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In Chad Daybell’s initial talk with police about Lori Vallow’s missing children—who were later found buried on his property—he initially tried to pretend that he “didn’t know” Vallow well, even though the couple had already been married for weeks, according to authorities.
Rexburg Police detectives went to speak to Vallow on Nov. 26, 2019 about the whereabouts of her 7-year-old adopted son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, but they found Daybell and Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, outside the residence instead.
“Chad acted as if he didn’t know Lori very well and stated he didn’t know her phone number,” police said in a probable cause affidavit in Vallow's case obtained by Oxygen.com.
Cox told detectives the young boy had gone to stay with his grandmother in Louisiana; however, police knew this wasn’t true because JJ’s grandmother Kay Woodcock had been the one to first request the welfare check.
When officers confronted Daybell — who had married Vallow weeks earlier on Nov. 5 — a second time about his relationship with the Idaho mom, as he was attempting to drive away from the apartment complex, he admitted he did have her phone number and gave it to detectives, according to the affidavit.
Vallow initially told police that JJ had gone to visit family friend Melanie Gibb in Arizona and said that the two were at the movie “Frozen 2” so it was unlikely Gibb would answer a police phone call to verify the 7-year-old’s whereabouts.
Gibb eventually told police, however, that the young boy was not staying with her and that she hadn’t seen JJ since she visited the family in Idaho in September, according to a probable cause statement in Daybell’s case obtained by Oxygen.com.
When police went back to Vallow’s apartment the next day with a search warrant to try to locate JJ and his missing sister, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, they discovered that Vallow and Daybell had fled the area.
The couple was later found in Kauai, where Vallow was arrested in February and extradited back to Idaho. She's currently being held on felony charges of desertion.
The children were last seen alive in September and their remains were discovered earlier this month on Daybell’s property.
Gibb told police that Vallow believed both children had turned into “zombies” who were inhabited by “dark spirits” before their deaths, according to the probable cause statement.
Gibb said that Vallow had learned many of the ideas behind her spiritual beliefs from Daybell, a religious author who often wrote about the end of days and of preparing for the second coming.
Daybell was arrested shortly after the bodies were discovered and charged with two felony counts of concealment or destruction of evidence. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, according to local station KSL.
The couple has also been connected to string of other mysterious deaths. Vallow’s fourth husband Charles Vallow was shot to death by Cox in July 2019. Cox, who himself later died in December, told authorities that he'd shot his brother-in-law in self-defense during an argument.
Daybell’s wife, Tammy Daybell, was also found dead in October in what authorities now believe was suspicious circumstances. The Idaho Attorney General’s office is currently investigating that death.
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