CHANDLER — The Chandler Police Department has released its probable cause statement for its reason to recommend charges against Lori Vallow Daybell.
On July 11, 2019, the Chandler Police Department was called to a home on South Four Peaks Place for reports of a shooting.
The caller who identified himself as Alex Cox, Lori’s brother, indicated that he shot his brother-in-law, Charles Vallow, in self-defense.
As a result, a homicide investigation was conducted and everyone involved was interviewed.
Once the investigation was completed, according to court paperwork, detectives had concerns about a potential bullet strike on the ground near Charles Vallow’s body. There was also concern about the timeline of events before and after the death. This led detectives to investigate further.
In the weeks after Charles Vallow’s death, investigators reportedly learned Charles and Lori were experiencing problems in their marriage. As a result, Charles moved Lori into the Chandler residence on Four Peaks Place with Lori’s daughter Tylee Ryan and their adoptive son JJ Vallow. Charles remained living in Texas and came to visit on July 10, 2019.
When detectives looked into their relationship, they discovered that Lori had accused Charles of infidelity which led to their separation.
During the uncertainty of their relationship, detectives learned Lori left JJ with Charles and disappeared for over two months.
Officials say Charles was concerned for Lori’s mental health after she started to express that she was selected to prepare 144,000 people for the end of the world.
Concerned for her well-being and that of the children, Charles filed a mental health petition asking for a mental health evaluation.
In the petition, Charles reportedly mentioned how Lori told him that he was possessed by a dark spirit named Ned Schneider. He said Lori would also refer to him as Ned in writing and in conversation.
During Charles' death investigation, the grandmother of JJ Vallow contacted detectives and said she was concerned about JJ. She said Lori was not allowing him to call or video message with her and her husband.
It was later discovered that Lori had relocated to Rexburg, Idaho with Alex Cox, where Idaho authorities were then asked to conduct a welfare check on JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
During the welfare check in November 2019, Lori indicated the children were staying in Arizona. Investigators say that was not the case. Lori also told another witness that her children went to stay with a different person, which investigators say was also not true.
During this time, investigators learned Lori Vallow had married Chad Daybell who was a resident of Rexburg, and that Chad’s wife Tammy Daybell died in her sleep on October 19, 2019.
Officials say Lori and Chad married within a month of Tammy’s death.
As a result, investigators from the Chandler Police Department, Gilbert Police Department, Rexburg Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations began to coordinate efforts to locate JJ and Tylee.
The effort consisted of numerous search warrants on telephone records, social media accounts, bank records, medical records, email accounts, residences and seized electronic devices.
As a result of the data recovered, it was believed that none of the mentioned crimes were a coincidence or justifiable.
Specifically to Chandler, the evidence showed that Charles' death was a planned event and believed to be "necessary" to prevent Charles and others from confronting Lori about her extreme religious beliefs when he went to visit on July 11, 2019.
The evidence also indicated the death of Charles Vallow was also "necessary" in order for Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow to marry and fulfill their religious prophecy.
During the investigation, detectives also learned that Lori Vallow believed she was an exalted Goddess and she and Chad were directed to lead 144,000 people in preparing for the end of the world.
Through the investigation, many witnesses came forward and provided insight into their belief system. If you offered any opposition to their belief or their destiny, witnesses say you were seen as possessed, court documents show.
While reviewing the documents collected by the agencies involved, officials concluded that Lori and Alex conspired to murder Charles Vallow on July 11 using the following key points:
The first key evidence proving she wanted to cause harm to Charles Vallow was discovered in text messages between Lori Vallow and the widow of Alex Cox on November 3, 2018. The messages were discovered after the woman's cell phone was seized and data extracted by the Gilbert Police Department after the death of her husband Alex Cox.
In those messages, the unnamed widow of Cox told Lori that she was told by God that she is to protect Lori. In January of 2019, the unnamed woman told Lori she had a vision that she could create storms and fire and will have the eye of the Lord. In February, Lori texted her and said that Charles was blocking her gifts.
In the probable cause statement, Chandler PD says from that point forward there was a specific conversation that proved she wanted to cause harm to Charles Vallow, who has also been referred to as a dark spirit called “Hiplos” or “Ned.”
According to text messages between Lori and Charles, Lori returned to Texas on June 3, 2019. That same night she texted an unnamed person and wrote “Just got home and got jj to sleep. Let's go spiritually tonight and work on him. We give the timing to the Lord but we don`t need to relent. This is war.”
A week later she sent another text message that read, “Oh and can you meet me at the temple in the morning? I have time tomorrow and we can work on Hiplos.”
While looking into Lori’s web history, officials found a search on June 21, 2019, for Social Security disability. By utilizing a URL attached to the web search, investigators were taken to a Social Security Disability application. The form allows a person to enter the applicant’s information to be able to obtain a free benefits evaluation.
Chandler PD believes this is of importance as it would indicate an inquiry as to the benefits that Lori would be entitled to.
In a text message to Chad Daybell on July 18, 2019, a week after Charles was killed, Lori wrote, “So I talked to the insurance company. He changed it in March. So it was probably Ned before we got rid of him. They can’t tell me to who of course but it’s done. I’ll still get the 4,000 a month from SS”.
Back on June 22, 2019, Alex Cox sent a text message regarding “Hiplos” or Charles Vallow. Then on June 27, 2019, he wrote to Lori saying “Do you think there is a way to change Hiplos to the light?”
On June 29, 2019, Charles Vallow discovered a fictitious letter that Lori sent to an unnamed person. The letter was written as if it was from Charles Vallow asking Chad Daybell to come to Arizona to assist him with writing a book.
Authorities believe this discovery sent everything into action. Charles confronted Lori about the fake letter and accused her of writing the letter so Chad Daybell could provide a reason for his wife to come to Arizona to visit Lori.
Charles asked Lori to come clean about her relationship with Chad, and by the end of the day or he would contact Tamara Daybell and inform her of the relationship.
Following the discovery of the letter, Charles started communicating with the brother of Lori and Alex Cox, and he told him about the letter and Lori’s alleged radical beliefs. The two of them planned an intervention on or around July 10 and arranged for travel to Arizona.
During this time, Lori and Chad continued texting about Charles. Chandler PD states there is no obvious communication between Lori and Chad to show he was directly involved with the planning of Charles’ murder.
On July 9, 2019, Lori was informed by her mother about the potential intervention and visit from her brother. She then reached out to her brother Alex Cox, and other unnamed people, to warn them of the elaborate plan that their brother and Charles had.
On July 10, the unnamed brother and his son were picked up at the airport by an unnamed person. That unnamed person provided Lori with updates regarding the brother’s whereabouts and asked Lori if she wanted to run interference. At this point, in messages obtained through iCloud, an unnamed person asked Lori if she wanted to have their mother do a "preemptive strike" and confront the brother. Lori replied no and just asked that her mother collect information.
Based on text messages that were located, it was apparent that they were trying to keep the unnamed brother away from Alex Cox.
On July 10, Lori told her sister that she was headed to Alex’s house. During that time, she continued to message Charles and never confronted or indicated to him that she knew something was planned.
Around that same time Lori reached out to an unnamed person and convinced her to cancel her trip to Utah for a wedding texting, “U can't go at all. We both need to stay here to defend ourselves”. Lori added, “It's coming to a head ! This week will change everything."
Lori also texted Alex the following: “Getting sleepy. So I'm gong to need you to stay close to me the next couple days. too. She can't go to Utah. They are planking some kind of intervention but want out of the way so I'm left alone. I need to come get the stuff at your house tomorrow and secure it. Lots to do. Thank you for standing by me. It's all coming to a head this week. I will be like nephi I am told ! And so will you.”
On July 11, 2019, at 7:35 a.m., Charles Vallow arrived at South Four Peaks Place to pick up JJ. When he arrived, he sent a text to the unnamed brother alerting that Alex was there. The brother then told Charles that they were planning something and Charles stated, “Absolutely.”
The brother indicated he was supposed to stay the night with Alex but "Lori probably blocked this."
Following the murder of Charles Vallow, Lori allegedly took his rental vehicle and cellular phone. The GPS data associated with the phone indicated that the phone left the residence at 7:49 a.m. Lori then went to Burger King to get food for JJ, Walgreens to get flip flops for her and Tylee, and finally returned at 8:48 a.m.
Alex Cox would not call 911 until 8:32 a.m. to report the shooting.
When reporting the incident, Alex indicated it had just happened. He was provided with CPR instructions and he acted as if he was performing life-saving measures on Charles. It was not until paramedics began life-saving measures that they saw blood coming from Charles’ body, indicating that Alex never did.
Based on this timeline, Charles would have laid dead or dying for about 43 minutes before Alex called 911. During this time phone records show that Alex called Lori.
Lori, Tylee, and Alex told investigators about a physical altercation that was started by Charles. During the altercation, Lori left the residence with Tylee and JJ. As they were leaving, Tylee and Lori reported hearing a gunshot.
As part of the homicide investigation, Alex performed a walk-through for investigators. He indicated that as Charles was coming at him, he shot him twice in the chest while Charles was standing.
The findings from an autopsy discovered that one of these shots was consistent with Alex’s statement. That shot would have gone through Charles and ended up in the baseboard. However, the second shot entered below Charles’ rib cage and exited through his upper left shoulder causing a defect in the flooring where Charles was found, which indicated that Charles was already laying on the floor when this second shot was fired.
After the murder of Charles Vallow, additional text messages and emails were located that would indicate the murder was intentional and according to a thought-out plan.
Chad Daybell sent Lori a text message that read, “I got the inspiration to go back to my original death percentages that helped us track Charles, Ned, etc. Tammy is very close. Her percentage has fallen steadily since Hiplos left. It is encouraging!”
Based on this probable cause synopsis and other evidence, the Chandler Police Department recommended in May that Lori Vallow be charged with conspiracy to commit murder for the death of her then husband Charles Vallow.
That same month, prosecutors brought a number of new charges against Lori and Chad Daybell, including first-degree murder, in the deaths of Lori’s children, “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan.