Doomsday Cult Mom Arrested!
Lori Vallow, (allegedly) a reincarnated god sent to lead us all when Jesus comes back in July of this year, as well as mother to two children — Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua Vallow, 7 — who have been mysteriously missing since September of last year, has finally been arrested on the island of Kaua'i in Hawaii. Vallow was supposed to show up in court in Idaho on January 30 to explain where her kids are, but decided to stay in Hawaii instead.
According to a statement from the Kaua'i Police Department, Vallow is being charged with "two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children. She was also charged with arrests and seizures – resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court – willful disobedience of court process or order."
The maximum sentence on each count of child desertion in Idaho is 14 years.
While we know why she's being charged with child abandonment and why she's being charged with contempt of court, the criminal solicitation count is a little murkier. It's not at all clear what that charge refers to, but there are so many options it's tough to keep track. Her brother killed her ex-husband before he (the brother) died; someone shot at her niece's ex-husband (who is still living); and the former wife of her new husband, Chad Daybell, also died under mysterious circumstances weeks before Daybell and Vallow married. Certainly one wonders if Idaho police have found any evidence of any crimes.
Here is the current timeline of events, just to refresh your memory.
- 2018: Lori Vallow's ex-husband Joseph Anthony Ryan, father of her child Tylee Ryan, dies of a heart attack
- January 2019: Lori Vallow threatens to kill her husband Charles Vallow if he gets in the way of her "mission"
- February 2019: Lori Vallow and Charles Vallow legally separate
- July 2019: Lori Vallow's brother-in-law Alex Cox kills Charles Vallow in what he claims is an act of self-defense
- September 2019: Last time anyone hears anything from Tylee Ryan and Joshua Vallow
- Sometime in between, 2019: Chad Daybell's wife, Tammy Daybell, calls 911 to report a man pointing a "paintball" gun at her
- October 19, 2019: Tammy Daybell dies under what appear to be mysterious circumstances
- October 2, 2019: An attempt is reportedly made on the life of Lori Vallow's niece Melani's ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux. He says he was shot at while in his car after asking his wife for a divorce due to her involvement in their cult
- November 2019: Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell marry
- November 2019: Lori Vallow's family calls police for a welfare check on the kids, and the kids are nowhere to be found
- Sometime in between, 2019: Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell claim to be innocent and claim that the kids are fine
- December 12, 2019: Lori Vallow's brother-in-law Alex Cox dies. Of something. We don't know what
- January 25, 2020: Vallow and Daybell found vacationing at a resort in Hawaii, Vallow ordered to come to Idaho and produce the children
- January 30, 2020: Vallow fails to show up to Idaho and produce the children, a warrant is issued for her arrest
Police in Rexburg, Idaho, say that Vallow and Daybell initially told them that Joshua Vallow was staying with a friend in Arizona, which turned out to be false. They also say they have information leading them to believe that Vallow and Daybell either know where Tylee Ryan and Joshua Vallow are, or know what happened to them. One would hope so anyway, considering that Lori Vallow is their mother. However, police in Kaua'i say there is no indication that the children were on the island with Vallow and Daybell, and they've been missing since September, so either they're in a bunker with several buckets of Jim Bakker's end of the world nachos, or ... well, perhaps it's best not to say.
The only statement so far that has come from Vallow and Daybell is the one their lawyer gave back in early January, which says absolutely nothing about where the kids are or if they are even alive:
"Chad Daybell was a loving husband and has the support of his children in this matter. Lori Daybell is a devoted mother and resents assertions to the contrary. We look forward to addressing the allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor."
Daybell has not been arrested and is not in police custody. Vallow is being held on $5 million bail and will either have to go back to Idaho or fight extradition.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse