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Lori Vallow’s Brother Says ‘Death Isn’t Good Enough’ For Jailed Sister

Adam Cox says the disturbing accusations against his sister, Lori Vallow, have created a deep divide among his family, and claims Vallow is "just the same as she's always been" while behind bars. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Lori Vallow Charged In Connection With Husband's Death

Lori Vallow’s brother said “death isn’t good enough” for his jailed sister.

Vallow’s older brother Adam Cox made the comments during a new interview with ABC News’ “20/20” exploring Vallow’s past, her attitude today while behind bars and the divide the disturbing accusations against her have caused within her family.

Vallow and her fifth husband Chad Daybell, a religious author who often wrote about the end of days, are facing murder charges in the death of two of her children, 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan after authorities say the pair adopted a bizarre set of religious beliefs that led them to believe the children had been taken over by dark spirits.

The children’s bodies were discovered buried on Daybell’s property in June 2020 after an extensive search to find the missing children, who vanished weeks apart in September of 2019, according to an affidavit in the case previously obtained by Oxygen.com.

Chad Daybell Lori Vallow Ap

Cox said the accusations have caused a deep divide within his family.

“Our family is nothing the way it used to be,” he told “20/20” in a special airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET. “You don’t know who to trust, who’s saying what, what actually happened.”

But while the accusations have wreaked havoc within Vallow’s family, Cox said the jail time for his younger sister—whose case was delayed after she was declared mentally unfit to stand trial—has done little to alter her mindset.

"My mom has talked to her, and it seems that my mom is saying that she's just the same that she's always been," Cox said in a clip of the interview obtained by Oxygen.com "My mom thinks that being in jail hasn't had any effect on her at all as far as coming to reality of what actually is happening."

Cox described Vallow — who was the middle of five siblings — as a popular cheerleader growing up in Southern California.

“There was nothing odd, there was nothing alarming or something that you would think that, ‘How could she go off and do these things?” he said.

But Cox said he started to notice a change in his sister during her fourth marriage to Charles Vallow as she fell deeper into her doomsday beliefs. She told her brother that she was a “translated being” who couldn’t die and often spoke to Jesus Christ “face to face,” which Cox said he found disturbing.

“I looked at her, and she looked at me, and I was like ‘Lori, what you’re saying is not true…This is nonsense,” he recalled, according to ABC News. “And she goes, ‘You think I’m crazy, don’t you?’”

Cox said Charles had also been concerned about this wife’s beliefs and the two had been planning to hold an intervention for her in July 2019; however, before the meeting ever took place Charles—who was estranged from Lori at the time—was shot to death in her Arizona home by one of her other brothers, Alex Cox.

Alex, who died himself later that year of natural causes, told investigators that he had shot Charles in self-defense during an argument while trying to protect Tylee. However, in June the Maricopa County Attorney announced conspiracy to commit murder charges against Lori in connection with the death, saying they believed Lori and Alex had "agreed" to carry out the murder. 

In September of 2019, Lori moved with Tylee and J.J. to Rexburg, Idaho to be closer to Daybell. Her children both disappeared that same month.

The following month, Daybell's wife Tammy died at her home. Although authorities initially believed Tammy died of natural causes, Daybell is now facing murder charges in connection with her death. He's pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Just weeks after Tammy's death, Lori and Chad married in Hawaii.

Police did not begin to investigate the children’s disappearance until November of 2019 after J.J.’s grandparents had called police to do a welfare check. They had been concerned they hadn’t spoken to J.J. in months.

Rather than producing the children, Lori and Chad hopped a plane to Hawaii and refused to answer questions about the children’s whereabouts.

“I had that same gut feeling in my stomach, the same way I had the same gut feeling when Charles was killed,” Adam said. “And I thought, ‘If she’s not saying where the kids are, the kids are dead.’”

Adam described the realization in the UCP Audio podcast “The Followers: Madness of Two,” released last year, as “lonely and frustrating” since many of his family members still held out hope the children were alive.

“It’s hard for me, because I knew in my heart that the kids were dead and my mom and everybody thought that the kids were alive,” he said at the time. “They thought that … Lori was hiding them somewhere in Hawaii.”

When the children’s bodies were later discovered on June 9, 2020 buried on Daybell’s property, Adam told “20/20” he “went into shock.”

“It’s heart-wrenching,” he said. “It’s an emotional disaster.”

While neither Lori or Chad has gone to trial yet on the charges against them, Adam believes no punishment will be fitting enough.

"Jail for the rest of their life is not good enough. Death isn't good enough," he said. "If you think about what those kids went through, is there anything that could bring justice to what happened to those kids?"