Murder charges have been announced against Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell

ST. ANTHONY, ID (3TV/CBS 5) - Lori Vallow, the former Arizona mother whose two children were found buried in a backyard in Idaho, is now being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and grand theft of deception in the deaths of her children. Vallow and her new husband Chad Daybell, who was also charged in the deaths of the children, were also indicted on conspiracy to commit first-degree murder of Tammy Daybell, Chad's former wife.

Prosecutors hold press conference on latest Lori Vallow court proceedings on May 25, 2021.

Fremont County, Idaho Prosecutor Lindsey Blake and Madison County, Idaho Prosecutor Rob Wood presented evidence to the Grand Jury that connected the pair to all three homicides. Both believe there is probable cause to prove that the crimes were committed as part of a conspiracy and a Fremont County Grand Jury agreed. “Fremont Prosecutor Lindsey Blake and I believe all three homicides and the related financial crimes were committed as part of a continuing criminal scheme,” said Wood. “The unprecedented cooperation among law enforcement has been a model of cooperation, diligence and commitment. Every person who has worked on this case is to be commended for their diligence and steadfast pursuit of justice for Tammy, Tylee and JJ.”

Arizona's Family speaks to friends of Lori Vallow, who give their emotional reaction after murder charges were announced against Vallow and Chad Daybell

Reaction from former friend

"The last thing Vaisia said was, 'We've gotta get together,' and Tylee was like, 'Yeah, we do.' And then they never did," said Lori Vallow's once friend Echo Itaaehau. Her daughter was best friends with Tylee. "Do you think those charges are fair?" asked reporter Briana Whitney. "Um, yeah, yeah. I think the charges are fair based on everything I've heard since the kids were found and everything," Itaaehau said.

Itaaehau said while Lori never changed in front of her, she can't believe what's happened in the past couple of years - a trail of deaths of people close to her with radical religious beliefs. That's not the Lori she or her daughter knew.

"So do you think she just kind of cracked?" asked Whitney. "Something. I don't know how or why or what happened but that's the only thing that makes sense to us. That there was some sort of mental break with reality and with the real world and maybe somehow it blended for her with the afterlife," Itaaehau said.

The Fremont County Grand Jury indictments include: 

  • Count I - Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder and Grand Theft by Deception for the death of Tylee Ryan.
  • Count II -Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of First Degree Murder for the death of Tylee Ryan.
  • Count III – Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder and Grand Theft by Deception for the death of JJ Vallow.
  • Count IV - Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of First Degree Murder for the death of JJ Vallow.
  • Count V - Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.
  • Count VI - Chad Daybell was indicted on the charge of First Degree Murder in the death of his wife Tammy Daybell.
  • Count VII - Lori Daybell was indicted on the charge of Grand Theft related to Social Security Survivor benefits over $1,000 allocated for the care of minors Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow that were appropriated after the children were missing and ultimately found deceased.
  • Count VIII - Chad Daybell was indicted on the charge of Insurance Fraud related to a life insurance policy he had on Tammy Daybell for which he was the beneficiary and received funds after her death.
  • Count IX - Chad Daybell was indicted on the charge of Insurance Fraud related to another life insurance policy he had on Tammy Daybell for which he was the beneficiary and received funds after her death.

Vallow previously lived in the East Valley before moving to Rexburg, Idaho, in August 2019 after her former husband, Charles Vallow, was shot by her brother, Alex Cox.

FULL SECTION: Missing Idaho Kids Investigation

Vallow’s children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow, disappeared in September 2019. Vallow left to Kauai with her new husband and East Idaho local Daybell once police started inquiring about the whereabouts of her children. Vallow was arrested in February 2020 on charges of deserting and abandoning her children.

JJ and Tylee’s bodies were found buried in Daybell’s backyard in Fremont County, Idaho, in June 2020. Detectives used cell phone data from Cox’s cell phone that pinged him in Daybell’s backyard on the respective days each child was last seen.

Cox died in December 2019 of apparent natural causes.

Tammy's family released the following statement:

As the Parents & Siblings of our dearly beloved Tammy, we want to make a brief statement in light of today’s news. First, we’d like to extend our continued love and heartfelt sympathy to the families of Tylee and JJ. Words cannot adequately express the depths of loss and pain that they are suffering, but we hope they know that they are not alone and we grieve and hold a place in our hearts with them at this time.

In light of new information and forward movement in the judicial process we ask for consideration of our family’s right to privacy and continued grieving as we process this. We’d especially ask that this consideration be extended to our dearest Tammy’s children and grandchildren. We want their lives to retain as much peace, normalcy, and remembrance of their mother/grandmother as possible. No one knows how to handle this perfectly. We ask that we all be given the space to continue to honor and grieve our loved one the best we can.

We’d like to thank the tireless efforts of law enforcement, the FBI, and all those who’ve continued to seek out the answers during the investigations surrounding Tylee, JJ, and Tammy. We appreciate their pursuit of justice, and ultimately some measure of peace for those of us left in the wake of our loss.

Thank you to all those family, friends, and supporters near and far who have continually reached out to us. We thank those who’ve shown interest in honoring Tammy’s legacy with us through our beginning efforts with the Tammy Douglas Daybell Foundation. We pray that truth will prevail, and that all of us left behind will find a way to pick up the pieces and somehow come out of this crucible together.

From Tammy’s Parents & Siblings



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