A Hawaii judge on Wednesday, Feb. 26, again refused the request to lower the bond from $5 million for Lori Vallo Daybell, who is charged with two felony counts of child abandonment.
Daybell was arrested Thursday, Feb. 20, on the island of Kauai in Hawaii after a monthslong investigation into the disappearance of her two children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow.
The children haven’t been seen since late September, and police in Rexburg, Idaho, have said they “strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger.”
Vallow was charged with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court, according to Kauai police.
Prosecutors successfully argued on Wednesday that Vallow Daybell is a flight risk and the $5 million bail amount is an “extraordinary” sum for an extraordinary case. Bail for the equivalent felonies in Hawaii usually range from $2,000 to $20,000.
Last Friday, Feb. 21, Vallow’s attorney, Daniel Dempsey, asked for bail to be lowered to $10,000. The judge has the discretion to set bail, Kauai prosecutor said in a court filing opposing Vallow’s request.
“Given the extensive media attention, she is clearly aware that the authorities have prioritized her case,” prosecutors said. “She also has the means to move across an ocean.”
Prosecutors noted that Vallow’s husband, Chad Daybell, had $152,000 in a First Hawaiian Bank account. He did not appear to be in court and has not been charged in connection with the children’s disappearance.
Police also have said Vallow and Daybell have lied about the children’s whereabouts.
According to court documents, the children’s family members believe Vallow Daybell’s niece Melani Pawloski may know where the children are. Investigators may also search Yellowstone National Park, where Vallow Daybell and the children visited on Sept. 8 with their uncle Alex Cox, who is now dead.