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Who is “Cult Mom” Lori Vallow? Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty as She Killed her Children

Prosecutors in Idaho are going to seek the death penalty against Lori Vallow who is charged along with her current husband Chad Daybell for killing her two youngest children and Chad’s previous wife. The two are currently booked in Eastern Idaho jail. So who is this “cult mom”. Read on to know more.

Who is Lori Vallow?

Lori Ryan Daybell, also known as Lori Vallow Daybell or Lori Norene Cox was born in San Bernardino, California. In 1992, she married her high school boyfriend Nelson Yanes but shortly divorced him.

She went on to marry another 23-year-old William Lagioia in Texas in the year 1995. The two had a son, Colby before their divorce in 1998. In 2001, Lori again married Joseph Anthony Ryan Jr. who legally adopted Colby.

Lori and Joseph gave birth to Tylee in 2002. This was the daughter Lori later killed with her own hands. Lori and Ryan divorced in 2005. However, Ryan was attacked by Lori’s brother Alex based on the allegations that Ryan abused Lori and her children. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for attacking Ryan. He later died in 2019.

Lori married her husband Charles Vallow in 2005. The couple adopted Vallow’s grandnephew, Joshua Jaxon “J.J” Vallow in 2012 before moving to Kauai, Hawaii in late 2014. JJ is the second child she killed along with her current husband.

Lori, The Cult Mom and Chad’s Satanic Belief

The story about the deaths of the two innocent children, Tylee and Joshua begins from here. The year 2015 marked the beginning of Lori’s destructive behaviour.  She read Chad Daybell’s Standing in Holy Places series of books and became obsessed with them. Chad is her current husband who faces charges of first-degree murder along with Lori.

In 2016, the Vallow family moved back to Arizona. In 2018, Lori attended a “Preparing a People” event along with her friend Melanie Gibb, where she was introduced to Chad for the first time. Chad told Lori that the two have been married in seven previous lifetimes. That’s when their shady love story began.

Gibb later revealed that Chad’s lavished his attention on Lori calling her an “eternal being” of 21 separate lives. He had unusual religious beliefs and talked about “deeper mysteries of God”. Chad believed that he had lived 31 different lives on various Earth-like planets and Lori bought it all.

Chad believed the “Dark” individuals were from this earth but were followers of Satan. Those who were “light” were “followers of Jesus Christ”. Lori was both thrilled and attracted to this belief system and became increasingly fixated on this newfound “purpose” and Chad.

Charles Vallow Dies

Lori’s husband Charles Vallow narrated in 2019 that Lori told him that “she no longer cared about him or J.J.” and claimed that she was the reincarnation wife of LDS founder Joseph Smith. Lori vanished for 58 days after this.

In February 2019, Charles Vallow filed for divorce stating that Lori had threatened to murder him, stolen his truck and withdrawn $35,000 from their joint bank accounts. He even filed for orders of protection against Lori citing “genuine fear for his life”.

In July, Charles Vallow was shot and killed in Arizona by Lori’s brother Alex Cox. Shockingly, this incident was witnessed by Lori’s children J.J. and Tylee. Lori was indicted in June 2021 for conspiracy to murder Charles.

A wedding ring was also purchased on Amazon from deceased Charles’ account for $35.99 on October 2, 2019, seventeen days before the death of Chad’s wife. Chad and Lori were married in Hawaii on November 5, 2019, two weeks after the death of Chad’s first wife.

Tammy Daybell’s death was initially reported as “natural causes,” but investigators had her body exhumed after growing suspicious when Chad Daybell quickly remarried. The dots were connected and every finger was raised at Lori and Chad.

Lori and Chad kill her Children

Chad and Lori were obsessed with certain apocalyptic beliefs. Her two children Tylee Ashlyn Ryan and Joshua Jaxon Vallow disappeared in September 2019 and were found dead in June 2020 in Rexburg, Idaho.

The police questioned Lori Vallow Daybell about her children’s whereabouts and welfare. However, Lori and her new husband, Chad claimed that J.J. was staying with Melanie Gibb in Arizona.

When police contacted Gibb, she told them that J.J. hasn’t been living with her for several months. A week later, Gibb called the police saying that both Lori and Chad had asked her to lie to the police about J.J.’s whereabouts but she refused. Police efforts to locate J.J. led to the discovery that Tylee was also missing.

On June 9, 2020, police executed a search warrant at Chad’s home and discovered the remains of J.J. and Tylee. Chad was arrested later that day on charges of destruction or concealment of evidence. On May 25, 2021, Lori and Chad were charged with the first-degree murders of Tylee, J.J., and Tammy.

Their indictments allege the couple became convinced their victims were zombies who had been possessed by dark spirits and could only be released through death. Vallow and Daybell have both pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Prosecutors seek Death Penalty

As per a court’s notice, Idaho prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Lori Vallow who is charged with the murder of her two children. This will happen if Vallow is convicted of any of the counts of first-degree murder and/or any of the counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. 

Lori Daybell’s co-defendant and husband, Chad Daybell, is also facing a potential death penalty if convicted.  The two fled Idaho after the bodies of Lori’s two children were found in Chad’s backyard. The couple faces the following charges:

  • First-degree murder in the death of Tylee Ryan, Lori’s daughter.
  • First-degree murder in the death of JJ Vallow, Lori’s son.
  • First-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell, the first wife of her current husband, Chad Daybell.
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception in the death of Ryan.
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception in the death of JJ Vallow.
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.

The prosecutors also said Vallow Daybell showed “utter disregard for human life” and “has exhibited a propensity to commit murder which will probably constitute a continuing threat to society.” What do you think about this horrific case?

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.


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