Chandler, Arizona -- The evidence released by Chandler police in October revealed much more than just the intricate plan to kill Charles Vallow; it also gave insight into the non-traditional religious beliefs of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell and those in their inner circle.
In July 2019, Lori's estranged husband Charles was shot and killed by her brother Alex Cox at his home in Chandler. At the time, he claimed self-defense. Though, investigators never felt he was being truthful, according to the reports.
In September 2019, Lori's two kids, JJ and Tylee, went missing. Then, the ex-husband of Lori's niece was shot at in Gilbert on October 2. About two weeks later, a woman named Tammy Daybell died suddenly in her sleep. Lori and Tammy's widower, Chad, got married.
Once investigators started looking for the kids in November 2019 when the family reported them missing, Chad and Lori abruptly moved to Hawaii until Lori's arrest in February 2020. In June 2020, the bodies of 7-year-old JJ and 17-year-old Tylee were found buried in Chad's backyard in Idaho. Since then, both Lori and Chad have been in jail.
In the summer of 2021, a grand jury in Idaho indicted Lori and Chad for the murders of JJ, Tylee, and Tammy. Around the same time, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office filed a charge of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder against Lori for the death of Charles.
In October, Chandler police released their evidence on the case, which included interviews with detectives, phone recordings, and a 1,100-page report.
"We're LDS, and so she started listening to podcasts and some people who were LDS and have now been excommunicated from our church, she started following them and started saying some really weird things," said Adam Cox, Lori's brother. "Some of those things were that she talks to Jesus in the temple and she's married to Moroni, and she's not married to Charles anymore, and she has a higher priesthood than the rest of us."
Investigators on the case believe Lori and Chad justified the murders with their religious beliefs. Lori was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but Adam said her beliefs started to stray from the Book of Mormon--and reality--after meeting Chad in 2018.
"For Lori to say that she goes to the temple and talks to Jesus Christ and she's on a special mission here to gather 144,000 people and that she's married to Moroni and she has to do whatever it is to make sure her mission gets completed, which could be killing Charles or anybody getting in the way of her mission, it's literally nonsense," Adam told the Chandler police detective.
Investigators discovered text messages between Lori and Chad and other people who shared their beliefs. The couple claimed to have powers to "cast" dark spirits out of people.
"That's what the whole idea is, if there is an evil spirit in you, then you ask in the name of Christ to have the spirit leave; that's what it's about," said Melanie Gibb.
Gibb, at one point, believed in Chad and Lori's so-called powers. Once Lori and Chad asked her to lie about where JJ was, she cut ties and came forward to the police with what she knew.
"Chad would help groom her into these beliefs and ideas, 'you're the most powerful woman in the world,' or whatever," Gibb explained."
Some of the text messages show Lori texting Zulema Pastenes, who eventually married her brother Alex. One text said, "let's put some fire energy towards Hiplos now. I can do it spiritually. Let's go to him and hover over the truck till we do it."
Detectives learned "Hiplos" was the name they gave Charles before his death. Other texts show Lori talking about summoning earthquakes and removing weapons from people that were under attack by evil spirits.
"It was Lucifer himself," she wrote. "I am told he is now banished from AZ."
Detectives also learned not only did Lori believe she had priesthood powers, but they say she and Chad also made Alex think he was put on this earth to protect her and help carry out her missions.
"Alex is excommunicated from the church, and so he believes Lori. Lori's like, 'it doesn't matter what you do in this world, all you have to do is have a body, and you can be saved. You're just here to get a body.' And Al loves that because then he can go sin and do whatever he wants. So he loves to hear what Lori has to tell them," Adam said.
Alex didn't live long enough to answer to the law for Charles' death; he died in December 2019.
Lori is currently in a state hospital in Idaho for restorative treatment after she was found not competent to stand trial. Chad is awaiting trial in jail and is facing the death penalty in Idaho for the deaths of JJ, Tylee, and Tammy.
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