BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Prosecutors say the mother of two children who were found dead in rural Idaho months ago after disappearing in a bizarre case that caught the attention of the world conspired with her new husband to murder the bodies of hide or destroy the children.
The new charges against Lori Vallow Daybell came late on Monday, the latest turn in a case related to the mysterious deaths of the couple’s former husbands and their beliefs about zombies and the apocalypse that may have influenced their actions.
Daybell has already been accused of abandoning or leaving 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, but because police found their remains buried in her husband’s yard, it is not clear whether the allegations of abandonment will stand. She has also been charged with impeding a police investigation, asking a friend to lie to the police on her behalf, and contempt of court for failing to follow a court order to bring the children to the officials.
Her lawyer has indicated that he intends to defend herself against the charges, but has not yet had a chance to make a plea.
Daybell’s husband, Chad Daybell, was accused this month of hiding evidence by destroying or hiding the children’s bodies. He pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors use the same behavior as in Lori Daybell’s older allegations to support the conspiracy charge, saying she helped Chad Daybell’s efforts to hide the bodies by asking her friend to lie to the police about her whereabouts. JJ and herself lie to the police when she told JJ was in Arizona and Tylee was in college.
The authorities have not yet said exactly how the children died or who caused their deaths. Court documents suggest that JJ was buried in an animal graveyard on Chad Daybell’s property and that Tylee’s remains had been cut up and burned. Investigators found the remains by tracking the movements of Lori Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, using cell phone data. Authorities searched Chad Daybell’s house again on Monday, but did not say what they were looking for.
Cox is also dead and succumbed to an apparent blood clot in his lung at his Arizona home last December. In the latest court documents filed in Lori Daybell’s conspiracy case, Rexburg Police Lieutenant Ron Ball wrote that Cox was also involved in the conspiracy to hide the children’s remains by taking JJ to Chad Daybell’s property on the day the child was buried and by police to tell later the boy was visiting his grandparents in Louisiana.
The documents also refer to claims that the Daybells believed dark spirits or “zombies” would possess humans. Lori Daybell told her friend Melanie Gibb at different times in 2019 that both JJ and Tylee had become zombies. Gibb said the Daybells also believed that the only way to free a person from a dark spirit was to kill them so that the person could rest in the afterlife.
“Gibb was informed by Vallow that when a person became a ‘zombie’, their original mind left their body and entered ‘limbo’ and was stuck and cannot go to ‘paradise’,” Ball wrote in an affidavit. ” Gibb when, in order to free the person’s original mind from the limbo, the person’s physical body had to die Despite the teaching that a physical body must die, Gibb reports that Vallow or Daybell never told her that she intended were committing a physical murder themselves. “
The complex case began last summer with Cox shooting Lori’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, in the suburbs of Phoenix in what he claimed was self-defense. Seeking divorce, Vallow said that Lori believed she had become a god-like figure responsible for initiating the Biblical end times.
Shortly after Vallow’s death, Lori and the children moved to Idaho, where Chad Daybell lived. He had a small publishing house and published many fiction books he wrote about apocalyptic screenplays loosely based on the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also recorded podcasts about preparing for the apocalypse, and friends said he claimed to be able to receive visions from “outside the veil.”
He was married to Tammy Daybell, who died in her sleep last October from what she believed to be natural causes. Authorities became suspicious when Chad Daybell married Lori just two weeks later, and Tammy Daybell’s body was unearthed in Utah in December. The results of that autopsy have not been released.
Police began searching for Tylee and JJ in November after family members raised concerns. Police say the Daybells lied to investigators about the children’s whereabouts before they quietly left Idaho. They were found in Hawaii months later.
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