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Missing Idaho children, a ‘precious’ boy and ‘feisty’ sister, are dead, police say

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Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan were found dead on the property of their step-father’s home this week, police say, a horrific discovery that brought a tragic end to the search for two Idaho children not seen for months.

Police had found human remains on Chad Daybell’s property on Tuesday. Days after family members told media that the remains belonged to the children, Rexburg, Idaho, police confirmed Saturday that after an autopsy had been conducted, the bodies had been identified as the missing children.

“It is with heavy hearts that we now confirm that those remains have now been officially identified as those of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan,” Rexburg police said in a Saturday release.

Lori Vallow, the children’s mother, and Daybell, her husband, were both in custody in Fremont County, Idaho, on various felony charges tied to the case. Vallow was arrested in February and Daybell was arrested Tuesday after authorities executed a search warrant at his home.

JJ, who would have turned 8 in May, and Tylee, 17, were last seen in September. Police first alerted the public that the children were missing in December after JJ’s grandmother hadn’t heard from the boy for months.

“We are filled with unfathomable sadness that these two bright stars were stolen from us and only hope that they died without pain or suffering,” said a statement attributed to JJ’s biological grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock, according to East Idaho News

The twisting case spanned multiple states, suspicious death investigations involving former spouses and allegations of cult-like beliefs as the children’s family and friends awaited answers on their whereabouts

A boy with ‘the biggest heart’ and protective older sister

Kay Woodcock described the boy as “precious,” “beautiful” and “intelligent.”

Kay Woodcock is Charles Vallow’s sister. Charles Vallow was Lori Vallow’s ex-husband before his death in July 2019. The couple adopted JJ in 2014.

JJ had “the biggest heart” and “most beautiful smile,” Woodcock wrote in a December Facebook post.

The boy was born to Woodcock’s son and his wife, but Woodcock and her husband, Larry, cared for him as his biological parents were unable to. JJ was diagnosed with autism, and the Woodcocks said they were busy running a business, so the Vallows offered to adopt the child.

More on the Lori Vallow case:Lori Vallow denied reduced bail

Colby Ryan, the children’s older brother, described JJ in a YouTube video as “such a character.”

“He loves surgery. I don’t know why. He was so obsessed with having surgery or giving people surgery. He would sit there and give me fake surgeries,” Colby Ryan said.

He said JJ was growing up fast, getting taller and developing quickly.

Videos Woodcock shared on social media show JJ singing into a microphone on a tour bus and gleefully playing with toys.

“JJ had no fear,” Larry Woodcock told NBC’s “Dateline.”

Anne Cushing, Tylee’s aunt, described the girl as someone with a “strong sense of right and wrong.”

“Tylee doesn’t hold back,” she told “Dateline.”

Tylee welcomed the role of big sister when JJ was adopted.

“Tylee kind of turned into like a second mom in a sense to JJ, started taking care of him,” Colby Ryan previously told KSAZ-TV. 

“She’s feisty,” Colby Ryan said. “She has very dry humor. She loves ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office,’ and we just started getting to that point where we just started to really joke around more.”

In January, the Woodcocks offered a reward for information leading to the children’s location.

“Please give them back to us. They are the most unbelievable children you’ll ever meet,” Larry Woodcock said a press conference.

How the Vallow case of missing children unfolded

Rexburg police announced in December that the children had not been seen since September, their mother had been uncooperative with authorities and the children were in possible danger.

At the same time, the department said they had exhumed the remains of Tammy Daybell, Daybell’s previous wife who died in October under what police say may be “suspicious circumstances.”

Yellowstone visit:FBI says Yellowstone National Park tourists’ photos may help in case of missing Idaho kids

The couple had been married for roughly 30 years. Two weeks after her death, Daybell and Vallow married on a Hawaiian beach, with Vallow’s children nowhere to be seen, police said.

Photos showed Vallow and Chad Daybell moving between Hawaiian islands

That ended Feb. 20 when Vallow was arrested by the Kauai Police Department on felony child desertion charges in Idaho. Vallow also was charged with resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of court.

Lori Vallow arrested:What to know about deaths, marriages surrounding mom of missing Idaho kids

By early March, the mother was extradited to Idaho to face charges. 

While the coronavirus pandemic delayed Vallow’s case, she remained in custody in Idaho. Most recently, a judge denied her request for a lower bail. Previously Vallow’s bail had been lowered from $5 million to $1 million.

A break in the case came when authorities searched Daybell’s home and uncovered what they initially said were unidentified human remains.

Lori Vallow: From perfect family to ‘doomsday mom’

By all accounts, Vallow and her children were a typical family. Vallow was a “normal” mom for years, Cushing told “Dateline.”

“They were just this bustling, busy family,” Woodcock told “Dateline,” with their lives “built around” the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They lived in the Phoenix area for years, at one point relocating to Hawaii for two years.

However, around the beginning of 2019, things began changing for the family. In February 2019, Vallow fled to Hawaii with Tylee, according to “Dateline,” and she soon became involved with a podcast group that focused on divergent, “prepper” beliefs.

Woodcock has described the group as a “cult.” According to East Idaho News, Vallow and Chad Daybell first appeared on a podcast together almost a year before the children were announced missing.

Vallow said she was ‘a god’:What to know about her cult-like beliefs

Divorce documents filed by Charles Vallow in Maricopa County Superior Court last February provide insight into the mother’s apparent state of mind months before his death and her children’s disappearance. 

Charles Vallow claimed Lori Vallow didn’t want anything to do with him or JJ “because she had a more important mission to carry out.” He said she claimed she was “a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020,” the court documents said. 

She told Charles Vallow that she would kill him if he got in her way and that she had “an angel there to help her dispose of the body,” court documents said. Shortly after her alleged threats, he took out an order of protection against her, according to court documents. 

He claimed that she had “become infatuated and, at times, obsessive about near-death experiences and spiritual visions,” according to court documents. He said he attempted to get her help; however, she refused to visit a doctor because “they would discover that she is a translated being,” court documents said. 

Chad Daybell and the ‘upcoming foreign invasion of America’

For years, Daybell, a father of five, had been an author, self-publishing dozens of books on near-death experiences and apocalyptic beliefs.

In his 2017 autobiography, Daybell says his first near-death experience came in high school when he was cliff jumping. When he jumped off the cliff into the water, he said it felt like his head hit concrete but he soon realized “my spirit was partly out of my body,” Daybell wrote.

He and his late wife, Tammy, went to the same high school and began dating after he returned from his mission, a period for young Mormon adults to proselytize or otherwise serve beyond their homes. They got engaged after dating for 10 weeks and married in March 1990, he wrote.

While traveling in San Diego as a young father, Daybell said he had his second near-death experience when a 15-foot wave barreled toward him as he was near a rock formation on the beach. Daybell wrote a voice told him to cling to a rock as the wave crashed down.

“Then my surroundings changed and I found myself in the proverbial tunnel of light. It wasn’t a bright white light, but more like a yellow heat lamp. It felt like I was wrapped in a warm blanket or a cocoon, and I felt extremely happy,” he wrote.

He said he saw two relatives, including his late grandfather, who “explained the tasks I needed to accomplish” and “asked if I would be willing to fulfill the assignments he had outlined, and I agreed to do so.” 

In the early 2000s, Daybell was working at a Mormon book publisher and left after three years to start his own publishing company, where he published novels based on visions of “the decline and downfall of the United States” and an “upcoming foreign invasion of America.”

Another vision in 2015 led the Daybells to move to Rexburg, where he said his wife and children were happy.

“This is not an indication anyone else needs to pack up and head to Idaho. It just happens to be what our family needed to do at this time,” he wrote.

Daybell wrote he believed in an ominous vision coming true: “I don’t know when an earthquake will come, but I have seen in vision the damage it will cause. I hope we still have a few years before it strikes, but it would be best to be prepared if it comes sooner.”

The string of suspicious deaths

Meanwhile, Charles and Lori Vallow were not getting along. Lori Vallow was living in Arizona with her children, when on July 11, an argument broke out between her and Charles Vallow.

Police in Chandler, Arizona, said authorities were called to the scene after Alex Cox, Lori Vallow’s brother, called 911 and said he fatally shot Charles Vallow.

Cox claimed self-defense, saying that Charles Vallow had a baseball bat. But on the “Dateline” special, detectives said details in Cox’s and Lori Vallow’s stories did not add up and they exhibited strange behavior not typical of family members whose relative had just died.

Kay Woodcock told “Dateline” her brother was not a violent man.

Chandler police had an open homicide investigation into the incident, but no arrests were made.

In December, Cox was found unresponsive in Arizona. An autopsy report released in May said that Cox died from a pulmonary blood clot. Police in Gilbert said at the time detectives investigating his death would review the autopsy report and that the case was still active.

Shortly after Charles Vallow’s death, Lori Vallow and her children moved to Rexburg, Idaho. Records show that JJ was enrolled at a local elementary school.

Tylee Ryan was last seen Sept. 8 in Yellowstone National Park in photographs with her family. Days later, on Sept. 23, JJ was last seen when his mother told his school he would no longer be attending.

Source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/627339676/0/usatoday-newstopstories~Missing-Idaho-children-a-precious-boy-and-feisty-sister-are-dead-police-say/

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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GenTech Proudly Secures Deal with TruLife Distribution to Drive Growth in SINFIT Digital Sales

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Denver, CO, October 21, 2020 – OTC PR WIRE – GenTech Holdings, Inc. (OTC PINK: GTEH) (“GenTech” or the “Company”), an emerging leader in the high-end Premium Coffee (www.secretjavas.com), Hemp Wellness (www.hakunasupply.com) and Functional Foods (www.SINFITnutrition.com) marketplaces, along with its SINFIT Nutrition brand (“SINFIT”), is excited to announce that the Company has signed a new marketing, sales, and distribution agreement (the “Agreement”) with TruLife Distribution (“TruLife”) (TruLifeDist.com), a leader in marketing, distribution, compliance, e-commerce, and advisory services in the Functional Foods marketplace. The main focus of the new Agreement will be to accelerate the growth of e-commerce sales of SINFIT products, particularly over the Amazon.com platform.

TruLife provides direct access to sales on Amazon, Walmart, Rakuten, Wish, TopHatter, and other top e-commerce platforms, allowing clients to instantly list, ship, and sell products through any major platform, with an experienced team of experts and a proven track record of success in brand placement and digital sales strategies.

“We have already demonstrated a significant & expansive growth curve since taking control of the SINFIT brand in June,” commented Harold Vaca, VP Domestic Sales of SINFIT. “But the vast majority of that growth has been driven by large purchase orders from major distribution partners, both domestic and international. We are also committed to aggressively pursuing end-market consumer direct purchases through our e-commerce footprint, which will provide additional growth and diversify our cash flow ecosystem, making our overall strategy less dependent upon any one source of demand, while driving further growth in total sales.”

Management notes that e-commerce sales represent a sizeable portion of overall retail sales growth worldwide, with more than $3.5 trillion in online sales accounting for over 14% of total pre-pandemic global retail sales. Since the onset of the global health crisis, that ratio has shifted decisively further in favor of e-commerce sales, which is not likely to entirely revert back upon the advent of a viable and widely accessible vaccine.

Vaca added, “We have seen an epic process of market penetration for e-commerce platforms this year as major online retailers have begun to reach a much wider base of consumers – people who haven’t ever shopped much online, but have been forced to during recent months out of personal health concerns. Many of them will almost certainly continue to make use of e-commerce now that they have tried it out, at least to some extent, making e-commerce an essential sales channel for SINFIT products. TruLife has the network, team, experience, and resources to dramatically augment our e-commerce performance.”

SINFIT branded products registered over $2.2 million in global sales in 2019, and are now approved for sale and available for purchase on the Walmart.com and Amazon.com e-commerce platforms as well as in over 2,500 GNC locations in North America and over 10,000 global physical and e-commerce stores across more than 10 countries around the world.

SINFIT products as well-positioned relative to peers and to the long-term macro tailwind defining the functional foods market, which saw sales top $267 billion in February of this year on a global basis, with sales in the US reaching $63 billion, according to Euromonitor 2020. This trend is part of a larger supportive momentum in the general category, with global sales of organic food and drink topping $105 billion in 2018 (Ecovia 2019). U.S. organic food sales also reached $47.9 billion, up 5.9% in 2018 (OTA 2019). In 2019, 77% of U.S. adults used dietary supplements, an all-time high (CRN 2019). U.S. supplement sales are estimated to have reached $49.3 billion in 2019, up 6.2% (NBJ 2019).

About GenTech Holdings, Inc.:

GenTech Holdings, Inc. is a publicly traded company under the symbol GTEH. The Company launched a high-end Coffee Subscription service in early 2020 called Secret Javas, owns a Functional Food company, SINFIT Nutrition and recently closed its acquisition on Products-Groups’ “Hakuna Supply”.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of GenTech, Inc.’s future expectations, plans and prospects. In particular, when used in the preceding discussion, the words “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” or “may,” and similar conditional expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Any statements made in this news release other than those of historical fact, about an action, event or development, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the results of GenTech, its subsidiaries and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. Unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on GenTech’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. GenTech cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, GenTech undertakes no obligation to update these statements after the date of this release, except as required by law, and also takes no obligation to update or correct information prepared by third parties that are not paid for by GenTech.

Corporate Contact:
invest@gentech.group

www.gentechholdings.com

Source: https://otcprwire.com/gentech-proudly-secures-deal-with-trulife-distribution-to-drive-growth-in-sinfit-digital-sales/

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