REXBURG, Idaho — It's all eyes on Idaho as investigators work to find answers after two bodies, identified by family as 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, were found in their stepfather's backyard.
"I'm here for one reason - to see where JJ was," Larry Woodcock said tearfully, standing next to Chad Daybell's property, where the children's remains were found.
Daybell is the new husband of the children's mother, Lori Vallow Daybell. They married in November after the children disappeared in September, and after each of their former spouses died under suspicious circumstances. Those deaths are still under investigation.
At this point, no one is charged in the children’s death. Their mother has been in jail since March, facing child desertion charges. Chad Daybell was taken into custody this week and was charged with two counts of concealing evidence.
"This has torn up so many people," Larry Woodcock says. "It’s destroyed people. It’s torn up whole homes and there’s no need for this."
Larry and his wife Kay are JJ's grandparents. They’ve been a voice for JJ and his older sister Tylee Ryan since the police started searching for the children in November.
"I’m a little bit surprised about the location where the bodies were found," said Jim Egelston, a retired FBI agent and current private investigator whose specialty is missing children's cases.
"The fact that those bodies were recovered on his property will aid the investigation quite a bit," Egelston said. "It would be hard for Chad and even Lori Vallow to try and distance themselves from the locations of those bodies."
Egelston says it was likely a tip that brought investigators back to Daybell’s home. The last time investigators searched was in January, when the yard was covered in snow.
"Somebody close to the family saw or heard something suspicious," Egelston said. "Maybe there was information in some of the emails law enforcement has recovered from Lori and Chad."
He also says in some cases investigators will use aerial shots to try and see if there’s been a disturbance in the ground. Once investigators are on scene, they can use radar or cadaver dog to pinpoint not only remains but search for other clues.
"They’ll be screening the soil," he said. "Make sure they pick up any possible small item of trace evidence."
Egelston also says that investigators are probably looking very closely at Chad and Lori’s behavior in all this, now that the bodies have been found. It’s a profiling tool they can use to try and get either of them to spill more information. Both Chad and Lori are due back in court next month.
And as Kay and Larry wait for what’s next, they can’t help but wonder about the rest of Chad's family, some even staying in the house since the kids went missing.
"This is not about hatred," Larry Woodcock says. "This is about mending fences. I’m not coming in hostility in any way. I come with trying to be a peacemaker. That’s all I want is to be a peacemaker."
There is a vigil planned for the children in Rexburg at 8:30 p.m. Friday night.