- Doomsday couple Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell were located in Hawaii on Saturday. Vallow’s children remain missing.
- Daybell and Vallow are entangled in a web of open investigations involving the missing children and suspicious deaths
- In July, Vallow’s brother Alexander Cox allegedly shot and killed her former husband Charles after an argument. Cox’s death in December is also under investigation.
- Vallow married doomsday author Chad Daybell weeks after his wife, Tammy, died in October.
- Vallow’s children haven’t been seen or heard from since September.
The doomsday-obsessed couple from Idaho who skipped town after their children were said to have gone missing months ago were found Saturday in Hawaii, but law enforcement officers stretching across several states are still trying to piece together their involvement in multiple missing persons and suspicious death cases.
Police located Lori Vallow and her husband, apocalyptic novel author Chad Daybell, vacationing without Vallow’s children in Kauai. After the local police served a search warrant on the couple’s car, an Idaho court ordered Vallow to produce the two children – 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow – to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in Rexburg within five days, according to a statement from the Rexburg City Police and the Madison County, Idaho Prosecutor’s Office.
“We can further confirm that Tylee and J.J. were not with Lori and Chad, and there is no evidence that Tylee and J.J. were ever in Hawaii,” the statement said.
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Vallow’s children haven’t been seen since September
Tylee Ryan and “J.J.” Vallow were last seen on Sept. 23. Responding to concerns from family members who hadn’t seen or heard from J.J. in months, Rexburg Police went to the couple’s home to conduct a wellbeing check on Nov. 26.
When they got there, Vallow and Daybell told police that the children had been staying with friends in Arizona, which they learned wasn’t true. When the police returned with a search warrant the next day, Vallow and Daybell were gone, according to The Washington Post.
Investigators soon learned that Joshua “J.J.” Vallow had left his elementary school in September and never returned, and his sister disappeared around the same time. Neither had been reported missing.
Both Vallow and Daybell have spouses who died in mysterious circumstances
Over the last two years, both Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell, who married in the fall of 2019, were widowed under mysterious circumstances.
On July 11, 2019, police in Chandler, Arizona, responded to the shooting of Vallow’s estranged husband, Charles, at her home, according to a police report provided to Insider by Sgt. Jason McClimans.
McClimans said that officers had received a call from Lori Vallow’s brother, Alexander Cox, reporting that he had shot and killed his sister’s husband in self-defense.
Officers later learned that Charles had visited Lori Vallow’s home to pick up his adopted son, J.J., and Lori and Charles had been involved in a verbal argument around visitation, McClimans said.
At one point, Charles Vallow’s step-daughter, Tylee Ryan, picked up a bat and began threatening her stepfather with it, Cox tole police. Vallow took the bat away from her, and Lori left the room with her kids, according to the police report.
Cox told police that Charles Vallow eventually struck him with the bad, and he went into a bedroom to get his gun. He returned to the living room and demanded Vallow drop the bat. When he didn’t, Cox fired at him.
“I asked what Charles did after being shot, and Alex said he just laid there,” Chandler police officer Robert Krautheim wrote in his police report.
The only people in the room where Charles Vallow was shot was Alex Cox, McClimans told Insider.
In a recorded 911 conversation with police dispatchers, Cox sounded calm as he told them that he had shot his brother-in-law. The dispatcher assisted him in attempting CPR, but it wasn’t successful.
The dispatcher asked Cox where Lori Vallow was.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I think she’s taking her son to school.”
In an accompanying bodycam video, also released by McClimans, Lori Vallow and Tylee can be seen talking with police. She told police she and her children had just moved into their home three weeks earlier, and Charles Vallow was living in Houston, Texas, at the time.
“Lori was present in the house, but not an eyewitness,” McClimans said in a phone interview Tuesday. Tylee was outside, he said.
Five months after the shooting, on Dec. 12, Cox was found dead at his home in Gilbert, Arizona, according to Brenda Carosko, a spokeswoman for the Gilbert Police Department.
Police are awaiting the results of his autopsy.
“We still believe it will be another two months or so,” Carosko told Insider Tuesday.
Tylee’s father, Joseph Ryan, died of an apparent heart attack in 2018. He had been divorced from Lori for some time, according to East Idaho News.
A new start in Idaho, and another marriage
After Charles Vallow’s death, Lori Vallow moved to Rexburg, Idaho, with the couple’s adopted son, J.J. That’s where she met Chad Daybell.
Daybell’s college sweetheart Tammy Daybell, 49, had died on Oct. 19 from what was originally believed to be natural causes. She died at home, and Daybell refused to let coroners perform an autopsy on her. In the days leading up to Daybell’s death, Chad told his friend Julie Rowe he’d had a vision his wife would die soon.
“He was emotionally distraught, he was crying, and he said that his angels had told him that he was going to lose Tammy,” Rowe told Fox 13. Rowe said she also shared Daybell’s vision of Tammy’s death.
Just weeks after Tammy died, Daybell married Lori Vallow.
A few days after their initial response to the death, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department learned of the other deaths in Arizona, and Tammy Daybell’s body was exhumed and autopsied, according to East Idaho News.
Those results have not been released.
Just ten days before she died, Tammy reported pulling in her driveway when a masked man came up and started firing an empty paintball gun at her.
In a Facebook post on a neighborhood page, she said she asked the man what he was doing, and he didn’t respond. She yelled for Chad to help her, and the man took off, the East Idaho News reported.
Tammy and Chad Daybell had five children and two grandchildren, according to her obituary.
In December, police in Rexburg, Idaho, released a statement urging people with information on the childrens’ whereabouts to speak up.
“We are aware that in the weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death, Lori Vallow/Daybell and Chad Daybell told witnesses that Lori’s daughter had died a year before the death of her father, which is untrue,” police wrote in the statement. “Around that same time, Chad told another witness that Lori had no minor children.”
The Daybells were involved in a group aimed at preparing ‘the people of this earth for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ’
Chad Daybell is the author of 25 books aimed at a mostly Mormon audience.
Daybell and his first wife would occasionally speak at events hosted by Preparing a People, a group whose mission is to “prepare the people of this earth for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”
Daybell and Vallow appeared in one episode of the organization’s podcast where they discussed insights from his two near-death experiences and his “visionary gift” that enabled him to predict Tammy’s death.
Daybell wasn’t the only one who believed he had special powers. When Charles Vallow filed for divorce from Lori last February, he alleged that his wife believed she was a god, according to AZcentral.com.
Charles Vallow claimed that Lori didn’t want anything to do with him or J.J. “because she had a more important mission to carry out,” according to court documents.
Charles said Lori claimed she was “a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020,” AZcentral.com reported from the documents.
Relatives of Lori Vallow began referring to Preparing a People as “the cult” after she and her niece started spending more and more time with the group.
Brandon Boudreaux, who said his ex-wife Melani is Vallow’s niece, has publicly stated that he believed the womens’ involvement in the religious group was connected to both the missing children and an attempt on his life in October.
“Things started changing over the past 18+ months when Lori began spending all her time with a new religious group, that we refer to as a “cult,” Boudreaux posted on Facebook in December.
“My wife at this time, Melani, began spending a lot of time with this group, at the end of June she demanded a divorce, claiming revelation about things that were not real and there was no evidence given just a claim of being told by the savior,” he wrote.
Then on Oct. 2, before his divorce was finalized, Boudreaux, of Gilbert, Arizona, was pulling into his driveway when someone pulled up in a Jeep, fired at his vehicle, and missed his head by inches, he wrote on Facebook.
According to Gilbert police, the Jeep was registered to Charles Vallow. The case remains active, according to Brenda Carosko, of the Gilbert Police Department.
Preparing a People has attempted to distance itself from the Daybell/Vallow case, and posted a statement on its website refuting the claim that the group is a cult.
“It is not a ‘group’ and is not a ‘cult’ or something people join, but has educational lecture events that can be attended or watched on video,” a statement on the Preparing a People website read. “We also do not share any of Chad Daybell’s or Lori Vallow’s beliefs if they are contrary to Christian principles of honesty, integrity, and truth, or if they do not align with the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Vallow now has until Thursday to physically produce her children to the Idaho Department of Welfare. If she fails to do so, she could be found in civil or criminal contempt of court, and further charges could be pending.