J.J. being alive as there is no indication that he isn’t.
“We’re working to make a positive influence,” she said.
The Woodcocks spearheaded the search for Tylee and J.J. last fall after not hearing from him for several weeks. Rexburg police did a welfare check on the boy and were told by Lori Vallow Daybell that J.J. was in Arizona with family members.
When police learned that Lori had lied to officers, they returned with a search warrant, but found Lori and her new husband Chad Daybell had fled. The couple was found in Hawaii last week. A court order stipulated that Lori return to Rexburg on Friday with her children, but she failed to do so. Reports indicate that she remains in Hawaii.
It will be up to a Madison County judge to decide what action to take next.