x

WNEP.com | News, Weather & Sports from WNEP-TV — Proud to Serve Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania

'Dateline NBC' correspondent Keith Morrison discusses the case of missing Rexburg kids

"This is one of the most bizarre stories, bizarre situations I’ve encountered in this business,” Morrison told KTVB.
Credit: NBC News
Keith Morrison is a correspondent for Dateline NBC.

BOISE, Idaho — What happened to 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan? That's the question that's been on many people's minds since December when Rexburg police announced the kids were missing. 

It's a complex case that has many unanswered questions. Keith Morrison and the "Dateline NBC" team worked to unravel part of that mystery. 

KTVB spoke with Morrison via Facetime on Friday afternoon ahead of his two-hour special on the story. 

“This is nuts,” he said. "Trying to tell the story without confusing people is the trick. I think we’re there, I’m pretty excited about this program. This is one of the most bizarre stories, bizarre situations I’ve encountered in this business.”

Morrison said this case has taken multiple "Dateline" teams across six states and more than 5,000 miles to pull it all together. 

“It’s complex. That’s for sure," he said. "There are strands going off in many different directions – some of which have answers, some of which suggest answers, some of which are still waiting for answers. So complexity is one of the issues we have faced in making our program.”

Morrison's father was a preacher so he said he's always had a special interest in stories with an intriguing religion timeline - and this case has it in spades. So that's been the most fascinating part for him.

“It’s the confluence of extremist religion," Morrison said. “The understanding about the universe and about the future that some of these folks have. That Armageddon is coming, it’s going to be a specific date – July 22, 2020. And the people at the center of this story believe they are members of the elect and the elite and they will be guiding the world toward its new beginnings.”

Morrison said one story that comes to mind that had to be left out of the Dateline special is a story about Lori. He said it was discovered she would record videos of herself dancing and send those to Chad Daybell - even while she was still married to Charles Vallow. 

It's a story that can't be explained in under a minute or "in an elevator ride." But Morrison did get some impressions from the case. 

“You know I’ve been around a while and in my experience, every time people get a little too big for their britches in terms of believing they have an inside track with the almighty, bad things tend to happen,” he said.

Watch more on the search for Lori Vallow's missing Idaho kids:

See all of the latest coverage of the missing Rexburg kids in our YouTube playlist:

Read more on the disappearance into JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan:

Police: Two missing Idaho kids last seen in September

'Investigations need facts, not more rumors': Investigators continue the search for missing Idaho kids

She called herself God and threatened to kill him: Divorce docs shed light on bizarre final months of Vallow marriage

Aunt of missing Rexburg girl addresses her disappearance for the first time

New details come to light about family members of missing Rexburg kids

Arizona school assists police in missing Rexburg kids case

Security footage reveals abandoned storage unit full of missing Rexburg children's belongings

Brother of missing Rexburg kids speaks out after their mom fails to produce her kids to law enforcement

'They don't deserve this:' As deadline looms, location of missing Rexburg kids remains a mystery

Court documents detail what will happen to missing Rexburg children if or when they are found alive

Despite missing deadline to reveal whereabouts of children, still no charges against Rexburg mom

Mother ignores deadline to bring two missing Rexburg kids to Idaho

Mom of missing Rexburg kids found in Hawaii with new husband

$20,000 reward offered for information about missing Idaho children

No progress despite hundreds of tips on missing Idaho kids

Officers serve search warrant at Rexburg home of Chad Daybell

Grandparents seek guardianship of missing Rexburg boy

Missing Rexburg kids: A look at Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow's religious beliefs

Audio from 911 calls linked to missing Rexburg kids case emerge