Lori Vallow has been accused of stonewalling police and believing her kids were zombies

By Steve Helling
March 25, 2020 03:34 PM

Police are still searching for two Idaho siblings — Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, who were last seen in September.

Their mother, Lori Vallow, was arrested last month on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, where she went after her kids vanished. She faces two counts of desertion of a child and other charges and faces up to 14 years in prison for each count.

More than a month after her arrest, the children remain unaccounted for. Police in Kaua’i says there is “no indication” the children are on Kaua’i. Lori, who is being held on $5 million bond, faces a maximum sentence on each count of 14 years in prison — but she has yet to disclose the whereabouts of her children. 

Before her kids vanished, Lori married Chad Daybell, a religious author who writes about prophecy and the end of the world, and relatives have expressed concern over Lori’s embrace of extreme religious views.

Adding to the concern about the kids’ disappearance: Several people close to Lori and Chad have died under mysterious circumstances, including Chad’s former wife as well as Lori’s ex-husband and her brother.

Here are five of the most disturbing allegations against Lori Vallow.

RELATED: Mom of 2 Missing Idaho Kids — Who Refuses to Cooperate — Allegedly Believes She’s God Reincarnated

J.J. Vallow, Lori Vallow, Tylee Ryan
Rexburg Police Department

1. Cops say Lori Has Been Uncooperative — and She Missed Deadline to Produce Kids

After Lori and Chad were located in Hawaii, authorities gave Lori five days to produce the children — a deadline she missed on January 30, though authorities didn’t take action until her arrest on Feb. 20.

Previously, Rexburg police alleged in a statement that Lori “has refused to work with law enforcement to help us resolve this matter.”

RELATED: Older Brother of Missing Siblings Says He’s ‘Done’ With Mom, Who Isn’t Cooperating with Search

Prior to Lori’s arrest, J.J.’s grandfather, Larry Woodcock, told PEOPLE Lori’s lack of cooperation is egregious.

“She didn’t comply with a court order,” he says. “She belongs in handcuffs.”

2. Lori Allegedly Believed Her 2 Children Became ‘Zombies’

Bombshell documents were filed last week in an Arizona court by Lori’s niece’s ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux, in a child custody case against his ex, Melani Boudreaux Pawlowski.

According to the filing, Melani Pawlowski allegedly claimed that she “had been told by Chad and Lori that her children had been possessed and had become zombies.”

According to her attorney, Melani Pawlowski is cooperating with the authorities and has spoken to the FBI three times.

J.J. Vallow, Tylee Ryan
Rexburg Police Department (2)

3. Lori Allegedly Fantasized About Driving Kids off Cliff

Annie Cushing, Tylee’s aunt, also expressed alarm about Lori in an interview with KSL TV.

“It’s like she wanted me to be afraid of the end times,” Cushing said.

Recalling Lori’s alleged statements anticipating the end of the world, Cushing recalled, “There was one time where she was talking about it and she says, ‘Sometimes, I think it would be better just to put my kids in a car and go off the side of a cliff.’”

4. Lori Allegedly Thinks She’s God Reincarnated

Before his death in July 2019, Charles Vallow was seeking a divorce from Lori. His legal filings described Lori’s growing embrace of extreme religious beliefs and a claim that Lori believed “she was a God assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020 and that if Father [Charles] got in her way of her mission she would murder him.”

Shortly after this filing, Charles Vallow was shot to death in July 2019 by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox. The incident happened during an altercation at Lori’s home. Cox claimed he shot Charles in self-defense and was never charged.

Lori then moved to Idaho and married Chad; Cox was later found dead under mysterious circumstances.

RELATED: Mom of Missing Idaho Children Arrested in Hawaii on $5M Warrant and Charged with Child Abandonment

5. The Siblings’ Toys, Clothes Were Found in Idaho Storage Unit

According to East Idaho News, Lori rented and later abandoned a storage unit in which she kept items that appeared to belong to the children.

Police say that she rented the unit on October 1, and was seen on surveillance video checking on the belongings several times. But when the credit card on file to pay for the unit was declined in January, the owner of the unit called police.

RELATED: Idaho Mom had 5 Days to Produce her 2 Missing, Endangered Kids — and She Missed Deadline

Once inside the storage unit, officers found bikes, a scooter, winter clothing, a photo album with pictures of J.J. and Tylee, sports equipment and a backpack with J.J.’s initials. There were also blankets showing photos of the children.

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