BOISE, Idaho (ABC4) — The Lori Vallow Daybell murder trial continued on Thursday with testimony from an Arizona detective with more information on Lori’s husband’s death.
The second witness on Day 9 of Lori Vallow Daybell’s murder trial is Chandler Police Detective Nathan Duncan. Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake questioned Duncan about his involvement in the Daybell case. For more information on any of the major characters or timeline details, read the link below.
Duncan told Blake he has been with the Chandler Police Department since June 2000 and has been working in the robbery/homicide unit for nine years. Duncan said he was working on July 11, 2019, when Lori’s brother, Alex Cox shot and killed her husband Charles Vallow. According to Duncan, Cox called the police at 8:30 a.m. and said he had shot his brother-in-law.
When police arrived at the scene, he said they took photos of the crime scene and took the body with them to investigate. Cox had told police it was in self-defense, and it was originally reported as such.
Duncan said Charles was laying on his back on the floor of the living room, where he noted there was no furniture in the room, “which was odd.” Duncan said Charles had one visible gunshot wound on the left side of his abdomen, with little blood. Duncan said he has never responded to a shooting death with so little blood and no blood splatter.
Cox told police he shot Charles twice in the chest while standing, but Duncan said there were two 45-caliber shell casings, and a bullet lying on the ground next to his left shoulder, “which was odd.” Cox told officers he had given Charles CPR after being shot, but that usually means there is more blood because of compressions on the chest, but there was very little blood. Charles had abrasions to his knees, and there was blood on a faucet inside the house.
Duncan said that based on the entry and exit wounds on Charles’ body, the second shot was fired when Charles was lying on the ground. Duncan said the shooting was considered a homicide. He noted that if shooting is done in self-defense, police can still deem a death a homicide.
During the investigation, Duncan said he looked at data on Lori’s iCloud account. Duncan said that police learned of an argument between Lori and Chad, about Charles’ phone. Lori took Charles’ phone with her in his rental car but it was later returned to Chandler Police Department where extraction was done. Charles’ phone, his iCloud and Gmail accounts, and other electronic info were then reviewed.
Duncan said that in the weeks and months following Charles’ death, police learned that Lori and Chad claimed Charles had become a “dark spirit” and of accusations of infidelity. The court will review those messages Friday.
Blake then asked Duncan about a call that Chad Daybell placed to Valley of the Sun Mortuary the evening following Charles’ death. For reference, Charles’ family was originally from Louisiana. You can listen to the call here, or read a summary below.
Chad called and said, “We just had a death in the family, and we really don’t want anything but a cremation, and to send the remains to family in Louisiana[…] Is there any way to know a ballpark price?” Chad gave them his name but spelled it Dabel instead of Daybell. The operator asked how he is related to the person who passed, and he said “I’m his nephew.” They then asked for his uncle’s name in reference, and Chad said, “John Myron Dabel.”
The operator asked if the person who died is at a nursing home, hospital, or residence. Chad said he passed away at a hospital but doesn’t know the details. “I should have had more information before I called,” Chad said. The funeral director then gets on the phone call with Chad. Chad states that his uncle doesn’t have many relatives and that he’s his nephew, and lives in Iowa.
“What the family basically wants is to have him cremated in Chandler, and have his remains shipped to New Orleans, and we will deal with his service later,” Chad said. The director explained the fees and estimated that it would be around 2,000. Chad thanked him and said he was going to contact a few more.
Blake then begins to discuss Lori’s iCloud account with Duncan. Duncan said he found the audio of a “patriarchal blessing” for Cox on the iCloud account, given on November 24, 2019, by Chad. A “patriarchal blessing” is a spiritual guidance blessing usually associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by the Stake Patriarch. Chad was not the Stake patriarch and was not called to give patriarchal blessings by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He instead said the blessing was given in the Church of the Firstborn.
The blessing was played in court, and Chad’s voice was declared monotone by East Idaho News. Chad said Cox is to be a missionary and is going to open the portals of time. Chad said in his previous creations, Cox was a valiant warrior fighting for truth and righteousness always seeking to do what was right. Chad said Cox was chosen and was right by his sister (Lori) always.
Chad continued stating he is a powerful servant, and that he will move forward in his life, etc. He said that Cox would come forward as a true warrior, and would be known throughout the world for his ability to save souls throughout the world through portals. The blessing included other affirmations of his faithfulness and spirituality, claiming he would be able to raise vibrations and communicate with Mother Earth herself. After the blessing concludes, you can hear Lori say “Amen.”
The court was adjourned Thursday at approximately 3:30 p.m. and will resume at 9 a.m. on Friday.