BOISE, Idaho (ABC4) — On the 13th day of Lori Vallow Daybell’s murder trial, police played the bodycam audio of officers confronting Lori about her missing son.
East Idaho News provided this bodycam audio from when Rexburg detectives questioned Lori Vallow after JJ’s grandmother requested a welfare check on JJ.
At first, officers were reportedly unable to get in contact with Lori. When officers first arrived to perform the welfare check, they observed Chad Daybell and Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, unloading a pickup truck. A detective asked Cox if Lori was home, and he said no. The detective said he knocked on Lori’s door, but she did not answer. The officers left to obtain a search warrant.
Before they obtained a search warrant, authorities were able to contact Lori via her cell phone and arrange a visit. Rexburg Detective David Stubbs and Lt. Ronald Ball reportedly went to Lori’s residence to question her about JJ.
Lori let the officers in and said, “This is a big mess, I just talked to a guy on the phone.” Lori allegedly said they asked her for a welfare check for JJ, and replied that he’s in Arizona with one of her friends, Melanie Gibb. Ball said, “Okay, so we can call her?” Lori replied, “Yeah, so what is all this?”
Lt. Ball explained that they were a little concerned because officers who came earlier were checking and they “got a bad vibe” that something was going on because nobody would talk about JJ and acted as though they did not know anything about it. Lori replied that it was because “a lot’s going on” and that if he wanted to know, “It’s a lot of stuff.”
Ball asked Lori to explain and she said they had to move around a lot, and that one of her brothers is trying to kill her. “Not the one that lives here, he’s kind of my protector,” Lori said. She explained that her brother was working with her husband to try to kill her for her $2 million life insurance policy.
“A lot of stuff has gone on in this last year. It’s been a horrible year for us. I’ve had to move around,” Lori said. She then told officers she was planning on moving back to Arizona with JJ because he had such a hard time at school at Kennedy.
Lori explained that she and her late husband adopted JJ from his grandmother, Kay Woodcock, and that Kay was the one who called them for the welfare check. Lori told officers that Kay was being really horrible to Lori.
Lori told officers that Charles switched his life insurance policy to Kay, so she would receive $1 million when he died. “And we got nothing for me to raise JJ, and all the kids got nothing, and everybody got nothing,” Lori said. “She got $1 million dollars.”
Lori said that she thought Kay was going to use her money to sue Lori for custody of JJ. She said that Kay just causes her trouble, and that’s the reason they don’t tell people the truth about where they are and what they’re doing. “I look like a suspect, but I am a good person,” Lori said.
She told them she moved there in September, and her daughter attends BYU-Idaho. Ball asked if her daughter (Tylee) lived there with them, and Lori said yes. Lori then complained that while Kay hasn’t officially said she wants JJ, Kay’s been documenting when she last talked to JJ, and if they haven’t heard from him, “I’ve told her [Kay] that he’s fine,” Lori said.
Stubbs reiterated that their main concern is the child. Lori interrupts him as he’s saying this and says, “Yeah, it’s that he’s fine, I got it.” Lori responded, “It’s awful. I feel like I’m being tracked all the time. Why are the police coming to my door?”
Ball said detectives were at the house earlier that day and visited with two guys. When asked who they were, Lori said, “My brother and his friend.” Ball asked who the friend was, and Lori said, “Chad[…] Chad Daybell. He’s an author,” Ball asked Lori, “Didn’t his wife pass away recently?” Lori said nothing. Ball continued, “He has a couple of daughters?” Lori said, “He has lots of kids.”
At the end of the interaction, Lori said lots of people keep knocking at her door, and she didn’t want to be found. Lori said that her brother, who she stated was planning on killing her, found out where she lived and knocked on her door. When the officers asked if they can help protect her, and look into it, Lori said that she was fine.
After this video was played in court on April 20, Stubbs said he thought it was interesting that Lori referred to Chad as her brother’s friend. Stubbs said he had seen Lori and Chad affectionate in the Hobby Lobby parking lot and was aware that the two had gotten married.
“Not only were we dealing with a situation where one of these individuals was possibly involved in an attempted shooting in Arizona, but the individuals were being evasive and lying,” Stubbs said. He said that the statements Lori made to law enforcement that day were “by and large, inaccurate.” He said that she claimed JJ was in Arizona, her daughter was attending BYU-Idaho, and that Chad was her brother’s friend, all claims that were deceitful to law enforcement.
To read more about the trial, visit ABC4’s Lori Vallow Daybell Murder Trial.