Lori Vallow Daybell, a mother of three, is currently standing trial with her husband, Chad Daybell, for the murder of her children- seventeen-year-old Tylee Ryan and seven-year-old JJ Vallow. With the couple standing trial in the Ada County Courthouse from April, Lori Vallow Daybell might face a death sentence as Idaho allows for execution by lethal injection.

In 2006, Lori Vallow married her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, a businessman. By this time, Lori already had two children from her previous marriage- Colby and Tylee. Close friends claim it was a happy marriage, with the couple adopting JJ Vallow in 2014. According to friends, JJ was the grandson of Charles Vallow’s sister and was said to have a good relationship with Lori.

Things changed around 2017 when Lori Vallow began obsessively reading books by a doomsday author named Chad Daybell. He wrote several fiction books which talked about the coming of the end of the world. Chad Daybell was a married man residing in Idaho with his wife, Tammy, and five children. It was also around this time that Lori Vallow’s relationship with her children changed. Lori and Chad met up and soon began working on a podcast together where they would often talk about the end of the world. According to a friend, Lori had also started referring to her husband, Charles, as a demon.

By 2019, growing increasingly concerned with Lori, Charles Vallow goes to the police, where he talks to the police about his wife’s deteriorating mental health. However, on January 31st, 2019, Lori Vallow was declared to be in a clear state of mind and hence, cleared by Community Bridges. Unable to cope with Lori’s change in behavior, Charles Vallow filed for divorce and claimed in court documents that he was scared for himself and his children. 

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This was proven true when on July 11th, 2019, Charles Vallow was shot while he had come to pick up JJ from the Arizona home where Lori lived with the children. He was shot by Lori Vallow’s brother Alex Cox who then told the police that he brought out the gun as self-defense when Charles began attacking Lori. 

Following this incident, Chad sent multiple text messages to Lori, hoping to begin a sexual relationship between them while he was still married to his wife, Tammy. To stay closer to Chad Daybell, Lori, with her children and Alex, moved to an apartment complex in Rexburg, Idaho.

The FBI declared September 9th, 2019, as the last day Tylee Ryan was seen. Lori, JJ, Alex, and Tylee had gone to Yellowstone National Park, after which Tylee was never seen again. Immediately the next day, Alex Cox’s GPS record places him in Chad Daybell’s backyard. Records also showed that immediately after Alex departed from the Daybell residence, Chad told Terry that he had just shot a raccoon and buried it in the pet cemetery in their backyard.  

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According to police reports, JJ Vallow was last seen on September 22nd, 2019. Melanie Gibb, Lori’s friend, mentioned that Lori had said that JJ was a zombie, because of which Alex Cox took him away. The next day, Alex Cox’s GPS records again traced him back to Chad’s backyard, where he stayed for 15 to 17 minutes. 

With tragedy not leaving anyone’s side, in October 2019, Tammy Daybell was declared dead. She died in her sleep, and the coroner’s report mentioned that the death had occurred due to natural causes. No autopsy was carried out after Tammy’s death.

Immediately following this, Lori and Chad married in Hawaii two weeks later, on November 5th, 2019. Towards the end of September, the police conducted a welfare check on JJ Vallow on request from his grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodchuck. When questioned by the police on JJ’s whereabouts, Lori claimed that her son was with her friend Melanie Gibbs in Arizona.

The search for JJ led to the questioning of Tylee’s whereabouts. However, when the police came to the Daybell home with a search warrant, they learned that the couple had left for Hawaii. After this, in December, the police grew suspicious of Tammy Daybell’s death, and her body was exhumed for an autopsy. With the police declaring a nationwide search for JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, they suspect their disappearance might be connected to Tammy’s death. 

When the couple returned to Rexburg the following year in January, the Kauai Police Department asked Lori Vallow to produce her two children before the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare within five days. With Lori failing to comply with the needs of the police department, she was arrested on February 20th, 2020, and extradited to Idaho. 

With the Daybell couple still refusing to provide any information on Lori’s missing children, the Rexburg police department, along with the Fremont County Sheriff’s office, began searching the Daybell premises by digging up their backyard. There they find the remains of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan in two shallow graves. Following this find, Chad Daybell is immediately arrested. 

The couple was also held responsible for the suspicious death of Tammy Daybell and therefore charged with conspiring to commit first-degree murder. While at the beginning of the trial, Lori Vallow was declared mentally unfit, on April 11th, 2022, she was declared competent to face her hearing. Lori Vallow refuses to enter a plea bargain, so she will stand for a not-guilty plea in court.