Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell Officially Indicted for Murder of Her Children

Nearly a year after the remains of 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan were found buried in Chad Daybell's backyard, a grand jury indicted him and Lori Vallow on multiple counts of murder.

By McKenna Aiello Jun 30, 2021 12:26 AMTags
Lori Vallow, CourtDennis Fujimoto/AP/Shutterstock

UPDATE: On Tuesday, June 29, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced in a press release that a grand jury indicted Lori Vallow on one charge of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder in connection to the death of her late husband, Charles Vallow.

An indictment alleges Lori and her late brother, Alex Cox, had agreed that "at least one of them or another would engage in conduct constituting the offense of First Degree Murder."

According to the Attorney's Office, Alex called emergency services on July 11, 2019, saying he shot his brother-in-law in an act of self-defense.

NBC News reported Alex died of natural causes five months later.

The Attorney's Office has not yet set a date for Lori's arraignment.

County Attorney Allister Adel said in a statement, "Complex, difficult cases of this nature take time to properly investigate and solve. I appreciate the tremendous number of hours the dedicated officers of the Chandler Police Department have invested, and my office is equally committed to bringing those responsible for Charles Vallow's death to justice."

Get more details on the murder allegations against Lori below.

The families of Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan are one step closer to justice

JJ and Tylee's mother, Lori Vallow, and her husband, Chad Daybell, were indicted on Tuesday, May 25 by an Idaho grand jury on multiple counts of murder, documents obtained by E! News show. 

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A Fremont County Grand Jury indicted both Lori and Chad on the charges of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder and Grand Theft by Deception for the death of Tylee, First Degree Murder for the death of Tylee, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder and Grand Theft by Deception for the death of JJ and First Degree Murder for the death of JJ. 

Additionally, Chad was indicted on the charge of First Degree Murder in the death of his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, whose body was exhumed in December 2019 after authorities began an investigation into JJ and Tylee's whereabouts when they went missing in September 2019. Lori and Chad were both indicted on the charge of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder in Tammy's death. 

The grand jury also indicted Lori, 47, on one charge of Grand Theft related to Social Security survivor benefits in connection to her deceased children, and indicted Chad, 52, on two counts of Insurance Fraud related to a life insurance policy he received benefits from after Tammy's death. 

JOHN ROARK/AP/Shutterstock

The case first garnered national attention in late 2019, when JJ's paternal grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock, reported the children missing to Idaho authorities, prosecutors stated in a May 25 press release. 

Months later in February 2020, Chad and Lori were taken into police custody in Hawaii, where they were living after getting married in November. Just two weeks prior to their nuptials, Tammy died in her sleep from what was initially thought to be natural causes. 

Kauai police said they arrested Lori on two counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, at which point she was extradited back to Idaho and remained behind bars while awaiting trial.

In June 2020, 7-year-old JJ and 17-year-old Tylee's remains were discovered buried on Chad's property. 

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At the time, Lori was charged with one felony count of conspiracy to destroy, alter or conceal evidence and for misdemeanor charges of resisting or obstructing officers, solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of court. She pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Chad pleaded not guilty to felony destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and conspiracy to commit those acts. 

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Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood said in a statement, "Fremont Prosecutor Lindsey Blake and I believe all three homicides and the related financial crimes were committed as part of a continuing criminal scheme." 

"Local, state and federal law enforcement professionals and local and state prosecutors have worked tirelessly for nearly a year and a half to gather the facts and evidence necessary to bring forward charges on behalf of Tylee, JJ and Tammy," Blake added. "Due to the ongoing safety restrictions imposed by the courts during the pandemic, we just recently were given permission to present information to the Grand Jury for their review. They deliberated and determined there is probable cause to believe that the Daybells willfully and knowingly conspired to commit several crimes that led to the death of three innocent people."

According to the press release announcing their indictments, authorities believe the crimes occurred sometime between Oct. 26, 2018 and Jan. 15, 2020. The penalty for the most serious charges range from life in prison without the possibility of parole to the death penalty.

The mysterious circumstances leading up to Lori and Chad's indictments were explored in the recent NBC Dateline podcast Mommy Doomsday. Read our exclusive interview with host Keith Morrison for his thoughts on the "shocking" case. 

E! News reached out to Chad and Lori's attorneys for comment and has not heard back.

This story was originally published on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 3:10 p.m. PST.

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