MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Earlier this week, human remains were found that are believed to be of two missing kids with ties to Chandler, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Now, family and friends are remembering the siblings.


J.J. Vallow, left, and Tylee Ryan, right.

"She's not talking about it very much, so I think she's in a little bit of shock and denial right now. It's still difficult to even wrap our minds around it," said Echo Itaaehau, the mother of one of Tylee's best friends.

Their remains were found on Chad Daybell's property, a man who married their mother, Lori Vallow, in November. By that time, JJ and Tylee were already missing for two months. Chad lives in Salem, Idaho, which is just outside of Rexburg, where Lori and the kids moved to last summer.

How the search for 2 missing Idaho children went from parents in Hawaii to the discovery of human remains

When law enforcement started asking about the kids, Lori and Chad abruptly moved to Kauai. Hawaii. Lori was arrested in February after she failed to produce the kids to a court in Idaho. She is facing two counts of felony desertion of a child and is in jail on a $1 million bond.

Chad was arrested on Tuesday after Rexburg Police, the FBI and the Fremont County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant at his home. Investigators dug up remains, which family says have been identified as JJ and Tylee. A vigil was held for the two Friday night in Idaho.

Tylee went to Desert Ridge High School before transferring to Perry High School. She would have graduated this year but already received her GED.

"She could sing, she performed, they went to a performing arts school and she and my daughter performed in little plays and musicals together," Itaaehau said.

Itaaehau was a teacher at Tylee's elementary school several years ago, but got to know her more as her daughter and Tylee became close in the fifth grade.

"She was the funniest, she's so witty, just quick-witted--even for adults, she would have me laughing. She could be sassy but just super sweet and tender-hearted," Itaaehau said. "She was a loyal, dedicated friend to my daughter. She gave my daughter everything, just was always thinking of other people."

Above all, Tylee adored here little brother JJ and was very protective over him.

"She was a second mom to him and she took good care of him and she played with him. She spent time with him. She wasn't one of the sisters who, 'Oh little brother, go away.' She included him," Itaaehau said.

Family remembers 8th birthday of missing JJ Vallow, son of Lori Vallow

JJ went to L.I.F.E. Academy in Gilbert. His family says he loved M&Ms, riding his scooter and collecting luggage.

"He was happy, fun, full of energy, always busy, active, running around. That's how I remember seeing him," Itaaehau said.


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