Lori Vallow

Lori Vallow

August 19, 2020

"Look down at me and you see a fool. Look up at me and you see a God. Look straight at me and you see yourself."

-Charles Manson

It was the 5th of November 2019. A Tuesday. Forty two year old Lori Vallow was getting married. It was Lori's fifth time to get married. But she seemed to be more obsessed with her fifth husband than she had been with the previous four.

Lori married Chad Daybell in Hawaii. The Wedding itself was a simple affair. They both dressed in white. Lori's Wedding ring was a ring she purchased herself on Amazon, a Sterling Silver Southwestern Style Malachite Gemstone, for $35.99.

Even though the Wedding wasn't extravagant, the location was stunning. It was warm and Lori and Chad sang, played music and they looked like a carefree couple who were very much in love and about to start a new chapter in their lives together. 

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell

Lori's Wedding day seemed idyllic but the weeks and months leading up to that day had been anything but peaceful. 

Before Lori married Chad, she was married to Charles Vallow and Chad was also married. He was married to Tammy Daybell. Chad and Tammy were married for almost thirty years and had five children together. 

Lori had three children. She had a twenty three year old son, Colby Ryan, a seventeen year old daughter, Tylee Ryan and seven year old Joshua "JJ" Vallow. Lori had Colby from a previous marriage and when she married her third husband, Joseph Ryan, he adopted Colby. Lori and Joseph had a daughter together, Tylee. When Tylee was fifteen years old, Joseph was found dead in his home. He was separated from Lori at the time. The Medical Examiner determined his cause of death to be from arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Arteriosclerosis is a hardening and narrowing of arteries which puts blood flow at risk and can cause heart attacks and strokes. Before his death, Joseph and Lori both sought custody of Tylee. Joseph claimed that Lori would not allow him to see Tylee. Court paperwork that was filed in relation to the custody battle included a report from a Psychologist, David R. Poole which said:

"Mrs. Vallow is a devout Mormon who has mentioned to me that death would be an option before giving Tylee to her father, Joseph Ryan, even for a visit. These are real and serious concerns."

The custody battle was so fierce that on one occasion, Joseph and Lori met at a neutral meeting place in Texas to exchange Tylee and Lori's brother, Alex Cox,  showed up and shocked Joseph with a stun gun and threatened to kill him. Alex pleaded guilty to second-degree aggravated assault and served three months in jail.

Lori's fourth husband was Charles Vallow. When they married, they adopted his grandnephew, JJ and lived in a house in Chandler, Arizona, United States. 

Tylee and JJ

Things were good between Lori and Charles at first but over time, the relationship began to deteriorate. They separated and Charles filed for divorce. Above all else, Charles wanted to make sure that JJ would be fine if they divorced. JJ was on the autism spectrum and Charles worshipped him. He bought him a service dog, Bailey. Bailey and JJ were inseparable and Bailey helped JJ to sleep at night. Charles, in the divorce proceedings, stated that he wanted sole custody of JJ.

Charles and Lori Vallow

Charles was concerned about Lori. She allegedly took money from his account and the business account. A total of $35000 had been transferred into an unknown account. Her actions and things she was saying caused him great alarm.  He tried to get her to have an emergency mental health evaluation. Over the course of a few months, Lori had changed completely. It was almost like she was a different person. 

Police Body Cam Footage of Charles telling them Lori needs help

Charles claimed that Lori spoke about her being God, that she was in the light and that others were in the dark and possessed. She told him that she was a "translated being who cannot taste death sent by God to lead the 144,000 into the Millennium".

Charles also claimed that Lori threatened him, telling him she was a God preparing for Christ's second coming in July 2020. If he got in her way, she would murder him. Charles was so concerned, that he got an Order of Protection and in February 2019, Charles told his lawyers, Steven Ellsworth and Taylor Larson, that:

"I'm afraid I'm gonna be killed, and I know who's gonna do it. I'm telling you, Steve, so that if something happens to me, I wanna make sure you let everyone know that something happens, I'm killed, that it's my wife Lori and her brother, Alex Cox."

And on the 11th of July 2019, that's exactly what happened. Lori's brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed Charles in his own home. JJ and Tylee were in the house at the time. Alex claimed he killed Charles in self defense. 

Alex Cox

A month after Charles died, JJ's dog Bailey was put up for sale and Lori left Arizona and moved to Rexburg in Idaho. Chad Daybell lived in Rexburg with his wife Tammy. He lived in Rexburg because he claimed that a voice told him to relocate there.

Chad and Tammy Daybell

Chad ran a small publishing company in Rexburg and had written several books about apocalyptic scenarios based on the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He claimed he could receive visions from “beyond the veil.” He spoke at events about near death experiences and visions. Lori knew Chad because she had read his books for years.  They met for the first time in October 2018 and after that they stayed in touch and exchanged multiple emails and remained in constant contact.

Just three months after Charles was murdered, Chad's wife Tammy died. She died on the 19th of October 2019. It was ruled that her death was a result of natural causes and Chad said that he did not want an Autopsy carried out. Just a little over two weeks after Tammy died, Chad married Lori.

At the Wedding and during the month of October, relatives of Tylee and JJ wondered where they were. They had not been seen since September. They asked Lori where JJ and Tylee were but Lori told them that Tylee was around and JJ was staying with a friend. But as time went on, they became increasingly worried and asked the Rexburg Police Department to do a welfare check on the two children. Police called to Lori's house on the 26th of November 2019. Lori told them JJ was staying with a friend In Arizona.

Police returned to the house the next day with a search warrant. Lori and Chad were gone. 

 Lori's son, Colby Ryan

Police searched a storage unit that Lori rented. Lori signed a monthly contract for it on the 1st of October 2019.  The unit contained bicycles, a scooter, photos of the children on blankets and scrapbooks and some clothes. The storage unit owners showed police their surveillance videos. The videos showed that Lori made multiple trips to the storage unit in October and November with her brother Alex. They are seen on surveillance footage moving gun cases, bikes and tires in and out of the unit. 

Lori's Storage Unit

Police obtained a Court mandated deadline for Lori to bring JJ and Tylee to Court to prove they were safe. That date passed and Lori was living in Hawaii with Chad. She would not cooperate with the police.  

On the 12th of December 2019, Lori's brother Alex died. He had a blood clot in his lung. 


Lori was charged with two counts of felony abandonment in relation to Tylee and JJ. Tylee was last seen on the 8th of September and JJ was last seen on the 23rd of September. 

Lori was arrested on a warrant issued by Madison County, Idaho in February 2020 on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii.  She was charged with multiple offenses, including desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of Court. 

Lori still would not reveal where Tylee and JJ were and had not reported them missing. Kay Woodcock, JJ's grandmother, said:

"To think that within the last two years Lori has completely changed into a monster, I'm making an understatement. Something happened to her. She just turned off and once she got involved with that cult with Daybell, she just turned off the person we knew just went away."

While police were searching for Tylee and JJ, they were also looking into some of the suspicious deaths that happened over the course of just a few months. An audio recording was played in Court that revealed that Lori alleged her brother wanted to kill her and she found emails between him and Charles and they were conspiring to kill her. 

Police were also suspicious about Tammy's death and the Fremont County Sheriff's Office in Idaho exhumed her body so that an Autopsy could be carried out. The Wedding ring that Lori had bought from Amazon for her marriage to Chad, was purchased on the 2nd of October 2019, over two weeks before Tammy died.  

Lori's Ring

On the 20th of June 2020, the search for Tylee and JJ ended. The FBI searched Chad's property in Salem and discovered their bodies. As the FBI searched the property Chad watched from across the street in his SUV. They found a patch of disturbed ground about four by two-and-a-half feet. JJ's body was found covered in plastic bags and layers of duct tape. His body was underneath a set of rocks, three large white rocks, and a wood panel and his head was covered with a white plastic garbage bag that was also wrapped with duct tape. JJ's wrists and ankles were bound with duct tape and duct tape bound his forearms over his chest. JJ was wearing red pajamas and black socks. 

Bailey and JJ Vallow

Just a few feet away, near the fire pit, the FBI found charred tissue and charred bones. They were later determined to be human remains and they were the remains of Tylee. Neighbors told police there had been a number of bonfires in that back yard over the period of a few months. 

Colby and Tylee Ryan

Prosecutors said that police found the location of the bodies by tracking Alex's cellphone movements. The cellphone location records indicated that the day after JJ was last seen alive, Alex went to Chad's property. He had been to Chad's property the day after Tylee disappeared too. Police believe that Alex was involved in hiding the children's remains. 

Chad was arrested and he pleaded not guilty to felony charges in relation to two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and two counts of destruction, alteration or concealment. 

Lori was charged with two felony counts for conspiracy to destroy, alter or conceal evidence. She was also charged with misdemeanor resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of Court. 

Court documents revealed claims that Lori believed zombies possessed people. Her friend, Melanie Gibb, claimed that Lori told her before JJ and Tylee went missing that both JJ and Tylee had become zombies. 

No Trial date has been set for Chad yet. Lori’s Trial date has been set for January 25-29 2021. 

More charges are likely to follow. Authorities have yet to file charges related to the deaths of the children.

Lori Vallow

In cases like this, where there are references to cults and Doomsday, it is easy for the narrative to be about that aspect only but the focus should be on finding out exactly what happened to JJ and Tylee and for those responsible to be held accountable and punished. 

It is also imperative that the deaths and the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Joseph Ryan, Charles Vallow and Tammy Daybell are fully investigated. Even though Alex is dead, police need to also establish his involvement. It is vital that the families find out all the facts in this case and that will include also looking into Alex's death. 

Tammy's Autopsy and Toxicology reports have still not been released. The investigation into Charles Vallow’s death is still ongoing and it is likely that Lori is facing a potential charge of conspiracy to commit murder. 

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