- Samson Omale
Trial Begins For ‘Cult Mom’ Who Is Accused Of Killing Her Own Kids, Husband’s Ex-Wife
The murder trial for so-called "cult mom" Lori Vallow began with jury selection Monday, nearly three years since two of her children were found dead and buried on her husband's rural Idaho property in 2020.
Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, both religious conspiracists, are accused of killing her children, 7-year-old J.J. Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, and Daybell's ex-wife, Tammy, between September and October 2019.
"It was just getting crazier and crazier," Richard Robertson, a private investigator hired to work Vallow's case in 2019, told Fox News Digital of the series of bizarre events that unfolded leading up to her 2020 arrest.
Robertson was initially hired to find Vallow and her late brother, Alex Cox, after they were accused of plotting a drive-by shooting in Arizona in July 2019.
Once Robertson found Vallow and Cox in Idaho, J.J. Vallow's grandparents asked the private investigator if he had seen any children over the course of his investigation, which is when he began searching for the missing 7-year-old and his sister, who went missing in Idaho in September 2019.
Lori and her late fourth husband, Charles Vallow, had been married since 2006 and adopted J.J. together in 2013 from Charles' relative. Their relationship had been a positive one until 2018, when Lori met Daybell on a podcast discussing theories about the end of the world.
LORI VALLOW, CHAD DAYBELL 'DOOMSDAY' MURDERS: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
It was around that time that Charles Vallow noticed a shift in his wife. She was embracing theories about the apocalypse and had started calling her children "zombies," according to investigators. Then, J.J. and Tylee disappeared.
Charles called police to his home in Arizona on Jan. 31, 2019, to report his wife and children missing. In police body camera footage from that evening obtained by FOX 10 Phoenix, Charles can be heard telling police that he thinks his wife has "lost her mind."
He continues to tell officers that Lori believes she is "a resurrected being of God" and thinks he is a "dark spirit." He says he doesn't "know what she's going to do," with his children, who were with Lori at the time.
"I don't know if she's going to flee with them, if she's going to hurt them," Charles responded, adding that he had spoken to Lori earlier in the day over the phone. He claimed she told him and his church bishop, "Come take the kids. I don't care what happens to them."
Lori went to the police the next day and apparently told authorities she believed Charles was cheating on her. The next month, Lori left her children with Charles and disappeared for 58 days, according to J.J.'s grandmother, Kay Woodcock.
At that point, Charles filed for a divorce and custody of her children. Lori soon began dating Chad Daybell.
In July 2019, Lori's brother, Alex Cox, allegedly shot Charles Vallow to death in Arizona, claiming self-defense. Two months later, in September 2019, Tylee and J.J. went missing for months. Cox died later that year of an apparent blood clot in December 2019.
SOURCE: ABC AND FOX