Lori Vallow is an Idaho mother and podcaster who was being sought for questioning by law enforcement officials who are trying to determine what happened to her two children, who haven’t been seen since September 2019.
In June 2020, Daybell was charged with destroying evidence and concealing remains, and prosecutors said they found the remains of two children on his property.
Vallow is accused of desertion and nonsupport of children, according to a criminal complaint filed in Idaho. The children’s grandmother now says that one set of remains is that of Vallow’s once missing son, JJ. The children’s grandfather says the other set of remains belonged to Vallow’s daughter Tylee. Authorities have not confirmed the identification.
It was announced on January 27, 2020 that Vallow has been located in Hawaii and “ordered to physically produce the children,” NBC News reported. She is now under arrest by Kaua‘i police:
Kaua‘i police wrote in a news release that Vallow is being held on $5 million bail. She was charged with “two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children” as well as arrests and seizures – resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of court – as well as willful disobedience of court process or order. She will be extradited to Idaho, where the children were last seen. The Hawaiian police said there are no indication the children were in Hawaii.
In what is an extremely tangled web, Vallow’s new husband, Chad Daybell, was also being sought for questioning by federal and local law enforcement agencies probing the disappearance of the two children, ages 7 and 17. Daybell was not arrested.
In addition, the pair have three deceased former spouses between them. The former wife of Daybell and Vallow’s last two husbands both died relatively young. Authorities have revealed that they have reopened their investigation into the fall 2019 death of Daybell’s wife, Tammy, who died a few weeks before her husband, an author of Latter-Day Saints oriented literature, married Lori Vallow.
Attorney Sean Bartholick, of Rigby, Andrus & Rigby, issued the following statement for Lori and Chad to East Idaho News:
“Chad Daybell was a loving husband and has the support of his children in this matter. Lori Daybell is a devoted mother and resents assertions to the contrary. We look forward to addressing the allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor.”
However, in a December 30, 2019 news release, police said: “We strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger. We are aware that in the weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death, Lori Vallow/Daybell and Chad Daybell told witnesses that Lori’s daughter had died a year before the death of her father, which is untrue. Around that same time Chad told another witness that Lori had no minor children.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Want to Question Vallow & Her New Husband About What Happened to Joshua Vallow & Tylee Ryan, who Haven’t Been Seen for Months
The Rexburg Police Department wrote on Facebook that the agency “is asking for the public’s help in locating Lori N. VALLOW and Chad DAYBELL who are wanted for questioning in connection with the disappearance of Vallow’s children; Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Vallow and Daybell were recently married and she may now be using his last name.”
On December 30, police said, “As stated in our previous press release, Lori Vallow/Daybell, the adopted mother of Joshua and biological mother of Tylee, has completely refused to assist this investigation. We know that the children are not with Lori and Chad Daybell and we also have information indicating that Lori knows either the location of the children or what has happened to them. Despite having this knowledge, she has refused to work with law enforcement to help us resolve this matter. It is astonishing that rather than work with law enforcement to help us locate her own children, Lori Vallow has chosen instead to leave the state with her new husband.”
They added: “We publicly call on Lori Vallow/Daybell and Chad Daybell to do the right thing and come forward with the information they have about the location and welfare of Joshua and Tylee. This entire investigation could have been avoided if Lori and Chad had simply been honest with law enforcement. We further continue to ask that anyone with any information regarding the location or welfare of Joshua and Tylee share that information with law enforcement.”
The police provided this additional information:
Vallow is 46 years of age, 5’6” tall, 125 lbs. has blond hair and blue eyes. Daybell is 51 years of age, 6’3” tall 230 lbs. has brown hair and blue eyes. “Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rexburg Police Department or your local FBI field office,” they wrote.
Authorities were investigating Chad Daybell’s wife’s death when they learned that the two children were missing and determined that Chad Daybell had married Lori Vallow, of Rexburg, within weeks of Tammy’s death.
At that point, authorities tried to conduct a welfare check on Joshua Vallow, who was an adopted 7 year old special needs son of Lori. However, according to authorities, extended family had not been able to speak with Joshua since September. Lori and Chad told Rexburg police that Joshua was staying with a family friend but investigators found out that wasn’t true, authorities said in a news release.
Authorities began executing search warrants, at which time Vallow and Daybell left Rexburg. Police then got the FBI involved. They were able to determine that Joshua last attended school on September 23, 2019.
In addition, Lori’s 17 year old daughter Tylee Ryan was living with Vallow in Rexburg but also has not been seen since September 2019. No one has seen the children since that month, authorities say.
2. Lori Vallow’s Brother Shot Her Former Husband, Charles Vallow, to Death
Adam Herbets, investigative reporter for Fox13, wrote on Twitter, “How did Lori Vallow’s husband, Charles Vallow, die? On July 11, 2019 in Chandler, AZ, Lori’s brother shot and killed Charles in what he said was self defense. Months later, Lori’s brother also died, although it’s not clear how. She married Chad Daybell a couple weeks after his wife’s death in October.”
An article that ran on Fox 10 at the time reported that Charles Vallow “was at the home to pick up his son and later engaged in an argument with his wife. Vallow’s brother-in-law, who was also in the home, intervened on his sister’s behalf due to fears the argument would escalate into a physical altercation between Vallow and the estranged wife. Vallow and the brother-in-law were later involved in a physical fight.”
At one point, the article says, police believe that Charles Vallow hit his brother-in-law over the head with a baseball bat before he was shot.
3. Lori Vallow, Who Was a Podcaster Affiliated With a Religious Group, Had a First Husband Who Also Died Young
According to Fox13, Vallow’s ex-husband Joseph Anthony Ryan, Tylee’s father, also died young. He died of a heart attack in 2018. His body was cremated and can’t be exhumed.
Lori Vallow was affiliated with a group called Preparing a People, according to East Idaho News.
Its website says, “Helping to Prepare the People of this Earth for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.” Preparing a People has posted this statement on its website and Michael James, who runs the website, strongly denied to East Idaho News that the group is a “cult”. Here’s the statement on the website:
In October, Nancy and I were out of the country for several weeks on a long needed family trip. We were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Tammy Daybell, the wife of Chad Daybell, but could not attend the funeral. We considered Chad Daybell a good friend, but have since learned of things we had no idea about. As many of you know, Chad was a speaker at some of our Preparing A People Events and appeared on several of our “Preparing A People Podcasts”. We also produced a Series for Chad, “Glimpses through the Veil.” We recently learned of Chad’s new marriage to Lori Vallow a couple weeks after Tammy Daybell died. Lor Vallow was a contributor on the “Time to Warrior Up” podcast with Jason Mow and Melanie Gibb. And she also co-hosted the “Feel the Fire” Podcast with Melanie Gibb. We did not know Lori as well as we thought we knew Chad.
In light of current concerning media reports and ongoing criminal investigations regarding the recent death of Lori Vallow’s previous husband in Arizona, and the sudden death of Chad Daybell’s previous wife in Idaho, and with new reports of Lori’s missing children and the death of Lori’s brother-in-law, and the unknown whereabouts of Chad and Lori, we feel it inappropriate to promote any media content that may feature or contain references to either Chad Daybell or Lori Vallow.
Our hearts go out to all Chad and Lori’s family and friends who are now affected by this ongoing confusing tragedy. We pray for the truth of whatever happened to be quickly manifest, and we pray for the safe return of Lori’s 2 beautiful children.
Brandon Boudreaux, who married into Lori Vallow’s family, told Fox13 that her religious beliefs are responsible for the problems in her life.
“I spent the last 11 years of my life spending time with Lori and her now-deceased husband Charles,” Boudreaux said to the television station. “I don’t know what happened to those kids, but I know there’s people who do, and they’re not talking… I love them both. I hope they’re safe. They’re both just innocent and they didn’t deserve to be involved in any of this.”
4. Chad Daybell’s Wife Tammy Was a Popular Librarian Initially Believed to Have Perished of Natural Causes
In a news release, The Rexburg Police Department and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), along with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that they were investigating a possible connection between the two missing Rexburg children and the death of Tammy Daybell, Chad’s former wife.
Authorities say that Tammy Daybell, 49, was found deceased by family members in her Fremont County home on October 19, 2019. Initially, it was believed that her death was natural. The Idaho State Journal described her as a “popular librarian.”
She was interred in October in Springville, Utah, but authorities then learned her death might be suspicious and her remains were exhumed so an autopsy could be conducted, authorities said.
Tamara (Tammy) Douglas Daybell’s obituary says that she “passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 in Salem, Idaho. She was born May 4, 1970 in Pasadena, California to Ronald and Phyllis Cooper Douglas. She enjoyed growing up in South Pasadena and Anaheim in southern California with her Cooper cousins and living close to Disneyland.”
According to the obit: “During the summer following her freshman year at Brigham Young University, she met Chad Daybell. They quickly fell in love and were married on March 9, 1990 in the Manti Temple. While Chad continued his schooling, Tammy supported the family by working as the secretary for Springville’s Parks Department.”
After Chad graduated and took a job in Ogden, Utah, Tammy “became a full-time homemaker and mother as their family began to grow. She loved her children deeply and encouraged them in countless ways,” continues the obit. “…In 2004, she and Chad founded Spring Creek Book Company, and Tammy wore many hats as their company grew, juggling her role as Chief Financial Officer with designing book covers. She was the true backbone of the company, and she was proud of the dozens of books the company published over the years.”
In 2015, the family moved to Salem, Idaho and “she became the assistant librarian at Madison Middle School. She later became the librarian at Central Elementary School in Sugar City, Idaho. She was treasured and loved by the staff and students alike,” says the obit.
The obit added: “She served in numerous capacities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including as Stake Girls Camp Director and as Young Women President. She also served in Relief Society and Primary presidencies. She loved the women and girls she was privileged to serve with.”
The obit said that in addition to her husband, Tammy was survived by five children.
5. Chad Daybell Is a Author of LDS-Oriented Books & Some People Who Know Lori Allege She Was Influenced by a ‘Cult-Like’ Mentality
Kay Vallow Woodcock posted on Facebook that Joshua Jaxon (JJ) Vallow was her grandson. “My beloved brother Charles and his wife Lori adopted him in 2013,” she wrote. Vallow Woodcock then launched into a series of accusations; among them, she alleged that Lori Vallow changed when she began “spending all her time with a new religious group.”
“He’s a beautiful, intelligent 7 y/o with the biggest heart, most beautiful smile & has life challenges of a level 2 boy on the Autism spectrum,” wrote Vallow Woodcock of her grandson. “Early intervention allowed him to flourish beyond all expectations. Lori was a wonderful, loving, attentive mother. Things started changing over the past 18+ months when Lori began spending all her time with a new religious group, that we refer to as a ‘cult.'”
The post alleges: “She eventually deserted my brother & JJ for 2.5 months early this year. Charles did his best to save the marriage, of which she had no interest. On July 11, 2019 in Chandler, AZ, Charles went to Lori’s home (which he paid for) to get JJ & take to school. She and her brother Alex were there. Alex shot Charles twice in the chest killing him, claiming self-defense. 4 people were there that day. Lori, Alex and these 2 missing children.”
Vallow Woodcock continued to allege in the lengthy Facebook post: “Alex mysteriously passed away on 12/12 & these two children haven’t been seen since September 23rd. Worse still, Lori already remarried and the wife of her new husband Chad Daybell, mysteriously died on October 19th, in Rexburg, ID. I’m posting this and articles related to the case begging anyone who believes in justice to please share my post. Help us shed light on this. Someone out there knows something but doesn’t know how all the pieces fit together. Help me connect them with the police so we can bring justice to my brother and the other victims. Please join us in prayer that we find JJ & Tylee alive.”
According to his website, Chad Daybell “has worked in the publishing business for the past two decades and has written more than 25 books.”
“The Times of Turmoil series is a sequel to Chad’s bestselling Standing in Holy Places series, which continues to find success in both the LDS bookstores and the national retail chains,” the website continues, adding, “Chad is also known for his other novels such as Chasing Paradise and The Emma Trilogy, as well as his non-fiction books for youth, including The Aaronic Priesthood and The Youth of Zion. He and his wife Tammy also created the Tiny Talks series for Primary children.”
He is currently the president of Spring Creek Book Company, the website says, adding, “Visit http://www.springcreekbooks.com to see the company’s lineup of titles.” The mission statement for the book company reads, “The mission and purpose of Spring Creek Book Company is to produce, market and distribute quality products for families across the world. Our primary focus is providing entertaining, uplifting literature that gives readers a better understanding and an emotional connection to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Under company background, the website reads, “Spring Creek Book Company is a privately owned publishing company that was formed by Chad and Tammy Daybell on March 1, 2004. Chad and Tammy have several years of experience in the publishing world, both as authors and editors. Their objective is to publish high-quality, uplifting products that will strengthen and bless the lives of families. The company only publishes material that supports the values of the LDS Church.”
On LinkedIn, Daybell identifies himself as “sales executive at Falls Printing,” from 2016 to present, and president of Spring Creek Book Company in Rexburg, Idaho for 15 years.
He was previously managing editor at Cedar Fort, Inc. in Springville, Utah; a regional sales manager for Access Computer Products in Provo, Utah for two years; and a “cemetery sexton” in Springville, Utah for four years in the 1990s. He was also a copy editor for the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah.
According to his LinkedIn page, Daybell has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Brigham Young University.