CHANDLER, Ariz .– New details and text messages released Thursday indicate Charles Vallow’s murder was planned and reveal more about Lori Daybell’s religious beliefs.
Arizona investigators say a spate of crimes that surrounded Vallow’s July 11, 2019 shooting death was not “coincidental or justifiable.” Local and federal investigations have also uncovered more information on the deaths of Lori’s two children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, as well as the death of Tammy Daybell, the first wife of Lori’s fifth husband, Chad Daybell.
Planning for Vallow’s death
Detectives say the first evidence indicating prejudice to Charles Vallow surfaced on November 3, 2018. Police say text messages between Lori and her brother’s widow, Alex Cox, were discovered after he seized a phone from the death of Cox. The widow’s name is redacted in court documents. However, it is known that Cox was married to a woman named Zulema Pastenes at the time of his death.
Police said on November 3, 2018, someone texted Lori saying “God told her she had to protect her.” Then, in January 2019, someone told Lori, “She saw a vision that she could create storms and fire and that she would have the eye of the Lord. A month later, Lori texted someone saying Charles was blocking his gifts. A redacted portion of the conversation follows which refers to harming Vallow. In conversations, Vallow is referred to as a dark spirit called “Hiplos” or “Ned”.
Investigators say Lori believed she was an exalted goddess tasked with leading 144,000 people with Chad to prepare for the end of the world. Chad and Lori both believe they had “extraordinary abilities” including teleporting, harming others, causing natural disasters, praying to cast out demonic spirits, and seeing visions.
On June 3, 2019, Lori texted someone saying, “I just got home and put dd to sleep. Let’s go spiritually tonight and work on him. We give the Lord time, but we don’t need to give in. It’s war. ”Then on June 19, 2019, someone texted Lori saying,“ Oh and can you meet me at the temple in the morning? I have time tomorrow and we can work on it. Hiplos.
Also in June, investigators said Lori had searched the internet for Social Security disability information. Police speculate that due to a message sent to Chad, Lori determined that she would receive $ 4,000 per month in Social Security benefits if Vallow died.
More written messages follow, but this time Cox joins the conversation. In the weeks leading up to Vallow’s death, unnamed friend Cox and Chad all discussed Vallow, nicknamed him “Hiplos”.
“There is no obvious communication found between Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell to show that he was directly involved in the planning of Charles Vallow’s murder,” police wrote in the document.
Just two days before Vallow was shot, Lori discovered a planned “intervention” from Vallow and his other brother. Vallow had asked Lori to speak candidly about her relationship with Chad, or he would tell Tammy Daybell about their relationship.
The day Charles Vallow was killed
At around 7:35 a.m. on July 11, 2019, Vallow arrived at Lori’s home to pick up JJ. Vallow texted a person whose name was redacted that Cox was there, and the person replied that Lori and Cox were up to something. Shortly after, Vallow was shot.
Investigators began their investigation into the homicide and interviewed “all parties concerned.” During the investigation, police said there were concerns about a bullet on the ground near Vallow’s body. Investigators were also concerned about the chronology of events.
“Alex Cox did not call 911 until (8:32 am) to report the shooting. In reporting the incident, Alex indicated that it had just happened. He received instructions from CPR and he acted as s ‘he was taking rescue action on Charles,’ police said.
Cox told police and 911 dispatchers that he shot Vallow in self-defense.
Police say GPS data shows how Lori picked up Vallow’s rental vehicle and cell phone from the house at 7:49 a.m. Investigation revealed Lori went to Burger King to buy food for JJ, and Walgreens to buy flip flops for her and Tylee. Lori finally got home at 8:48 a.m.
When paramedics attempted to save Vallow’s life after the 911 call, they saw blood flow from his body. According to the police, this indicates that Cox did not provide any assistance to Vallow. Based on the timeline compiled by the police, Vallow was left dead or dying for about 43 minutes before anyone called 911. Meanwhile, Cox called Lori.
The bullet trajectory information from the autopsy shows that one shot hit Vallow while he was standing and another was fired while he was on the ground. During a review of the incident with police, Cox said he fired both shots while Vallow was standing.
“None of these concerns would immediately provide probable cause for the arrest of anyone present at the time of the murder, and further investigation if necessary,” investigators write in the document.
After Vallow died, Chad texted Lori.
“I was inspired to go back to my original death percentages which helped us keep up with Charles, Ned, etc. Tammy is very close,” the post read. “His percentage has not stopped falling since the departure of Hiplos. It’s encouraging.”
Chad ended the text with a heart and lips emoji.
A series of offenses
As the investigation unfolded, Arizona Police said they learned of Lori and Vallow’s tumultuous relationship. While continuing to live in Texas, Lori and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, moved to Arizona. Lori allegedly accused Vallow of infidelity, and at one point she left JJ with Vallow and disappeared for two months.
Body camera footage and 911 calls previously received by EastIdahoNews.com show how Lori allegedly told Vallow that a spirit named Ned Schneider owned her body. Lori went to a mental health facility in January 2019 after the bizarre claims, but was released hours later.
In the months following the Vallow shooting, Chandler police learned that in Gilbert, Arizona, another shooting had taken place. The victim, Brandon Boudreaux, was going through a divorce from Lori’s niece, Melani Powlowski, and on October 2, 2019, he says Cox attempted to shoot him in the back of a Jeep Wrangler. Boudreaux pointed to Cox and Lori’s extreme religious beliefs and said he suspected this led to his divorce.
Idaho Police were also contacted when JJ’s grandmother, Kay Woodcock, was unable to make contact with the child. Investigators learned that Lori had moved to Rexburg with Cox. During a wellness check in November 2019, neither JJ nor Tylee were there. Lori told investigators the whereabouts of the children, but police said the statements were lies.
Police said “strangely” Chad’s wife Tammy Daybell died on October 19, 2019 at the couple’s home in Fremont County, just weeks before Lori and Chad were married in Kauai, Hawaii.
Cox passed away on December 12, 2019 at his home in Gilbert, Arizona. A medical examiner ruled that he died of natural causes.
A massive investigation followed, with the participation of federal and local authorities. Search warrants on phone records, social media accounts, bank statements, medical records, email accounts, residences and seized electronics provided insight into the Daybells investigations.
JJ and Tylee were found buried on Chad’s Salem property on June 9, 2020. Investigators say the two children were killed and did not die of natural causes.
“As a result of the data recovered, it was believed that none of the crimes mentioned was a coincidence or was justifiable,” police documents say. “Particularly for Chandler, the evidence shows that Charles’s death was a planned and necessary event to prevent Charles and others from confronting Lori about his extreme religious beliefs when he came to town. … Charles Vallow’s death was also necessary for Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow to marry and fulfill their religious prophecy.
What’s next for the Daybells
Chad and Lori Daybell are both in prison.
In Idaho, a Fremont County grand jury indicted Lori and Chad on various charges in May, including first degree murder, for the deaths of Tammy Daybell, Tylee and JJ. Chad and Lori also face charges relating to the destruction, alteration and concealment of the children’s bodies.
Then, on June 24, a grand jury in Maricopa County, Arizona, indicted Lori with conspiracy to commit murder in Vallow’s death. Jennifer Liewer, spokesperson for the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office, told EastIdahoNews.com that the Lori case in Idaho would run its course before she was charged in Arizona.
Lori’s Idaho case is put on hold or suspended after a judge remits her to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. A mental health professional found her unfit to stand trial.
Chad is due to stand a jury trial in November which is expected to last five weeks. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him.