Doomsday Cult Mother With Missing Kids Claimed She Was A God
At some point in September of last year, Tylee Ryan, 17, and her brother, Joshua Vallow, 7, went missing from their Idaho home.
Their mother, Lori Vallow, did not report them missing. Nor did Chad Daybell, the author of several Mormon doomsday scenario books whom she married in November, and whose wife had just mysteriously died just two weeks before his wedding to Vallow. Rather, the investigation into the children's disappearance began when Vallow's extended family called the police in November and asked for a welfare check after not having been able to speak to 7-year-old Joshua, who has special needs, for several weeks.
The children have been missing ever since. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell have left the state and refused to cooperate with police, which is of course a perfectly normal thing for innocent parents of missing children to do.
Does it get weirder from there? You bet it does. Not only were Vallow and Daybell involved with a rather bizarre-seeming Mormon doomsday cult called "Preparing a People," for which they did many podcasts, and very busy getting ready for the end of the world, and not only had Daybell's previous wife died two weeks before Daybell and Vallow got hitched, but Vallow has a trail of bodies of her own. Earlier in 2019, Charles Vallow, her estranged husband, was killed by her brother-in-law ... who died himself a few months later. Also, in 2018, Vallow's previous husband died of a heart attack at a relatively young age. He was cremated and therefore cannot be exhumed to check up on that. Also, there's another guy, Brandon Boudreaux, who was married to Vallow's niece and who says he is pretty sure Vallow tried to kill him in October because of her newfound religious beliefs.
That is a whole lot of dead and nearly dead and missing people in an extremely short period of time.
There have been several developments in this case lately, including that police have found some kind of "evidence" related to the death of Daybell's wife at his home in Idaho.
One of the things that has recently emerged in court documents filed by Charles Vallow's attorney in February 2019 was that Lori Vallow had previously threatened to kill Charles Vallow, on account of how she was a reincarnated God whose job it was to usher people toward the End Times.
Here are those court documents, via Fox 13:
"Mother [Lori Vallow] has recently become infatuated at times obsessive about near death experiences and spiritual visions. Mother has told Father [Charles Vallow] that she is sealed [eternally married] to the ancient Book of Mormon prophet Moroni and that she has lived numerous lives on numerous planets prior to this current life. Mother also believes that she was married to James the Just in a past life and also lived as Mary French in the 1800s who was Joseph Smith Junior's natural grandmother. Mother also informed Father that she is a translated being who cannot taste death sent by God to lead the 144,000 into the Millennium. Mother believes that she is receiving spiritual revelations and visions to help her gather and prepare those chosen to live in the New Jerusalem after the Great War as prophesied in the book of Revelations.
"On January 29, 2019, during a phone conversation between the parties and after their physical separation, Mother informed Father that she was a God assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020 and that if Father got in her way of her mission she would murder him.
"The next day Father was on a business trip in Houston and during another phone conversation she kept referring to Father as 'Nick Schneider' instead of Father's name. Father asked who Nick Schneider was and Mother told him that Nick was Father's real name because Nick had killed Father and taken his identity. Mother proceeded to warn Father that she would kill him upon his return home and had an angel there to help her dispose of the body. She also mentioned that she could not trust Father and that she would not only kill him but would destroy him financially. Since that conversation Mother's communications with Father have been rare and intermittent."
That is ... a lot of a lot. And it's a lot concerning that anyone let her have the kids after that, or accepted her story that Charles Vallow was killed in self-defense.
Just to recap, because this shit is very hard to keep straight:
- 2018: Lori Vallow's ex-husband and father of her child Tylee Ryan, Joseph Anthony Ryan, dies of a heart attack
- January, 2019: Lori Vallow threatens to kill Charles Vallow if he gets in the way of her mission
- February, 2019: Lori Vallow and her current husband Charles Vallow become legally separated
- July, 2019: Lori Vallow's brother-in-law Alex Cox murders Charles Vallow in what he claimed was an act of self-defense
- September, 2019: Last time anyone heard 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 Brandon Bordreaux's life
- November, 2019: Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell get married
- 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 go on the lam, 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.
While Lori and Chad haven't been cooperating with the authorities and are still on the lam, they both deny having done anything wrong. Though I suppose if you think you are a god, you would think nothing you do is wrong. Their attorney Sean Bartholick has issued the following statement:
"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."
Devoted mothers are notoriously very chill about their autistic 7-year-old sons going missing. How could anyone assert anything to the contrary?
I don't know. It seems like a good way to move those allegations beyond "speculation and rumor" would be to not be on the lam and to cooperate with law enforcement? Or to say "the kids are OK and are in this location, should you wish to find them"?
However this story ends ... I don't think it's going to be anything good.
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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