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Last photos of ‘cult’ mom Lori Vallow’s children Tylee, 1, and JJ, 7, are released in new documents


A document dump in ‘Cult mom’ Lori Vallow’s case included photos of her children believed to be taken the day before they were killed and shows how investigators were tracking Vallow and her fifth husband around the time the kids disappeared.

Lori was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, in Maricopa County, Arizona, at the end of June – just over a month after she and her fifth husband Chad Daybell were charged with killing her two children and Chad’s first wife.

Among the documents recently released by the Chandler Police Department was a picture of 7-year-old Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow playing with what looks like a cup the day before law enforcement believe he was killed in September 2019. 

That was the same time police started tracking the infamous duo in an online chatroom.  

Last picture of Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow, 7, before he vanished and was found dead in September 2019

Tylee Ryan, 16, with Lori Vallow before Tylee's disappearance and death

Tylee Ryan, 16, with Lori Vallow before Tylee’s disappearance and death

Tylee was just shy of her 17th birthday when she was killed

Tylee was just shy of her 17th birthday when she was killed

Lori Vallow was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the death of her fourth husband Charles Vallow (above together) in Maricopa County, Arizona, on Tuesday

Lori Vallow was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the death of her fourth husband Charles Vallow (above together) in Maricopa County, Arizona, on Tuesday

In this aerial photo, investigators search for human remains at Chad Daybell's residence in Idaho where they allegedly found the remains of Lori's missing children

In this aerial photo, investigators search for human remains at Chad Daybell’s residence in Idaho where they allegedly found the remains of Lori’s missing children

Emails from the grandparents included in the documents show they pushed police to investigate Charles Vallow’s death as a homicide and were worried about ‘JJ’ and Tylee Ryan, 16. 

The kids’ mysterious disappearances caught national media attention and prompted Chandler police to monitor an online chat room called ‘Another Voice of Warning,’ a religious consisting of believers in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, KUTV reported.  

Police said Lori believed she was an ‘exalted goddess’ and needed to marry Chad to fulfill a religious prophecy before the end of the world. 

As the case evolved, police tracked this online chat room more and more. 

Records in the police file show members of the group were split on what they thought about Chad. 

‘This is just plain not good! I do hope Chad didn’t do anything this horrible, but I don’t feel good about it either,’ one poster wrote in the AVOW chat, according to KUTV. ‘I will pray that the children are found unharmed, but something is not adding up here.’

Other members of AVOW adamantly defended him. 

‘We know Chad is a visionary and can communicate beyond the veil There are SO MANY RIGHTEOUS possibilities here. There is no reason to jump to negative ones. Think about Chad’s character. Which scenario is more like him? That he is an adulterer, kidnapper and murderer!? Or that he is on an errand from god and trying to protect his new wife and kids?!’ 

Earlier this month, Arizona prosecutors have declined bring charges against Chad Daybell in the death of his wife Lori Vallow’s previous husband, who was fatally shot by her brother, Alex Cox, on July 11, 2019 during a custody battle over ‘JJ.’

'Cult mom' Lori Vallow is facing charges connected to the death of her fourth husband and two kids

‘Cult mom’ Lori Vallow is facing charges connected to the death of her fourth husband and two kids

Lori was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Charles’ death on June 29 after prosecutors said she and Cox plotted to kill him so that she could marry Chad and fulfill a religious prophecy before the end of the world. 

The grand jury that indicted Lori also recommended bringing the same charge against Chad – but the Maricopa County attorney’s office declined, according to a court filing. 

The reason for the denial was listed as ‘no reasonable likelihood of conviction.’

Lori’s indictment revealed that she and Chad had shared their belief that Charles was possessed by a demon in text messages, but investigators with the Chandler Police Department noted that there was ‘no obvious communication to show he was directly involved with the planning’ of the murder.  

Police initially ruled that Cox acted in self defense when he shot Charles but the case was reopened months later – shortly before JJ and his sister Tylee were reported missing in Idaho in November 2019. 

Chad’s wife Tammy, 49, died at their Idaho home a month earlier. An obituary states that she passed away peacefully in her sleep. Chad declines an autopsy and her death is listed as natural causes. 

Cox died the following month of natural causes, according to an autopsy.  

Tylee vanished on September 8, 2019, just days before her 17th birthday. Investigators said her body was burned and dismembered before being buried sometime the following day.

JJ was last seen two weeks later on September 23. His body was wrapped in duct tape and plastic and buried the same day, investigators said.

Authorities believe Cox brought the children’s bodies to Chad’s home to dispose of them. 

Over the course of the search for the kids several people who knew Lori and Chad came forward with claims that the pair were members of a ‘cult’ called Preparing a People, which was dedicated to bracing for the end of the world.

The organization aimed to distance themselves from Chad and Lori as the missing children’s case made headlines, allegedly fearing that misconceptions about Preparing a People could cause members to be excommunicated from the LDS Church.

At the core of the couple’s beliefs was the idea that they were prophets sent to earth by God to lead the ‘chosen 144,000’ into the New Millennium on July 22, 2020, according to court documents and accounts from friends and family.

Part of their preparations included eradicating the world of ‘zombies’ before Doomsday arrived, according to Lori’s former best friend Melanie Gibb, who was part of a small group with which Chad shared his personal gospel.

‘It was their commission to get rid of all the zombies before tribulations came upon us,’ Gibb told the East Idaho News last year.

Chillingly, Lori had accused three of her loved ones of turning into zombies prior to their deaths: JJ and Tylee, as well as her fourth husband Charles.

Authorities began searching for Lori's children in late November 2019 after performing a welfare check ordered by concerned relatives who said they hadn't spoken to seven-year-old JJ, who was autistic, in months

Lori’s kids Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow, seven, and Tylee Ryan, 16, were last seen alive in September 2019, and their remains were discovered on her Idaho property last June

Lori and Charles are pictured at their wedding in 2006

Lori and Charles are pictured at their wedding in 2006

Police tracked Lori and Chad down in Princeville, Hawaii, in late January 2020 and served the mother with a court order requiring her to physically produce the children to authorities in Idaho within five days.

Lori failed to meet the deadline, prompting her arrest and extradition to Idaho, where she is currently being held at Madison County Jail in lieu of $1million bond.

Chad was arrested three months later after the children’s bodies were found.

 Lori is facing two counts of murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in their deaths. She also faces one count of conspiracy to commit murder over the death of Chad’s first wife Tammy Daybell in October 2019.

Lori was a committed to a mental health facility in Idaho for evaluation earlier this month after she was ruled unfit to stand trial. 

Chad pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and murder charges in the deaths of JJ, Tylee and Tammy. 

Lori and her fifth husband Chad Daybell were separately charged with murder for the deaths of her two children and Chad's first wife in May by prosecutors in Idaho

Chad Daybell is pictured in his mugshot

Lori and her fifth husband Chad Daybell (right) were separately charged with murder for the deaths of her two children and Chad’s first wife in May by prosecutors in Idaho

Timeline of JJ and Tylee’s disappearance 

 July 11, 2019: Lori Vallow’s husband, Charles Vallow, is killed by her brother, Alex Cox, in Arizona. Police initially rule that Alex acted in self defense but reopen the case months later after the children are reported missing. 

August: Lori moves children JJ and Tylee to Rexburg, Idaho, where her future husband Chad Daybell lives with his wife Tammy.

September 8: The last time Tylee is seen during a trip to Yellowstone National Park with Lori, JJ and Alex. In the following weeks she tells people who ask where Tylee is that she’s studying at Brigham Young University’s Idaho campus.

September 23: The last time JJ is seen at his school in Rexburg. Lori emailed the school the following day and claims she is moving the family to California for a new job. 

October 2: Brandon Boudreaux, the ex-husband of Lori’s niece Melanie Pawlowski, is targeted in a drive-by shooting in Arizona. Police identify the vehicle carrying the shooter as a Jeep registered to Charles Vallow, Lori’s late husband. 

October 19: Chad’s wife Tammy, 49, dies at their Idaho home. An obituary states that she passed away peacefully in her sleep. Chad declines an autopsy and her death is listed as natural causes.

October 25: A friend of Tylee receives a vague ‘miss you’ text from her phone but says that it didn’t sound like the teen.   

November 5: Lori and Chad tie the knot on a beach in Kauai. Receipts indicate that Lori purchased her own wedding ring from Amazon nearly three weeks prior to Tammy’s death. 

November 26: Out-of-state relatives ask Idaho police to perform a welfare check on JJ. Lori and Chad claim he is in Arizona with relatives and ask their friend, Melanie Gibb, to lie and say she took the boy there for Thanksgiving. Police soon learn that no one has seen JJ, or his older sister Tylee, since September. 

November 27: Police execute a search warrant related to the children at Lori’s home and discover that she and Chad have fled Idaho.

December 11: Tammy’s body is exhumed from a Utah cemetery and her death is reclassified as suspicious.

December 12: Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, is found unresponsive in a bathroom in Arizona and dies. Months later an autopsy determines that he died of natural causes while he had the overdose drug Narcan in his system. 

December 21: Rexburg police issue the first press release about JJ and Tylee, revealing they believe their disappearance could be linked to Tammy’s death and asking the public for information.

December 24: Lori and Chad issue a statement through an attorney saying they love their son and daughter and look forward to addressing ‘allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor’.

December 30: Police accuse Lori and Chad of lying to investigators and say they believe the couple know where the kids are or what happened to them.

January 3, 2020: Police search Chad’s home in Salem and remove 43 items, including tech devices and journals. They also comb over sections of the snow-covered yard.

January 26: Lori and Chad are seen for the first time in months as police serve them with two search warrants in Kauai. Lori is also served with a court order to produce the children to authorities in Idaho in five days. The couple are approached by the media while cops serve the documents and refuse to say anything about the kids.

January 30: Lori misses the court deadline to produce the children to Idaho authorities.

February 20: Lori is arrested in Kauai and charged with two felony counts for desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, and one misdemeanor count each for resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime, and contempt of court. 

March 5: Lori is extradited to Idaho, where she is held on $1million bond at Madison County Jail.

March 17: Lori professes her innocence in a statement through her attorney as two other members of her defense team quit and the judge removes himself from the case. 

March 24: Court documents filed in the divorce of Lori’s niece Melani and her husband Brandon Boudreaux allege that Lori told people she believed her children were zombies before they disappeared. 

April 9: Authorities reveal they are investigating Lori and Chad for murder, attempted murder and conspiracy in connection with Tammy’s death.

May 25: Idaho police issue a statement expressing hope that the kids will be found safe on what would have been JJ’s eighth birthday. 

June 9: Police search Chad’s home in Salem for the second time and discover human remains in the backyard. Chad is taken into police custody and charged with destruction or concealment of evidence.

May 25, 2021: Lori and Chad are charged with first degree murder in the deaths of the children. Chad is also charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife Tammy. 

May 27: Lori is ruled mentally unfit to stand trial and is ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment. 

June 29: Lori is charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the death of her fourth husband Charles. 



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