An extensive investigation into the death of Alex Cox, 51, confirmed the cause of death first reported in his autopsy. It said he died from natural causes. His family stood by the report, and said in a statement that rumors made it more difficult to process their grief. Cox was the brother of Lori Vallow, and police say he shot her estranged husband, Charles Vallow, claiming self defense.
Lori Vallow is charged with conspiracy to commit homicide in the death of Charles Vallow, and she is also charged with murder in the deaths of her two children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan. Lori Vallow’s husband, Chad Daybell, is also charged in the murders of her children. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell were married five days after his wife, Tammy Daybell, died.
Read the full autopsy report here.
Here’s what you need to know:
An Autopsy Determined Cox Died From a Pulmonary Embolism
An autopsy report showed that Cox died from natural causes, but the case remained open until a medical examiner completed a 58-page report that confirmed the original findings, according to Fox 10 Phoenix.
Gilbert Police in Arizona investigated his death until the final report, the news station reported. Cox was found unresponsive in his home December 12, 2019, and police closed the case in January 2021. The 58-page report said Cox had no signs of trauma. He died from bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli, the report said, with contributing factors of atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease, the medical examiner found. A pulmonary embolism is a blockage of arteries leading to the lungs.
A toxicology report showed the Cox had naloxone in his system. Naloxone is an overdose reversal drug more commonly known by its brand name, Narcan.
Alex Cox’s Family Agreed With the Report That Said He Died From Natural Causes
The autopsy report said that Cox had been experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath before he was found unresponsive on his bathroom floor on December 12, 2019.
Zulema Pastenes, his wife, told Fox 10 Phoenix that her husband did not have a history of health conditions and that he was not taking medications routinely. His family said in a statement that the medical examiner’s report gave them closure.
The statement said:
Alex’s death had no sinister aspect.
With a degree of vindication, the family hopes that the confirmation of this truth will help all to step back, take a breath, and allow the truth to unfold throughout the process.
Rampant rumors of evil plots and conspiracy robbed the family of their time to grieve the loss of their husband, son, brother, and uncle.
Cox’s stepson found him on the bathroom floor “gasping for air as vomit came from his mouth,” according to East Idaho News. His stepson called 911, and Cox was rushed to the hospital by first responders. He was pronounced dead at Banner Gateway Hospital, the news outlet reported.
A detective wrote a report reviewed by East Idaho News, and said he spoke to Cox’s wife at the hospital.
“Zulema asked me why she was being questioned, and if she was considered a suspect in the death of her husband,” the detective wrote in his report. “I assured her she was not a suspect, but I needed information from her regarding what happened at her house when Alex was discovered.”
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