Skip to Content
Rexburg Missing Children

Police say Lori Vallow-Daybell helped keep missing kids’ bodies hidden

Lori Vallow Daybell in court June 30
Lori Vallow Daybell and Attorney Mark Means June 30
Lori Vallow booking photo
Lori Vallow-Daybell

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Lori Vallow-Daybell made a first-appearance Tuesday afternoon in Fremont County Court in St. Anthony.

She faces new charges of conspiracy to destroy evidence. 

Prosecutors say the mother of two children who were found dead in rural Idaho months after they vanished had conspired with her new husband to hide or destroy the kids’ bodies. You can watch her hearing below.

Judge Faren Eddins set bail for Lori Vallow Daybell at $1 million on Tuesday.

The judge asked if she understood the allegations and that if convicted she could be sentenced to up to 10 years behind bars. Vallow-Daybell, who wiped her eyes occasionally with a tissue, answered "yes."

Vallow-Daybell is already charged with abandoning or deserting 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, but because police found their remains buried in her husband's yard, it's not clear if those allegations will stand. She's also charged with obstructing a police investigation, asking a friend to lie to police on her behalf and contempt of court for failing to follow an order to produce the kids.

She is already being held on $1 million bond in the Madison County Jail in Rexburg on felony charges of desertion.  

Chad Daybell, her husband, faces an August 3 preliminary hearing on similar charges of destruction of evidence.  

The State Attorney General’s Office is still investigating the deaths of the children.  

This is the latest investigation material in the Vallow case.

Daybell was arrested June 9 in connection to the disappearance of the missing children. Police found their remains on June 9 after months of searching.

Both have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the disappearances.

The complicated case began last summer when Lori Daybell's ex-husband Charles Vallow was shot to death by her brother, Alex Cox, in Phoenix. At the time, Cox said the shooting was in self-defense. Charles and Lori Vallow had been estranged, and in divorce documents Charles Vallow claimed Lori believed she had become a god-like figure who was responsible for ushering in the biblical end times. Cox died in December of an apparent blood clot in his lung.

Shortly after Charles Vallow's death, Lori and her children moved to Idaho. Tylee was last seen in September headed into Yellowstone National Park with her mom and other family for a day trip, and JJ was last seen by school officials several days later.

Police began investigating the children's whereabouts after relatives raised concerns. Investigators have said both Chad and Lori Daybell claimed the children were staying with friends.

Tammy Daybell died in her sleep last October of what her obituary said were natural causes. Authorities grew suspicious when Chad Daybell married Lori just two weeks later, and they had Tammy Daybell's body exhumed in December. The results of that autopsy have not been released.

Law enforcement officers first searched Chad Daybell's home on Jan. 3, removing more than 40 items including several pieces of computer equipment.

Authorities have not said how the children died.

Newly released court documents reveal allegations that Vallow-Daybell believed the two children were zombies and that she was on a mission to rid the world of such creatures.

Investigators say Lori Vallow-Daybell's longtime friend Melanie Gibb says the mom told her the kids had become zombies with “dark spirits” inhabiting their bodies.

According to the affidavit, Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, went to Daybell’s property four times in September, and two of those visits came the days after each of the children were last seen.

Cox, who died in December, went to Yellowstone National Park on September 8 with Vallow and the two children. It was the last time Tylee was seen.

Police say that tracking the phone’s location puts Cox in Vallow’s apartment three times immediately after the trip to Yellowstone, with the final visit beginning at 2:42 a.m. on September 9.

At some point the phone was back in Cox’s apartment — in the same complex — then shows up in Daybell’s backyard at 9:21 a.m. The phone registers being there for more than two hours, except for a time it pings in a city five minutes away, the court document says.

About 14 minutes after Cox’s phone last registers being in the backyard, Daybell texts his then-wife Tammy Daybell to tell her he shot a raccoon that morning and buried it in their pet cemetery.

“Well, I’ve had an interesting morning,” he writes.

The investigator, recalling that raccoons are usually nocturnal, notes his suspicion in the affidavit, and says the pet cemetery is where Cox’s phone had been.

In the days before JJ is last seen, a friend and her boyfriend come to stay with Vallow. The friend recounts for authorities that Vallow said JJ was a zombie.

Zombies have dark spirits and a person is in limbo until the body dies, the friend says Vallow told her, according to the affidavit. The friend also tells police that Vallow said she and Daybell are in a church that was to lead the “144,000” mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Revelation.

“They also stated their mission was to rid the world of zombies,” the document records.

Vallow had also called Tylee a zombie last year, the friend says, according to the affidavit.

JJ was last seen the night of September 22, and on September 23, Cox’s phone once again pings from Daybell’s backyard in a location where human remains are later found.

On the day of the property search, Daybell was in his SUV watching authorities from his driveway and on property belonging to his daughter, across the road.

About the time remains were found, he drove away and police followed and arrested him, the document says.

Authorities conducted a welfare check on JJ near the end of November at the request of his relatives, who hadn’t heard from him in months. When they arrived, Vallow informed them he was not at the family home because he was staying with a family friend.

Police returned the next day to serve a search warrant after discovering that was not true, but Vallow and Daybell were gone.

They were later found in Hawaii, and despite requests from police did not cooperate and did not present the children.

Shortly before Tylee, JJ and their mother moved from Arizona to Idaho, Vallow’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed during a fight with Cox. Cox was not charged in the case, and he died in December, the affiliate reported.

Tammy Daybell died on October 19, and a few weeks later, Chad Daybell and Vallow were married. Authorities initially believed Tammy Daybell died of natural causes, but Rexburg police later said her death was suspicious and exhumed her body.

You can view all our past stories on this HERE.

Breaking News / Crime Tracker / Local News / News / Rexburg / Top Stories / Videos

News Team


Leave a Reply

Skip to content