GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Gilbert Police released body-camera footage of the day they responded to Alex Cox's death in December 2019.
Cox is Lori Vallow's brother. Vallow, who previously lived in Arizona, is now in jail in Idaho after her two kids, JJ and Tylee, were found dead in her new husband, Chad Daybell's, backyard.
JJ and Tylee were last seen in September 2019 and were reported missing by their grandmother in November of that year. Their bodies were found in June 2020.
With two dead spouses, two missing kids, and a dead brother, the investigation picked up and the world was watching.
Detectives used Cox's cellphone data to determine he was on Daybell's property the respective days each child was last seen.
However, on Dec. 12, 2019, Cox was found unresponsive in his home.
Cox's wife, who he married just two weeks before his death, called her son to check on Cox. According to police reports, Cox was found on the bathroom floor covered in his own feces and vomit. Investigators blurred the body-camera footage, but you can hear officers questioning Cox's wife and her son.
"When I started doing compressions, he was blue on his face," his wife explained. "He was talking to one of his friends. They said they would give him a blessing. So they were giving him a blessing over the phone and then my friends texted me and said, 'You better get home now. He's not doing well. He's on the ground, in the bathroom.' So I called my son and I said, 'Go over there and make sure he doesn't pass out, I'm on my way home.'"
When Gilbert police arrived on the scene, they quickly linked him to open criminal investigations--including the disappearances of JJ and Tylee, and the shooting death of Charles Vallow, Lori's estranged husband at the time, where Cox claimed he shot him in self-defense.
Cox was taken to the hospital, where CPR was continued for at least another 45 minutes. He was later pronounced dead.
"He never tried a drug in his life. He doesn't even drink coffee," his wife told an officer on the body-cam footage.
His wife also told officers that Cox recently went to Mexico to pick up some medicine.
"He went to get some Z-packs and some (inaudible) and to refill my Levoxyl," she said.
Meanwhile, several detectives are still at the house waiting to get a search warrant signed by a judge.
"I was just wondering, is it possible for you guys to wait outside? My kids are already going through enough trauma without you standing right next to them," the wife is heard saying on the phone to the officers in her home.
"Someone died in your house today and we're not going to leave your house 'til we finish that investigation and we're going to secure it while we seek a search warrant from a judge and if the judge grants it, then we'll conduct a search if necessary to finish the death investigation," an officer explained to her.
"Let me ask you this, why are you saying someone died in the house when he wasn't even pronounced dead until he was in the hospital?" she asked. "I'm going to get a hold of my lawyer."
A former county prosecutor and defense attorney not linked to this case says that's a fairly normal reaction.
"Her simply saying, 'I don't want you folks in the house. I want to consult with a lawyer,' is kind of normal," explained Mel McDonald.
Because Cox's death was ruled natural by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner, McDonald said the body-cam footage will likely not be relevant in Lori and Chad's trials in Idaho.
"I would be surprised that either the prosecutor or the defense tried to introduce his death or circumstances surrounding that death into the case," McDonald said. "Body-cam of a guy that's collapsed on the second floor of their house on the floor, wouldn't add anything pro or con, I think, to the case."
McDonald said Cox's death is just an interesting footnote to an already bizarre case.
"You follow the trail of people getting killed and shot to death and spouses dying and you can't make this stuff up and this is just another piece of the puzzle," McDonald said. "I think he is not only a mystery person, but he is perhaps one of the reasons why they haven't brought murder charges against Lori Vallow or Chad Daybell."
Gilbert Police closed the case on Cox's death investigation in January 2021. No arrests were made.