Months before Lori Vallow’s two children disappeared, her fourth—and now deceased—husband gave police an ominous warning about the children’s safety.
“I don’t know what she’s gonna do with them. I don’t know if she’s going to flee with them, if she’s going to hurt them,” Charles Vallow told a Gilbert Police officer in January 2019, according to body cam footage obtained by KNXV. “Today she said on the phone ‘Come take the kids, I don’t care what happens to them.’”
Lori’s children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old adopted son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, both disappeared in September, a few months after Charles Vallow was shot to death by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox.
Cox, who also mysteriously died himself in December, told police at the time that he'd killed Charles in self-defense.
New body camera footage released by the Gilbert Police reveals more about Charles' and Lori's relationship and shows that Charles was concerned about his wife’s mental state and his own safety months before he was killed.
Charles spoke to a Gilbert Police officer just after midnight on Jan. 31, 2019 after he had returned to Arizona from a business trip in Texas and discovered his truck was missing from the airport parking lot. He had also been locked out of his home and was unable to get in touch with Lori, who had left with the children, according to local station KSAZ-TV.
Charles told the officer he was concerned that his wife was “mentally unstable.”
"She’s lost her mind; I don’t know how else to say it. We’re LDS, she thinks she’s a resurrected being and a God, a member of the 144,000," he said according to KNXV. "She took all the money out of her bank account today, and our truck is gone."
Charles told police that Lori had threatened to harm him over the phone hours earlier and believed he was inhabited by a man named “Nick Schneider.”
“She says, ‘You’re not Charles, I don’t know who you are, what you did to Charles, but I can murder you with my powers,” he said, according to KSAZ-TV.
Charles told police that his wife’s increasingly bizarre religious beliefs had been harming their marriage.
“I love her to death. This is killing me, officer,” he said. “It’s our 13th anniversary next month. We had a great marriage. All of a sudden the last month it just blew up.”
Charles asked police to conduct a welfare check at his home and authorities later issued an order for Lori to receive a mental health evaluation after their conversation with Charles, ABC News reports.
But the following day, Lori visited with the officers and was allowed to drive to the hospital herself with a friend, according to a police report obtained by the news outlet.
She told police that Charles had stolen her purse and also accused him of cheating on her.
"I found some stuff that he’d been doing, so he was really defensive and so I took the kids. We spent a night in a hotel because I knew he was coming home," Lori allegedly said at the time, according to KSAZ-TV. "Told him not to come home, that his stuff would be gone and that his car would be gone.”
Lori only stayed at the mental health facility for a matter of hours before returning to her regular life.
Lori’s attorney, Mark Means, has questioned the timing of the newly released body camera footage.
“In regard to said release, and others, this could be construed as a ‘tactically’ timed release in an attempt to ‘control the narrative’ to fit a predetermined conclusion regarding the Cox family and persons, etc.,” he said in a written statement to ABC News. “If that is the case, that would be an inappropriate use of public resources.”
Means went on to call for the Gilbert Police and other agencies to release all of their findings, videos, photographs and other materials related to her case.
Charles was killed on July 11, 2019 during an argument with Cox.
Lori’s children would disappear just a few months later after Lori moved the family from Arizona to Rexbug, Idaho to be closer to Chad Daybell, a religious author who often spoke about the end of times.
She married Daybell that fall, just two weeks after his own spouse, Tammy Daybell, 49, died at her home. Authorities have deemed the death suspicious and exhumed her body to conduct an autopsy.
The Idaho Attorney General’s Office is currently investigating both Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell for possible murder, conspiracy or attempted murder charges in connection with Tammy’s sudden death, according to East Idaho News
Tylee and JJ were last seen in September.
Officials have said the last known images of Tylee were taken on Sept. 8, 2019 during a family outing to Yellowstone National Park, according to an affidavit of probable cause released by the Madison County Prosecuting Attorney.
Her younger brother JJ was last seen a few weeks later at his elementary school on Sept. 23. The following day, Lori called the school to say he would no longer be attending the elementary because she planned to homeschool him, according to the affidavit.
Lori is currently being held on a $1 million bond in an Idaho jail on multiple felony counts, including desertion and non-support of dependent children, after she failed to produce the children by a deadline given by authorities.
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