“Doomsday cult mother” Lori Vallow has been found guilty of the murders of her two children and conspiracy to murder her new husband’s first wife in a case that has horrified the nation for the past three years.
Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, seven, disappeared without trace in September 2019, sparking a multi-state search as their mother flew to Hawaii to marry her fifth husband, Chad. Daybell.
The children’s bodies were finally discovered nine months later buried in a pet cemetery on Mr. Daybell’s property in Idaho.
A month after the children’s disappearance, Mr. Daybell’s wife, Tammy, was also murdered in their home.
At the time, her sudden death, aged 49, was considered natural causes until an exhumation and autopsy revealed she died of asphyxiation.
Vallow and Mr. Daybell were eventually indicted for their murders, with prosecutors alleging that the pair conspired with Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, to kill the victims, both for money, lust, and to follow their own beliefs of worship.
Cox mysteriously died three months after the children’s disappearance.
After a six-week trial, Vallow was found guilty on Friday (May 12) of all counts in the deaths of Tylee, JJ and Tammy.
The verdict may mark the culmination of a chilling case that spans bizarre cult beliefs, missing children, murder and mysterious deaths, but the saga is still far from over.
This is what comes next in the shocking case:
Vallow faces life in prison at his sentence.
The 49-year-old was facing the death penalty before a judge handed down a last-minute ruling, just weeks before the trial was to take him off the table.
Judge Steven Boyce said that the sentence will take place within the next 90 days.
Chad Daybell’s trial
Vallow’s lover, cult leader and alleged accomplice Mr. Daybell has yet to stand trial for the three murders of Tylee, JJ and Tammy.
He faces the same charges of first degree murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of JJ and Tylee and conspiracy to commit first degree murder in the death of Tammy.
Mr. Daybell is also charged with one additional count of Tammy’s first degree murder.
Mr. Daybell faces the death penalty for the charges.
The doomsday cult couple was due to be tried together before the judge ruled in March, just weeks before the trial was set to begin, that the cases would be separated.
While Vallow’s trial began as planned in early April, this delayed Mr Daybell’s case to a later date.
At a scheduling conference in early May, the court set an approximate June 2024 date for his trial.
The Vallow trial for the murder of the fourth husband
In addition to her trial in Idaho, Vallow is also awaiting trial in Arizona in connection with the murder of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow.
On July 11, 2019, two months before JJ and Tylee were killed, Vallow’s brother Alex Cox shot and killed Charles at his home in Chandler, Arizona.
Charles and Vallow had been married since 2006 and together they adopted JJ, who was the biological grandson of Vallow’s sister.
In early 2019, they became estranged and Charles filed for divorce, saying he feared for his and the children’s safety and that Ms Vallow had threatened to kill him.
That February, he had pleaded with authorities to conduct a mental health intervention for his wife, warning that she believed he was a god preparing for a second coming.
Court documents reveal that he also found out about Vallow’s relationship with Mr. Daybell in June and emailed Tammy the information. He and one of Ms. Vallow’s other brothers were planning an intervention on her cult’s beliefs at the time of her death, an intervention she is believed to have been informed about.
That morning, Charles had gone to the Vallow house to pick up JJ when Cox shot him dead.
Cox initially claimed self-defense, saying that Charles attacked him with a baseball bat.
However, Cox did not perform CPR on Vallow and waited 43 minutes to call 911. Investigators say Charles was also on the ground when Cox shot him a second time.
At the time, Charles’s death was ruled in self-defense.
Nearly two years later, a Maricopa County grand jury indicted Vallow for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. She is accused of conspiring with Cox to murder Charles.
The Maricopa County District Attorney’s office announced that it did not charge Mr. Daybell with the murder of Charles, but only because there was “no reasonable probability of conviction.”