Lori Vallow And Her Missing Children: A Court Case Involving Zombies, Shootings, And The Second Coming

Published March 26, 2020
Published March 26, 2020

Lori Vallow married a purported cult leader after her husband was shot dead and the leader's wife died in her sleep. Vallow is now in court facing desertion charges regarding her missing children.

Lori Vallow And Chad Daybell Mugshots

Rexburg Police DepartmentLori Vallow’s brother shot and killed her former husband, and later Chad Daybell’s wife mysteriously died in her sleep.

In February, Idaho resident Lori Vallow was charged with deserting her seven-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter, who have not been seen since September 2019. She was consequently arrested in Hawaii after failing to present them to authorities in court, and extradited back home to face her extensive charges.

According to CBS 5, newly-filed court documents have since revealed just how ominous and bizarre this situation has been all along. The two children, Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow disappeared shortly after the family moved to Rexburg, Idaho — and Lori Vallow married a mysterious author.

The author Chad Daybell’s novels revolve around doomsday scenarios, and some believe him to be an actual cult leader. While both Vallow and Daybell were married to other people when they met, things rapidly took a turn after their respective partners mysteriously died.

A CBS This Morning segment on Lori Vallow’s latest court hearings.

With Vallow’s niece Melani Boudreaux Pawlowski currently entangled in a custody battle for her own children, eerie revelations regarding the missing childrens’ case have come to light. From fatal shootings and zombies to child-possessing demons — this story is truly stranger than fiction.

Lori Vallow And Her Growing Fundamentalism

The first documented appearance of Vallow and Daybell together occurred on Dec. 5, 2018. According to People, Vallow had been enamored with Daybell’s religious doomsday literature and discussed the impending end of the world on a podcast called “Preparing a People.”

This podcast was hosted by a multimedia company offering audiences videos and lectures, purportedly focused on “helping to prepare the people of this earth for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”

Charles And Lori Vallow

Idaho Cold CasesCharles Vallow was killed on his property by his ex-wife’s brother — who later died in his bathroom.

The following February, Lori’s then-husband Charles Vallow filed for divorce. He cited her increasingly unhinged obsession with extreme religious literature, and immediately sought custody of their adopted son, Joshua.

According to her husband, Vallow 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.”

Unfortunately, that threat was more real than the bizarre mysticism that motivated it. While the pair was estranged following their divorce filing, Charles was shot to death at their Arizona home on July 11, 2019.Lori’s brother Alex Cox pulled the trigger and subsequently claimed self-defense.

Police interview Alex Cox after he shot and killed Charles Vallow. Cox was found dead in his bathroom two weeks later.

The incident happened while Cox, Lori, Joshua, and Tylee were all inside the house. While Cox has yet to be charged with anything, the death is still under investigation. Less than two months later, Vallow claims she found a promising job in Idaho, and moved her family to Rexburg.

It was Sept. 24, 2019 — Tylee’s birthday — that Joshua was last seen at Kennedy Elementary and his mother told the principal she’d be homeschooling him moving forward. Chad Daybell, meanwhile, was about to experience a tragic loss in his family, as well — which only brought him and Vallow closer.

Chad Daybell: Love, Marriage, And Missing Kids

Daybell reported that his wife had died in her sleep on Oct. 19, 2019. He said she went to bed with a cough and didn’t wake up, with her death being ascribed to “natural causes.”

Since there was no autopsy performed and Daybell married Vallow shortly thereafter, police have since described Tammy Daybell’s death as “suspicious.”

Chad Daybell And Tammy Daybell

The Daybell FamilyChad and Tammy Daybell. The latter went to bed with a cough one night, and never woke up.

On Nov. 5, 2019, Vallow and Daybell were married in Kaua’i, Hawaii. This was four months after Charles Vallow was shot to death, and two weeks after Tammy Daybell died in her bed.

At this point, authorities became suspicious about Vallow’s missing children as well.

“In the weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death, Lori Vallow/Daybell and Chad Daybell told witnesses that Lori’s daughter had died a year before the death of her father, which is untrue,” police documents said. “Around that same time Chad told another witness that Lori had no minor children.”

After Joshua’s concerned grandparents called Rexburg police on Nov. 26, 2019 and explained he and Tylee haven’t been since since September, police officially opened a missing persons case.

Lori Vallow Exiting Extradition Airplane

CBS 5Lori Vallow exiting an Idaho state police plane on March 5, 2020 while being extradited to face charges.

They quickly disproved Vallow’s claims that Joshua was with a friend, and searched her and Daybell’s new home — which they found “abruptly vacated.”

Police then said they “strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger,” and that Vallow “refused to work with law enforcement to help us resolve this matter.”

Around two weeks later, Alex Cox was found dead in his bathroom. Toxicology reports have yet to reveal his cause of death.

Remarkably, the case has only grown more ominous with Vallow’s niece Melani Bourdreaux Pawlowski’s custody battle — which revealed Vallow and Daybell’s dangerous beliefs.

Where Are Lori Vallow And Chad Daybell Now?

Authorities found Vallow and Daybell in Hawaii on Jan. 25, 2020, having stayed in Kaua’i for an “unconfirmed period of time,” and stated that “there is no evidence” the missing children were ever on the island with them. Vallow was court ordered to present her kids in Idaho within five days.

Lori Vallow Sitting In Court

KUTVLori Vallow was arrested in January 2020 by Kaua’i police in Hawaii.

Local police arrested her on Feb. 20 after she failed to do so. Pawlowski’s latest court filings provide a terrifying motivation for Vallow to have potentially abandoned her children, however.

Pawlowski told her husband that she’d “been told by Chad and Lori that her children had been possessed and had become zombies.” This supposed belief only made things worse, with Pawlowski’s ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux, next in line to face his punishment.

“She shared concerns that she’s been told Brandon needed to die and that may indicate that Tylee and JJ needed to die as well,” NBC reported.

According to KUTV, Brandon Boudreaux had purportedly been shot at while coming home from the gym on Oct. 2, 2019. Pawlowski expressed her fears about her children to her new husband, Ian Pawlowski as follows:

“She explained zombies and her fears about what Chad and Lori stated concerning the original spirits being caught in limbo until the body’s death. She stated that Brandon had been possessed by a demon or another dark entity sometime after June of this year. She was told either through revelation or by Chad that something needed to happen to (Boudreaux) in order for his spirit to progress and for the Lord’s plan to continue. She didn’t take well to the idea of her husband dying as part of the Lord’s plan, but didn’t think action would be taken by anyone.”

Another family member told People that Vallow once said, “Sometimes, I think it would be better just to put my kids in a car and go off the side of a cliff.”

As it stands, Vallow is charged with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, as well as arrests and seizures — resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court — and willful disobedience of court process or order.

With a bond of $5 million reduced to $1 million, Vallow was extradited back to Idaho to face her charges. Her attorneys withdrew from defending her — as did Judge Farren Eddins — with no reason provided.

Hopefully, their motivation was not inspired by even more unsettling revelations that have yet to be publicly disclosed — and the missing children are located safely.


After learning about Idaho mother Lori Vallow describing her two missing children as “zombies” in disturbing new court documents, read about Etan Patz, the missing boy shown on milk cartoons, finally seeing justice. Then, learn about Mitchelle Blair torturing her children and hiding their bodies in the freezer.

Marco Margaritoff
Marco Margaritoff is a Staff Writer at All That Is Interesting.