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Arizona Child Safety Received 2 Reports About Lori Vallow Before Her Children Were Murdered

A spokesperson said the reports were never investigated because they didn't meet the department's criteria for launching an investigation. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Lori Vallow Ap

The Arizona Department of Child Safety received two reports about doomsday cult mom Lori Vallow before her children were killed, but never followed up with an investigation, according to new reports.

A spokesperson for DCS confirmed to local station KPNX that the agency had received two reports in 2019 about the Vallow family but an investigation into either report was never launched because there was no sign of abuse or neglect.

One instance was reportedly related to her husband Charles Vallow’s growing concerns about his wife’s bizarre religious beliefs and the safety of their children. He reached out to Gilbert Police in January of 2019 about the concerns after returning home from a business trip and discovered his truck was missing from the airport parking lot and he had been locked out of his home, according to KSAZ-TV.

Charles Vallow told police that his wife had “lost her mind” and had adopted a disturbing set of religious beliefs. He was killed months later by Lori’s brother. Alex Cox. Prior to this, he'd told police he was also concerned about the safety of his children.

“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,” he said in the bodycam footage obtained by KNXV. “Today she said on the phone ‘Come take the kids, I don’t care what happens to them.’”

The new investigation by KPNX shows that Charles Vallow also brought his concerns to adopted son JJ Vallow’s school, L.I.F.E. Academy.

The school, in turn, reported the allegations to DCS to “ensure we are doing our due diligence in protecting JJ,” according to emails from 2019 uncovered by the news outlet.

DCS spokesperson Darren DaRonco declined to discuss the specifics of the allegations citing “confidentiality laws” but the agency did provide a checklist of criteria that must be met for the department to open an investigation.

Based on those guidelines, the victim must be younger than 18 years old, be in Arizona and have been physically, emotionally or sexually abused, neglected or abandoned. The agency must also be able to identify both the victim and the person suspected of abuse.

“We take every call to our hotline seriously and initiate an investigation for any call that meets our report criteria,” a spokesperson told The New York Daily News.

Oxygen.com reached out to DCS but did not receive an immediate response.

Lori Vallow and her new husband Chad Daybell — a religious author who reportedly inspired the mother's shifting beliefs — are now each facing murder charges in the deaths of JJ and his older sister, Tylee Ryan, after the children’s bodies were discovered last year on Daybell’s Idaho property. Both children disappeared, weeks apart, in September of 2019, shortly after their mother had uprooted the family to move to Idaho to be closer to Daybell.

Lori Vallow's friend, Melanie Gibb, later told investigators that she had referred to both children as a “zombie” before they mysteriously vanished, CBS News reports.

Charles Vallow was killed in July of 2019 by Cox, who told police at the time that he had killed his brother-in-law in self-defense. He was never charged with a crime and died himself in December of that year from what authorities have determined were natural causes. Lori Vallow was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona earlier this year in connection to his death. 

Daybell’s first wife, Tammy, also died in October 2019. Although authorities initially believed the 49-year-old had died from natural causes, they later exhumed her body and conducted an autopsy. Chad Daybell was charged with first-degree murder in her death earlier this year.

The case against Lori Vallow was put on hold in June after a judge ruled that she was unfit to stand trial, according to the news outlet.

Chad Daybell is currently awaiting trial in what prosecutors have said will be a death penalty case.

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