Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell, the parents of two kids who disappeared in 2019, were indicted on Tuesday on first-degree murder charges connected to the kids’ deaths. The couples’ children, Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, were last seen in September 2019.
Their disappearances sparked national attention to the couple’s “doomsday” religious beliefs. Vallow never reported the disappearance of the children and was not able to “physically produce” the kids to the authorities.
The discovery of the children’s remains on Daybell’s Idaho property prompted the arrest of the two.
Daybell was also charged with first-degree murder in the death of his former spouse Tammy Daybell, who was found dead in October 2019 in her home. Daybell and Vallow are also facing additional charges of fraud and theft related to insurance policies of the deceased children and Social Security benefits.
Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake and Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood said at a Tuesday press conference that local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities had worked tirelessly for almost a year to gather evidence to boost the case.
Daybell, a self-published author, has written more than two dozen books about near-death and doomsday events. He reportedly told a friend he had prophesied Tammy would die before her death. Relatives had raised concerns about the couple’s ties to a doomsday group and religious cult called Preparing the People.
According to the indictment, the couple endorsed and espoused religious beliefs to encourage and justify the homicides of Tylee, JJ, and Tammy.
After the children’s bodies were discovered in June 2020, one of Lori Vallow’s friends, Melani Gibb, shared with authorities that Vallow believed that her children had turned into zombies. Vallow thought her children were stuck in a “limbo” that can only be freed if the person’s “physical body” is killed.
Before Charles Vallow, Vallow’s fourth husband, died in 2019, he filed for divorce, claiming that his wife claims that she is a reincarnated god sent to lead people during the second coming of Christ.