REXBURG — The FBI released a photo recently found of Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan with their uncle, Alex Cox, hours before Tylee was likely killed.
The new photo shows the 7- and 16-year-old children smiling on Sept. 8 while standing on a boardwalk of a thermal feature at the national park. Investigators say they had just recently found the new photo.
“I am releasing it today only because the quality is a little better than the other photos we previously released from that day,” said FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker.
Barker confirmed with EastIdahoNews.com that Yellowstone National Park is no longer a place on interest in the case.
According to court documents, Cox’s phone pinged the next morning at the location where the Rexburg Police Department, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI found the remains of the children on the Salem, Idaho, property of Chad Daybell.
Daybell is the man who married their mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, amid suspicious deaths that also include the Daybells’ previous spouses. The Daybells are both behind bars with $1 million bail on felony charges in relation to the disappearance of JJ and Tylee.
The photo released Monday is not the first time the FBI released photos of the kids at Yellowstone. On March 5, as authorities were bringing Lori Daybell back to Idaho from Hawaii, the investigative agency shared pictures of the kids, Cox and a silver F-150 in hopes for new information and leads.
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In court documents released on Friday, investigators gave horrific details on how they found JJ wrapped in plastic and bound by duct tape, while Tylee was dismembered and burned.
Cox cannot face any charges in the children’s deaths as he died in December of what a medical examiner determined to be natural causes.
Investigators continue to look into how the kids died, and both Chad and Lori Daybell are scheduled for preliminary hearings later this summer.