HONOLULU (KHON2) — Idaho prosecutors on Monday, May 2, filed a notice of intent seeking the death penalty against Lori Vallow Daybell if she’s convicted. She and her husband, Chad Daybell, were both charged with murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.
They were also charged in the death of Chad’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell, who died unexpectedly at home in Idaho. Investigators were suspicious of the death after Chad married Lori two weeks later.
The complex and bizarre case began in 2018 when the pair met and began embracing their apocalyptical system of cult-like beliefs of “zombies” and “vibrations.” By May 2019, police said Lori was looking at gemstones online similar to the ones that would later be in their wedding rings.
On July 11, 2019, police said Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed her estranged husband, Charles Vallow, in suburban Phoenix. That’s when police launched their investigation. Cox claimed self-defense and was never charged. He later died of an apparent blood clot in his lung.
Documents from the Chandler Police Department in Arizona offered a detailed look at their lives via text messages, computer files and interviews with close friends and family members. Read the full story here.
The children were missing for months in 2019, but their bodies were eventually found buried in the yard outside Chad’s home in Idaho. In 2020, the Daybells were arrested on Kauai.
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Chad is also facing a potential death penalty if convicted. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.