Lori Vallow Daybell was found guilty on all charges by an Idaho jury for her role in the deaths of her 16-year-old daughter, Tylee Ryan, her 7-year-old adopted son, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, and her husband’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. She had entered a not guilty plea.
The trial began on Monday, April 10, following a week of jury selection in which dozens of potential jurors were rejected, many for being too familiar with the case’s details or having already formed an opinion. The case was heard by a jury of ten men and eight women, and 12 were chosen to deliberate.
Several witnesses were moved to tears on the stand, and JJ Vallow’s grandfather was openly weeping in the courtroom as he listened to testimony. Witnesses have described discovering JJ and Tylee’s bodies, as well as Vallow Daybell’s religious beliefs.
Vallow Daybell did not take the stand in her own defense, and the defense rested without calling witnesses.
The trial had been postponed in part due to Vallow Daybell’s commitment, but a judge ruled last year that she was mentally competent to stand trial.
Who are the people involved?
Lori Vallow is a woman. When Daybell married Charles Vallow, her fourth husband, in 2006, she had a daughter from a previous relationship, Tylee Ryan. Vallow’s nephew — the son of his sister, Kay Woodcock — was the biological father of then 2-year-old Joshua, whom the two adopted in 2012. Joshua, also known as JJ, had autism and was said to be close to his sister Tylee.
Lori Vallow, now 54, and Chad Daybell met in 2018. The Vallows divorced the following year after their divorce was finalized. In the divorce filing, he stated that his wife had threatened to murder him.
“She threatened me, murder me, kill me,” he told police in a videotaped conversation, “48 Hours” reported.
Charles Vallow was killed in a shooting with Vallow Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, in Arizona in 2019, where the Vallow family — including JJ and Tylee — and Cox were living at the time. Vallow Daybell and her children soon relocated to Idaho.
Tammy Daybell, Chad Daybell’s wife and mother of his five children, died later that year at the Daybell’s home in Idaho of what officials initially said were natural causes but later said were suspicious.
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow married two weeks later, on November 5, 2019, in Hawaii.
What happened to Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow?
Tylee Ryan was last seen in September 2019, when her family visited Yellowstone National Park. Kay and Larry Woodcock, JJ Vallow’s biological grandparents, said they last spoke to the 7-year-old in August.
In November, Kay Woodcock asked police in Rexburg, Idaho, to check on JJ, but Vallow Daybell told them he was in Arizona with a family friend. Melanie Gibb, the friend, told police she hadn’t seen JJ in months.
By December, police and the FBI were looking for Tylee, 16, and JJ, 7. Even as police arrested Vallow Daybell in Hawaii on two felony counts related to the missing children and three misdemeanors, the search continued. She was deported to Idaho.
The hunt for Daybell continued into 2020, when police executed a search warrant on his property in Rexburg, Idaho. They discovered human remains that were later identified as JJ and Tylee — his, duct-taped and dressed in red pajamas, and hers, badly burned.
What are Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell charged with?
Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell are both charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of the children. Vallow Daybell is also charged with grand theft, a felony, for allegedly collecting Social Security benefits on behalf of her children, including those Tylee was receiving due to the death of her father.
While Daybell faced the death penalty, the judge ruled that he would not face the death penalty.
Vallow Daybell is also charged with murder conspiracy in Tammy Daybell’s death.
They both pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
In a separate Arizona case, she is accused of plotting to murder her late husband, Charles Vallow.