CHANDLER, AZ — New interviews and documents show how Lori Daybell and Alex Cox lied to Chandler police in the hours after Charles Vallow was shot and killed.
The never-before-seen evidence also shows a laidback Lori Daybell, who had a nonchalant demeanor while talking with detectives about her husband's death hours earlier.
More than two years after the shooting, Chandler police released hundreds of photos, hours of interviews and body camera footage, and thousands of pages of reports.
All of them tied to the case that captivated, then devastated the country. "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan went missing in September 2019 and were found dead, almost a year later, on the property of Chad Daybell, their mother's fifth husband and doomsday author.
The biggest question raised from the new Chandler police evidence is: Why did the department not immediately arrest Alex Cox or refer the case to the Maricopa County Attorney Office (MCAO) for charges or review, given the clear contradictions and red flags in his statements?
And if an arrest had been made earlier, would "JJ" and Tylee still be alive today?
It is a valid question, given the fact that the children went missing roughly two months later - and Alex Cox is believed to have helped Lori and Chad Daybell carry out the murder and burial of the children before he mysteriously died in December.
It is confounding as to why it took Chandler police nearly two years to refer a "Conspiracy to Commit Murder" charge to MCAO. On the scene, there was some clear skepticism from officers and detectives.
In the interview rooms, Lori and her brother, Alex Cox, also had vague and sometimes contradictory stories.
For instance, Alex Cox said he fired "a couple" shots. Then "more than one." Clearly confused, he also said he fired in self-defense and never gave his brother-in-law a warning before firing.
"I didn't say anything. He was coming at me. And I'm holding a gun," Cox told a detective. "You come at someone holding a gun, you gotta be ready for the repercussions."
When asked what happened after the shooting, Cox stalled and appeared to be searching his mind for his story.
"What happens right after [Lori leaves]," the detective asked. "Right after that...um...I uh...I went to the kitchen. Rinsed my hands off. Then I went back into the room, put the gun down, grabbed my phone. Then went back into the kitchen and called 911," replied Cox.
The Chandler police charging documents would later state they did not believe Alex ever performed CPR like he initially claimed.
"Based on this timeline, Charles would have laid dead or dying for approximately 43 minutes before Alex called 911," investigators wrote. "During this time, phone records indicated that Alex called Lori."
After the shooting, Lori Daybell said she "went into Mom mode" which apparently meant take Charles' phone and rental car and driving to Burger King to get "JJ" food before school, then taking Tylee to Walgreens to buy flip flops.
Lori Daybell, at the time still Vallow, told detectives she never saw her brother fire "the shot."
When asked if Alex Cox said anything to her after the shooting, Lori replied, "No, we were both in shock."
Daybell, who had been married three times prior to becoming a Vallow, indicated to police that after she witnessed her husband being shot to death in her living room, she simply walked out to her car and took her kids to school without saying anything.
Ten weeks after the shooting, "JJ" and Tylee vanished and were never seen alive again.
Fourteen weeks after Lori and Alex lied to police, Chad Daybell's former wife would wind up dead. Two weeks after his wife dead, Daybell was smiling on a Hawaii beach marrying Lori.
Roughly 20 weeks after he shot and killed Charles Vallow, Alex Cox would mysteriously die in Gilbert. An autopsy would later say he passed away due to natural causes.
In a statement, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office told ABC15: "Chandler submitted a case for Lori and Chad Daybell on April 1, 2021. We charged Lori but declined to file charges against Chad Daybell based on no likelihood of conviction at trial.
Lori Daybell has been in a state mental health facility since June.