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Timeline of the Lori Vallow Daybell story


More than three years after her children were last seen alive, “doomsday cult mom” Lori Vallow was found guilty of their murders.

Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 8, vanished without a trace in September 2019, sparking a multi-state search while their mother appeared carefree – marrying her new husband Chad Daybell on a beach in Hawaii.

The children’s bodies were finally discovered nine months later buried in a pet cemetery on Mr Daybell’s property in Idaho. Their disappearances and deaths mark only part of a dramatic case that spans a deeply disturbing pattern of murders, unexplained deaths and bizarre cult beliefs about killing zombies.

On 12 May, the 49-year-old mother-of-three was found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft over the deaths of her two youngest children in Ada County Court in Boise, Idaho.

She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Mr Daybell’s first wife Tammy, 49.

Vallow is set to be sentenced on 31 July – as she awaits trial in another case. She is separately charged in Arizona with conspiring to murder her fourth husband Charles Vallow, with the help of her now-deceased brother Alex Cox – who mysteriously also died three months after the children’s disappearance.

Here’s a timeline of the tragic and bizarre case:

1990 – Chad Daybell marries first wife Tammy Daybell and the couple found Spring Creek Book Company together in Utah. The company publishes Mr Daybell’s doomsday books. The couple have five children together and move to Salem, Idaho, in 2015.

1992 – Lori Vallow marries her first husband, high school sweetheart Nelson Yanes.

1995 – After divorcing Mr Yanes, Lori Vallow marries her second husband William Lagioia. The couple have a son, Colby, but divorce after around a year of marriage.

2001 – Lori Vallow marries for a third time. She and husband Joseph Ryan have a daughter, Tylee Ryan. The couple divorce in 2004.

2006 – Lori Vallow marries her fourth husband Charles Vallow. Colby and Tylee live with the couple while Vallow also has two children from a previous marriage.

2014 – Lori Vallow, Charles Vallow, Tylee and Colby move to Kauai, Hawaii, together. The same year, the couple adopts Joshua “JJ” Vallow. JJ is the biological grandson of Charles Vallow’s sister Kay Woodcock.

2017 – The family moves back to the US mainland and lives together in Arizona. It is around this time that friends say Lori Vallow is reading Chad Daybell’s doomsday books and her behaviour begins to change.

April 2018 – Lori Vallow’s third husband Joseph Ryan dies from a heart attack. An investigation is later reopened into his death in the wake of the deaths of JJ and Tylee. It concludes that Ryan died of natural causes.

October 2018 – Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow finally meet in person for the first time at a religious conference in Utah.

February 2019 – Charles Vallow files for divorce saying he fears for the safety of himself and the children. This comes after he contacted police saying that Lori Vallow had threatened to kill him and that she believed she was a god preparing for a second coming. He had pleaded with authorities for mental health intervention for his wife but she was deemed competent at the time.

11 July 2019 – Charles Vallow is shot dead by Lori Vallow’s brother Alex Cox at Vallow’s home in Chandler, Arizona. Cox claims that he shot Vallow in self-defence when Vallow tried to attack him with a baseball bat. Police interviews show Lori Vallow smiling as she recounts what happened. Tylee – who was at the home at the time – gives a similar version of events as her mother that Cox acted in self-defence. Cox did not perform CPR and waited 43 minutes to call police.

September 2019 – Lori Vallow moves with JJ, Tylee and Alex Cox to Rexburg, Idaho, where Chad Daybell lives.

8 September 2019 – Lori Vallow, Alex Cox, JJ and Tylee visit Yellowstone National Park. Photos of the family members there mark the last signs of life for Tylee.

9 September 2019 – Alex Cox’s cellphone places him in the yard of Chad Daybell’s property for around two hours in the morning. Chad Daybell texts his wife Tammy Daybell to say that he has shot a raccoon and buried the animal in the pet cemetery on the grounds of the property.

22 September 2019 – JJ is last seen alive. He attends Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg, Idaho, in the day and is also seen at Lori Vallow’s apartment that night by her friends Melanie Gibb and David Warwick who were staying with her that weekend. The friends say they saw Alex Cox carrying JJ into the apartment.

23 September 2019 – The next morning, Lori Vallow tells Melanie Gibb and David Warwick that JJ had to be taken away because he was “being a zombie”. Alex Cox’s cellphone places him in Chad Daybell’s backyard again. Vallow also calls JJ’s school to say that he will no longer be attending and that she will homeschool him instead.

2 October 2019 – Brandon Boudreaux, the ex-husband of Lori’s niece Melanie Pawlowski, is shot at in a drive-by shooting in Arizona but escapes unscathed. The assailant is driving Charles Vallow’s car.

9 October 2019 – Tammy Daybell calls 911 after someone shoots at her with a paintball gun in the driveway of her home.

19 October 2019 – Tammy Daybell dies suddenly in her sleep aged 49. Her death is ruled natural causes.

5 November 2019 – Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell get married on a beach in Hawaii. Later this month, an investigation is launched to find the missing children after JJ’s grandparents contact law enforcement saying they haven’t been able to contact him for months.

11 December 2019 – Alex Cox dies suddenly aged 51 of natural causes, with indications of a blood clot wedged in the arteries of his lungs. The overdose drug Narcan is also found in his system.

12 December 2019 – Tammy Daybell’s body is exhumed so an autopsy can be completed. Her death is deemed suspicious but no cause of death is released.

3 January 2020 – A search is carried out on Chad Daybell’s property for the first time.

25 January 2020 – Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell are located by authorities in Hawaii. Vallow is served with a court order compelling her to physically produce her children by 30 January.

30 January 2020 – Lori Vallow fails to produce her children or disclose to authorities where they are, in violation of the Madison County, Idaho, court order.

21 February 2020 – Lori Vallow is arrested in Hawaii on charges of child abandonment and desertion. She is also charged with resisting officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of court. Vallow is ordered to be held on $5m bond. She is later extradited back to Idaho. Following her arrest, Chad Daybell is confronted by an ABC News journalist and asked if the children are safe. He refuses to answer.

9 June 2020 – JJ and Tylee’s remains are discovered on Chad Daybell’s property. JJ’s body is found in a black plastic bag wrapped in duct tape, near a tree. A piece of wood paneling and three large white flat rows have been laid in a row over his remains in the earth. Tylee’s remains are found a short distance away buried in the pet cemetery. Her body had been dismembered and burned in a fire pit, according to court documents. Mr Daybell is arrested and ordered to be held on $1m bond. Days later, authorities confirm the remains belong to the two missing children. Lori Vallow and Mr Daybell are later charged with destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence but it is many more months before murder charges are filed.

24 May 2021 – Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell are both charged over the murders of Tylee, JJ and Tammy Daybell in Idaho. They are each charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of JJ and Tylee and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy. Mr Daybell is also charged with the first-degree murder of Tammy.

27 May 2021 – Lori Vallow is ruled unfit to stand trial and is committed to a psychiatric facility for treatment.

June 2021 – Lori Vallow is charged with conspiring to murder her ex-husband Charles Vallow in Arizona. Prosecutors say she conspired with Alex Cox.

August 2021 – Prosecutors in Idaho vow to seek the death penalty against Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell for the murders of JJ, Tylee and Tammy Daybell.

11 October 2022 – Lori Vallow is deemed competent to stand trial.

19 October 2022 – Lori Vallow appears in court for her arraignment on charges over the murders of Tylee, JJ and Tammy Daybell. She refuses to enter a plea, prompting a judge to enter a not guilty plea on her behalf.

2 March 2023 – An Idaho judge rules that Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell will be tried separately for the murders of JJ and Tylee, and Tammy. Mr Daybell’s case will be rescheduled, while Vallow’s will go ahead as planned on 3 April.

21 March 2023 – The judge rules that Lori Vallow will not face the death penalty for allegedly killing her two children and conspiring to Chad Daybell’s ex-wife. The ruling comes after Vallow’s defence requests the death penalty be taken off the table because they won’t have time to fully review the vast trove of evidence handed over in recent weeks. Mr Daybell still faces the death penalty at his trial.

3 April 2023 – Lori Vallow’s trial for allegedly killing her two children and conspiring to kill Tammy Daybell began in Idaho.

11 May 2023 – Jury was sent out for deliberation.

12 May 2023 – Vallow found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft over the deaths of her children. She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy.

31 July 2023 – Vallow is set to be sentenced in the Idaho case.


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