Last updated July 31, 2023.
BOISE, Idaho (ABC4) — What started as a report of missing children in 2019 escalated into a multi-state investigation of several murders. Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell are being tried for the murder of Vallow’s children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16. Chad is also being tried for the murder of his wife Tammy, and Lori is being charged as a co-conspirator.
Here’s a timeline of events, with information from East Idaho News, and court documents.
March 9, 1990: Chad and Tammy Daybell married in Manti, Utah, and lived in Springville, Utah where they started Spring Creek Book Company. Chad published many religious and post-apocalyptic books with that company. In the next several years, Chad and Tammy had five children.
2006: Lori Ryan married Charles Vallow (her fourth marriage) and their family lived in Arizona. Lori brought her son, Colby, and her daughter, Tylee, from two of the previous marriages. Colby was a few years older than Tylee.
2008: Lori’s niece, Melani Pawlowski married Brandon Boudreaux, and over the years they had four children together. Brandon was reportedly close with Lori’s family and baptized Tylee into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2014: Charles and Lori adopted Joshua “JJ” Vallow who is the biological grandson of Charles’s sister Kay Woodcock, and her husband Larry Woodcock. JJ had autism, and Lori’s attorney said his biological parents could not take care of him, Lori and Charles agreed to adopt him. A condition of the adoption was that the Woodcocks remain in JJ’s life. Within a month of the adoption, the Woodcocks moved to Arizona, because they had a hard time being away from him.
Sometime in 2014, the Vallows moved to Kauai, Hawaii, and operated a small business on the island, as indicated by business records. The Woodcocks said they visited JJ less frequently but maintained contact through the phone and FaceTime.
The Vallows moved back to Arizona, and Kay said she recalled Tylee “being a good sister self to JJ.”
2015: Chad and Tammy moved to Salem, Idaho, a city just outside of Rexburg, with their five kids, and Tammy worked as a school librarian.
At some point before Lori and Chad met, Lori began reading his religious books, which often focused on radical theories of spirituality surrounding the end of the world.
April 3, 2018: Tylee’s father, Joseph Ryan, died, and it was ruled as a heart attack.
Fall 2018: Lori and Melani Pawlowski began attending meetings not sponsored by the church, but their spouses did not attend. Melani Pawlowski reportedly told Brandon the firesides were “her thing,” and was very clear he was not welcome to come.
Melani Pawlowski also reportedly became focused on the idea that the world was going to end soon. Brandon said that Melani Pawlowski was not very religious when they were first married, but she began getting “really passionate” about going to church and certain ideas at church.
October 26, 2018: Lori and Chad met at a religious conference in St. George. Lori’s friend Melanie Gibb reported that they were flirty, and talked about a lot of beliefs they shared. They allegedly used those beliefs to justify killing Tammy, JJ, and Tylee, a felony indictment states.
At the conference, Chad reportedly told Lori that they had been married in a previous life, and Lori said she believed it.
October 28, 2018: Lori created a contact for Chad labeled “Bishop Shumway.” This was the first electronic evidence of their interactions.
November 2018: Chad reportedly came to Arizona for another conference, and according to Gibb, Chad stayed at Lori’s house, as Charles was out of town. Gibb said she believed it was a “hook-up.”
That weekend, Lori told Gibb that she and Chad were sealed together by Moroni and Jesus Christ in the LDS temple and that the relationship of multiple lives was reunited.
December 5, 2018: Chad and Lori made their first appearance together on the Preparing a People podcast, “Time to Warrior Up.” The podcast has since removed that episode and disassociated itself from the couple.
December 25, 2018: Brandon said it was the last Christmas his family spent with Charles and Lori, and that he said everything felt different. Brandon said the relationships were “not very close,” and other people were there, including Melanie Gibb and her family.
Lori told Gibb that she had a dream Charles was in a car accident and would not be home by January 1, 2019. However, Charles was never in an accident, and when Gibb asked Lori what happened, she said, “He didn’t, because Satan interfered with the plan.”
January 2019: Charles texted Brandon and told him that Lori was accusing him of infidelity.
Lori told her friend Melanie Gibb that Charles was taken over by an evil spirit, and they needed to perform “castings” to get it out of him. Throughout the next several months, Charles would allegedly be taken over by 3-4 different evil spirits, that they would need to cast out. Lori later started referring to people who ‘had spirits in them’ as zombies.
January 31, 2019: Body camera footage from Arizona Police Department showed Charles begging Lori to receive mental health help at Community Bridges. However, it was determined Lori had a normal state of mind, and she was medically cleared by Community Bridges.
Chad searched “Ned Schneider Louisiana obituary 1997.” Ned was the name Chad and Lori gave to one of the demons that said was possessing Charles.
February 2019: Charles filed for divorce from Lori, claiming she viewed herself as a god preparing for the second coming of Christ, according to court documents. Charles claimed his wife would kill him if he got in the way of her performing her mission. He later halted the divorce proceedings and told Lori he wanted to make the marriage work.
Lori and Chad were frequently in contact, even though they were both married at the time.
February to March 2019: Charles contacted JJ’s grandmother Kay because Lori left and he didn’t know where she went. Kay often took care of JJ while Lori was missing because Charles needed to work. Kay and JJ moved back and forth between Arizona and Louisiana.
Kay said she helped Charles with his business in February because he was distraught over his separation from Lori. In Feb. 2019, Charles approached her about having her named as beneficiary on his $1 million life insurance policy. Charles named Kay as the sole beneficiary and removed Lori from it.
Charles and JJ eventually moved to Houston, Texas because it was closer to Kay’s home in Louisiana.
According to Kay Woodcock, Lori left her husband and child for a total of 58 days during this period. It was later discovered that Lori was in Hawaii. “She never reached out to JJ; she never reached out to Charles,” Woodcock said.
March 2019: A joint bank account between Lori and her brother Cox was used to purchase a roundtrip flight for Chad from Idaho Falls to Mesa.
March 3, 2019: Chad searched on the internet for, “June 26 star sign,” which is Lori’s birthdate, and, “Are Cancer and Leo compatible?”
April 2019: Lori moved to Texas to live with Charles and JJ. Charles halted the divorce proceedings and told his family he wanted to make it work between him and Lori.
May 5, 2019: Chad searched “malachite,” and “eBay malachite-jewelry,” on the internet.
May 7, 2019: Lori searched the internet for “malachite.” Later, Lori and Chad’s wedding bands appeared to be made of malachite, according to reports.
May 17, 2019: JJ visited the Woodcocks in Louisiana for the weekend, and they celebrated his birthday. This was the last time the Woodcocks saw JJ in person.
May 29, 2019: Lori and Zulema Pastenes had a conversation about Charles’ alleged demons.
June 1, 2019: Chad searched “hiplos” on the internet, which was the name Chad and Lori gave to a demon that was allegedly possessing Charles.
June 2019: Lori and Charles moved to Chandler, Arizona. Lori reportedly told Melanie Gibb that Tylee was dark sometime between February and June 2019.
Lori’s niece, Melani Pawlowski, and her husband Brandon decided to get a divorce. Brandon claimed Melani affiliated herself with similar beliefs as Lori and joined “a cult.” Melani also allegedly told Brandon that she received revelation from God that she wasn’t safe at the house with him, and used this argument against him in court for establishing visitation rights.
July 1, 2019: Charles’ told Lori he was going to Idaho to talk to Tammy Daybell about Lori and Chad’s affair, after weeks of confronting Lori about it.
July 9, 2019: Chad searched the internet for, “when you surprise someone with accusations.”
July 11, 2019: Lori’s brother, Alex Cox shot and killed Lori’s estranged husband Charles. He claimed it was in self-defense; it was later declared a homicide.
Cox was designated as Lori’s “protector,” by Chad in a ‘patriarchal blessing.‘
The crime scene was described as “odd,” by a Rexburg police detective. He said that Cox told officers he shot Charles twice in the chest while they were standing, but due to the bullet’s location, the second shot was fired while Charles was already on the ground. One of the detectives said he had never responded to a shooting death with so little blood and no blood splatter.
Cox told the officers he gave Charles CPR after Cox shot him. However several detectives said if that were true, there would be more blood, as well as injuries or impressions on Charles’ chest.
Charles’ phone was not found at the scene, or on his body. It was later turned over to the Chandler Police Department by Lori. The GPS data on it confirmed that Lori went to Burger King, and Walgreens, and dropped JJ off at school that morning. Lori said this was after Charles died. Surveillance from Burger King showed Lori in the drive-thru at 7:54 a.m., while the initial 911 call for Charles was made at 8:36 a.m., more than 30 minutes after Lori left the house.
Cox’s other sister, Summer Shiflet said he had a brain injury as a teenager after an accident. She said he “kind of kept making decisions in life as a 16-year-old.”
After Charles died, his kids from a previous marriage asked Lori what happened, and she avoided answering the question. She just said his remains would be cremated. They repeatedly asked her what happened and how he died, and she left them on read.
According to Gibb, after Charles died, Lori and Chad seemed happy. Prior to Charles’ death, Lori and Chad communicated multiple times a day, and Lori had 2-3 cellphones, with one dedicated to her communications with Chad. They would also reportedly meet at hotels, and “were intimate” while Charles and Tammy were both alive, and Lori told Gibb this was according to God’s will because they had been married in multiple lives, and had a mission together.
July 12, 2019: Chad placed a call to Valley of the Sun Mortuary in Arizona following Charles’ death. Chad asked about pricing for cremation, and pricing to send the remains to family in Louisiana. Charles’ family is from Louisiana.
July 13-14, 2019: Approximately $3,000 was sent to Valley of the Sun Mortuary.
Chad sent Lori multiple texts in what investigators called a “romance novel.” Chad, who was still married to Tammy, told Lori she was his “best friend on earth and throughout eternity,” and that he would “see [her] in a minute,” as he was going to bed. Chad also described in detail a romantic relationship between James and Elena, which are the names he used to substitute for himself and Lori.
Chad texted Lori about his children’s upcoming BYU-Idaho graduations and commencement ceremonies. Chad said in the text, “I feel like she will be gone by then, but I will still have the hoopla to deal with. So I believe that’s why the Lord is making me wait.”
Chad also texted Lori, “I need so badly to just gently kiss you … for hours […] It would likely lead to other activities.” Lori responded, “Likely or Luckily?” Chad replied, “It would likely lead to nakedness.” This is one of many romantic texts reported between the two.
July 18, 2019: Lori found out that Charles had not named her as the beneficiary.
Gibb asked Lori why Cox spent the night when Charles was killed. Lori told her it was because she believed Charles was going to kill her for her million-dollar life insurance policy. Lori told her Charles’ didn’t name her the beneficiary. She only allegedly found this out after his death.
Gibb asked why Lori didn’t get a divorce from Charles, she said it wasn’t in the Lord’s plan, and that if Chad got a divorce from Tammy, he would be “penalized” and “lose his exaltation or standing with God.”
July 20, 2019: A purchase was made on Lori’s credit card to pay for an Allegiant Airlines flight for Chad to go from Provo to Arizona.
July 22, 2019: Chad and Lori texted each other about Kauai and “the plan.” Chad told Lori “Love you,” and she responded, “I love you.” Chad then replied, “Not as much as I love you.” Lori told Chad he will love the scenery in Kauai, as it’s very similar to Hawaii. Chad responded, “Hopefully we can be there soon.”
July 2019: Lori organized a casting for Brandon because he was “dark” and had an “evil spirit. Lori told her niece Melani that Boudreaux was part of Hitler’s group, and considered a “very high dark.”
August 10-October 24, 2019: According to the Rexburg Police Department, Cox purchased 46 guns.
August 10, 2019: Kay Woodcock said the last conversation she had with JJ was this day.
“He normally had an iPad or phone and he would walk around and talk to Larry and me,” Woodcock said. “He wouldn’t hold the device to him- he’d walk around and see the ceiling in most of the places he lived.”
However, she said this incident was different, in that JJ did not have a device in his hand, it seemed like someone was holding it for him. Kay also said and it was a very short call. When she attempted to contact him over the next few months, she never got any response from Lori.
August 12, 2019: Lori removed Tylee and JJ from her $2 million dollar life insurance policy so that her oldest son, Colby Ryan, was the only beneficiary.
August 14, 2019: Lori submitted a rental application for a townhouse in Rexburg and listed her income as the amount of combined Social Security benefits for herself, JJ, and Tylee. Tylee should have been receiving her own benefits, and Lori was supposed to use JJ’s benefits for him.
August 20, 2019: The direct deposits for Tylee’s Social Security payments from her father’s death were moved into a newly created joint account for Lori and Tylee.
August 31-September 2019: Lori, Tylee, JJ, Alex, and Melani Pawloski moved to Rexburg, Idaho.
September 2019: Sometime during this month, Lori reportedly told Gibb that JJ was possessed.
Tylee’s monthly auto-payment for her Jeep came back as insufficient funds, even though Tylee had never missed a payment before this.
September 3, 2019: Lori enrolled JJ at Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg.
September 8, 2019: Chad signed an application with Tammy to increase her life insurance to the maximum amount allowed on the policy.
Tylee, JJ, Lori, and Alex visited Yellowstone National Park. Officials say this is the last time anyone saw Tylee alive and the last in-person purchase from Tylee’s bank account. The FBI later asked for help from anyone who may have photos of the family taken that day in the park.
September 9, 2019: Phone records later placed Cox on Chad’s property in the general area where investigators found Tylee’s remains. Chad also texted Tammy and told her he shot a raccoon and buried it in their pet cemetery. He said he found the raccoon when he was burning the limb debris by the fire pit.
September 10, 16, 2019: Lori reportedly deposited money into Tylee’s account, but it was immediately Venmoed to Colby Ryan, Lori’s son. Authorities said there were 29 deposits into Tylee’s account from Lori’s account, where the money was immediately turned around and sent to Ryan.
Mid-September, 2019: Cox’s girlfriend at the time, Zulema, said she visited Lori but never saw Tylee. She asked Lori where Tylee was, and Lori allegedly responded, “She had to be freed.” Zulema asked what she meant by that, and Lori lifted her hand to Zulema’s face and said, “Don’t ask.”
September 18, 2019: The first payment for JJ and Lori’s Social Security benefits was deposited. Both payments were $1,951 each.
A woman met Lori to interview as a babysitter for JJ. Lori reportedly told the woman that JJ’s dad had a heart attack and died. Lori also said she had a teenage daughter at school in Rexburg, but that her daughter did not like babysitting without pay, so Lori needed to hire a babysitter.
September 19, 2019: The babysitter said she went back to Lori’s house after her classes and watched JJ while Lori went to the airport to pick up a friend. She said that day she saw Lori, Cox, and a friend of Lori’s. When she left, Lori reportedly paid her in cash.
The babysitter said she attempted to reach out to Lori about babysitting, but Lori informed her that JJ had gone to his grandparents and would be gone for a month. The babysitter said she tried texting her after that, but Lori never responded.
September 20, 2019: Lori moved the final $10.04 from Tylee’s personal bank account into her own. This was the last day that JJ attended Kennedy Elementary School. Lori searched the internet for “Kennedy Elementary Rexburg Idaho phone number,” and “define possess.”
September 22, 2019: Gibb and her boyfriend, David Warwick, visited Lori in Idaho. Lori told Gibb that Tylee was “at BYU-Idaho with her roommates.” It was later revealed that Tylee was never enrolled at BYU-Idaho or any school in Idaho. When Gibb asked Lori where Tylee’s belongings were, Lori said they were put in storage.
During the weekend, Gibb and Warwick said they interacted with Chad several times. Chad and Lori were reportedly romantic. Chad also allegedly told Warwick that Tammy was a good wife, but “her time was coming up.” Chad said he had a dream that Tammy was going to die by the time she was 50.
Lori told Gibb that JJ had an evil spirit in him, which she had reportedly learned from Chad. Lori said JJ’s behavior was more difficult, and he would say things like, “I love Satan.” Gibb said during the visit, she did not notice any changes in JJ. Lori told Gibb she was going to ask Kay to take care of JJ going forward.
10:30 p.m.: Gibb saw Cox taking JJ upstairs but did not see him after that.
The last “proof of life” for JJ, is based on a photo of JJ sitting on a couch in Lori’s front room.
September 23, 2019: The Rexburg Police Department said based on their investigation, this is likely the day when JJ was killed.
Gibb stayed in Tylee’s room, and Warwick stayed in JJ’s room during their visit. According to Gibb, Warwick woke up, sometime after midnight, “very troubled.” Warwick said he had the worst nightmare of his life that night. Gibb went to Lori’s room and attempted to go in, but the door was locked, and neither Lori nor Chad responded to her texts.
That morning, Lori allegedly told Warwick that JJ had “an episode” climbing on the cabinets, and fridge, and knocking over a picture of Jesus Christ. Warwick asked if he could give JJ a blessing, but Lori told him that Cox already came to take care of him. Gibb and Warwick left for home. From this point forward, Lori never told Gibb where JJ was.
September 24, 2019: Lori emailed Kennedy Elementary that said JJ was being removed from Kennedy and was going to move to Louisiana to be with his grandparents. The principal reportedly called Lori and informed her that once JJ was enrolled in Louisiana, his records could be sent there. Lori then said they weren’t moving him to Louisiana but were actually going to be homeschooling him.
September 30, 2019: Lori searched the internet for, “How to get the back seat out of my jeep wrangler?” Tylee drove a Jeep Wrangler before she was allegedly murdered.
October 1, 2019: Lori rented a 10×10 storage unit from Self Storage Plus in Rexburg. Surveillance video obtained by East Idaho News showed Lori and a man visit the unit nine times in October, and once in November. The man, who appeared to be Cox, often visited alone, though he was once seen with a man who appeared to be Chad. On another visit, Chad and Lori reportedly visited the storage facility together.
October 2, 2019: Brandon, Melani’s ex-husband, was returning to his home in Arizona one day when he was shot at by someone, he said. The person was holding a gun with a silencer and shot at him in his car. At that point, Brandon said that only approximately five people knew where he lived, as it was a newer home, and Melani was one of them. Arizona Central reported the shooter was driving a Jeep registered to Charles Vallow, who was dead.
A detective with the Rexburg Police Dept., Ray Hermosillo, contacted Gilbert police about the incident and they asked RPD to conduct surveillance on Lori Daybell’s apartment. They observed Chad and Lori but never saw a teenage girl or young boy.
Lori purchased a wedding ring on Amazon, which would later be seen on her finger at her marriage to Chad in Hawaii.
October 9, 2019: Tammy called 911 and said a masked man shot at her in her driveway with what she belied was a paintball gun. It was later indicated by court documents that Cox attempted to shoot and kill Tammy that day.
October 10, 2019: Ryan received a payment from Tylee’s Venmo with the message, “We love you.” The RPD reported that the transaction was made using Tylee’s phone. And according to authorities the IP address for the transaction was registered to an address in Kansas City, Missouri, where Lori and her niece Melani Pawloski were.
October 19, 2019: Chad called 911 and said Tammy died in her sleep. Detectives visit the Salem home and determined that she died between 12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Chad called 911 around 6 a.m. to report that he found his wife deceased. He told them Tammy had been experiencing health problems previous to this.
When detectives arrived at the home, they noted pink foam at her mouth. Chief medical examiner, Erik Christensen, said it was a manifestation of pulmonary edema. At the time, they believed this was due to a heart attack, and said her cause of death was natural.
Officials did not perform an autopsy, as they concluded that nothing seemed suspicious, and said they believed Chad’s story about her death.
When Gibb asked Lori about Tammy’s death, Lori said, “She had a dark entity in her, and [we] had to do what [we] could to get that spirit out of her.” Lori also told Gibb that Tammy was getting suspicious that Chad was having an affair. Gibb said that was also when Tammy allegedly “turned dark.”
Chad reportedly told several people months before Tammy’s death that she would die before her 50th birthday. When Tammy passed away, Gibb said Lori was very happy to get married to Chad, and never expressed any sadness or sorrow, the same as after Charles died.
October 22-23, 2019: Tammy was buried at the Evergreen Cemetary in Springville, Utah. The family held a memorial service in Rexburg the next day.
Lori searched the internet for “wedding dresses in Kauai,” and told Zulema that Chad was going to move into her apartment. When Zulema told Lori that seemed fast, and that shouldn’t there be time for grieving, Lori didn’t respond.
October 26, 2019: Chad visited a couple in his LDS ward, the Gilberts. He told them he met the woman he was going to marry and said she was very beautiful. A few days later Chad brought Lori over to meet them. Alice Gilbert said Chad was very affectionate with her.
“It was abnormal for us to see Chad that way. His arm was around her; he had his arm over her legs. She was giggling and laughing,” Gilbert said. “For my husband and I, we were embarrassed just because we hadn’t seen Chad that way. They looked like teenagers.”
Lori told Gilbert that her husband died of a heart attack. Chad told Gilbert that Lori had recently lost a daughter. “I had the impression that Lori had no other children, that she was an empty nester,” Gilbert said. “I thought the daughter who had died was like an older daughter who died of cancer or illness or something.”
November 4, 2019: Tylee’s Jeep was seized by the Rexburg Police Department, and was never reported missing.
November 5, 2019: Chad and Lori got married in Hawaii, before returning to live in Rexburg. Police said Chad told witnesses that Lori had no children under 18, and Lori told people Tylee died years earlier.
November 7, 2019: Zulema and Alex Cox got engaged during a trip to Rexburg. JJ and Tylee were not in Rexburg during this trip. Zulema said she originally didn’t know where they were but got photos from them in Hawaii.
During a layover in Phoenix on Lori and Chad’s way back to Idaho, Lori told Zulema that JJ was with Kay.
Mid-November, 2019: Chad and Lori visited the Gilberts after they got married. Gilbert said she knew Lori’s kids were missing at this point. She confronted Chad about the fact that he said Lori’s daughter had died, and he denied that he ever said that. Gilbert asked Chad, “Didn’t Tylee deserve a life? A car? A boyfriend?” Chad then reportedly responded, “She didn’t like people, and she didn’t like me.”
November 18, 2019: At 4:30 a.m. Kay Woodcock said she got a feeling that she should check her computer; she saw Charles’ Gmail account and since he gave her the password before he died, she logged in. Kay said she noticed a confirmation email of an Amazon order sent to an address in Rexburg. She contacted a private investigator, and searched the browsing history of the Amazon account and saw searches for a beach wedding dress, a bathing suit, a men’s large white linen top and pants, and malachite wedding rings; the order was placed on Oct. 2.
November 24, 2019: Cox was given a “patriarchal blessing” by Chad, given by the power of the “Church of the Firstborn.” In the blessing, Chad said Cox is to be a missionary and is going to open the portals of time. Chad said in 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.
November 26, 2019: The Rexburg Police Department conducted a welfare check on JJ after the Woodcocks requested it, stating they had not spoken to him in months. When they arrived, JJ was not at home, they observed Chad Daybell and Alex Cox unloading a pickup.
Detective Hermosillo asked Cox if Lori was home, and he said no. Hermosillo said he was there to do a welfare check on JJ, and that Cox looked “scared,” and turned to Chad. Chad did not say anything. Hermosillo asked Cox where JJ was, and he said he was in Louisiana, which Hermosillo said was impossible.
Hermosillo asked for Lori’s phone number, and Cox said he did not have it. He and another detective knocked on Lori’s door, but nobody answered. Hermosillo said he saw Chad leaving in his car and stopped him. He asked Chad when the last time he saw JJ was. Chad said he last saw JJ in October in apt. 107 with Lori Vallow.
Hermosillo asked how Chad knew Lori, and he said he hardly knew her, and that they had only met a couple of times. After several requests for Lori’s phone number from Chad, he was finally able to obtain it. Chad said he didn’t originally provide it because he thought Hermosillo was accusing him of something. Hermosillo called in an additional detective and went to get a warrant.
Police did not get a warrant because Lori finally returned their call, and agreed to open the door to the two detectives. Lori then allegedly told them JJ was with her friend Melanie Gibb in Arizona watching Frozen 2. Gibb said she originally did not answer the police because she didn’t know what to do. But she later told officers that JJ was never with her and that Lori told her to lie about his whereabouts and take photos of random children at the movie theater to show them.
November 27, 2019: The Rexburg Police Department served a search warrant, but when they arrived Chad and Lori were gone. They searched their apartment and found that almost everything had been taken, and it was nearly empty.
In her garage, there was a ghillie (camouflage) suit, lots of ammunition, a rifle, a handgun, rope and duct tape, and several silencers. They also discovered emails from Chad Daybell and books written by Chad. They also searched Cox’s apartment and Melani’s apartment and found “Hazmat-looking white suits,” and a rental agreement for a storage unit in Rexburg.
Officers with the RPD said they tried to get a hold of Lori and Chad, but their phones were shut off.
November 29, 2019: Alex Cox and Zulema Pastenas got married in Las Vegas, Nevada.
December 1, 2019: Chad and Lori flew to Lihue, Hawaii, the children were not with them.
December 6, 2019: Gibb contacted the Rexburg Police Department and told them Chad and Lori called her on Nov. 26 and asked her to lie about JJ’s location.
December 11: Tammy Daybell’s death is “suspicious,” the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office determined, so her body was exhumed an autopsy was performed. According to a Utah medical examiner, Tammy Daybell died “at the hands of another and died of asphyxiation.”
They also said there were bruises on Tammy’s arms that happened in the hours around the time of her death, a coroner said. “They are consistent with someone being restrained and would be consistent with asphyxia being cause of death as well,” a coroner said.
Cox was on the phone with Chad and Lori, when they told Cox that Tammy’s body was being exhumed. Zulema said she was confused, as she died of natural causes.
He told Zulema where to find money if he died. Cox also allegedly told Zulema, “I think I’m being their fall guy,” and when questioned about it, Cox wouldn’t say much.
December 12, 2019: Cox passed away, reportedly from “natural causes.”
December 20, 2019: The Rexburg Police Department announced that JJ and Tylee are missing. They said their disappearance was possibly linked to the suspicious death of Tammy.
December 21, 2019: The Rexburg Police Department stated that Chad and Lori were “persons of interest.”
December 30, 2019: Melanie Gibb told officers of a conversation she had with Lori after the kids were reported missing. When Gibb asked Lori where JJ was, Lori responded, “I know exactly where he is.” Later a statement was released by the Rexburg Police Department stating they have information indicating Lori either knows the location of the children or knows what happened to them. They said the parents’ lack of cooperation was “astounding.”
January 3, 2020: A search warrant was served on Chad’s home in Salem, Idaho. Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries said investigators recovered 43 items, including cell phones, journals, computers, and medications. They were sent to an FBI lab for further analysis.
January 7, 2020: The Woodcocks traveled to Rexburg from Louisiana, and announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the kids.
January 10, 2020: Matt Daybell, Chad’s brother, pleaded for him to cooperate with the investigation. He said his immediate family had little association with Chad due to concerns relating to his religious claims and books.
January 25, 2020: The Kauai Police Department served Lori with a notice stating she must produce JJ and Tylee to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, or the Rexburg Police Department within five days.
January 26, 2020: Nate Eaton, with the East Idaho News, confronted Chad and Lori in Hawaii. When asked where their children were, and what happened to them, they refused to answer.
January 30, 2020: Lori missed the 5 p.m. deadline to produce JJ and Tylee. Kay Woodcock held a news conference expressing her disappointment.
February 20, 2020: Police in Kauai arrested Lori on a $5 million dollar warrant from Madison County. She was charged with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children. She was also charged with resisting officers, criminal solicitation, and contempt of court.
February 26, 2020: Lori waived her extradition to Idaho after six days in jail in Hawaii. This means Lori wanted to go back to Idaho where she was charged. This came after multiple failed attempts to reduce bail.
March 5, 2020: Lori was extradited from Hawaii to Rexburg.
March 6, 2020: Lori made her first court appearance in Rexburg. Judge Faren Eddins reduced her bail to $1 million, but she was still unable to post bond and remained in jail.
April 9, 2020: Idaho Attorney General’s Office told East Idaho News that Chad and Lori were under investigation for conspiracy, attempted murder, and/or murder.
May 8, 2020: Alex Cox’s autopsy results were released. It said he died of natural causes; blood clots in the lungs.
June 9, 2020: At 7 a.m., a search warrant was served at Chad’s home by the Rexburg Police Dept., FBI, and Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. Within hours, the remains of JJ and Tylee were discovered buried on the property.
Tylee’s remains were found at the pet cemetery near the firepit. JJ’s remains were found near the pond on Chad’s property.
Chad called Lori and told her officers were searching the property. Lori asked if they seized anything, to which Chad replied, “No, they’re searching.” They soon after ended the call, and Chad told Lori to call her attorney at the time, Mark Means.
9:50 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Chad transferred $24,000 from his Mountain America bank account to three of his kids in $8,000 deposits. Approximately $4,400 was left in the account.
11:30 a.m.: At this point, officers were told Chad was leaving his daughter’s house across the street “at a high rate of speed” despite being told he needed to remain or leave accompanied due to safety concerns.
Chad was taken into custody and booked into Fremont County Jail on charges of concealment, distribution, or alteration of evidence.
June 10, 2020: Chad made his first court appearance via video from the jail. His bail was set at $1 million.
June 29, 2020: Prosecutors filed charges against Lori, including two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence.
July 2, 2020: Prosecutors dismissed charges of desertion and nonsupport of children against Lori.
July 15, 2020: Lori pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor resisting or obstruction officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court.
August 21, 2020: Chad appeared for his District Court arraignment before District Judge Steven Boyce and pleaded not guilty to his charges.
August 27, 2020: Chad’s attorney, John Prior, asked Boyce to dismiss the case against Chad. It was denied.
September 1, 2020: Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood filed a motion to combine the cases of Chad and Lori. It was decided in March 2023 that they would have separate cases as Lori did not waive her right to a speedy trial.
September 10, 2020: Lori appeared for her District Court arraignment, and pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence.
May 24, 2021: A grand jury indicted Chad and Lori on several new felony charges including first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
June 8, 2021: Lori was committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare where a psychologist deemed her not fit for trial.
June 9, 2021: Chad pleaded not guilty to all charges in the indictment. His children attended this meeting.
June 24, 2021: A grand jury in Arizona indicted Lori for conspiracy to commit murder in the death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow. The Arizona proceedings are on hold while she faces her charges in Idaho.
July 29, 2021: Prosecutors dropped the destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence charges against Chad and Lori.
August 5, 2021: Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against Chad stating, “the nature and magnitude of these crimes warrant the possibility of the highest possible punishment.”
October 5, 2021: The Daybell trial was moved from Fremont County to Ada County.
December 28, 2021: Judge Boyce ordered that Mark Means, Lori’s attorney, can no longer represent her. He cited a conflict of interest in representing both Daybells as well as concerns about his legal competency.
March 21, 2022: John Prior, Chad’s attorney, requested to sever Chad’s case from Lori’s, but it was denied. However, it was later separated due to Lori not waiving her right to a speedy trial.
April 11, 2022: Boyce issued a written order that Lori was now competent for trial, and so they proceeded. She was ordered to be released from the Health and Welfare facility, and her arraignment was set for April 19.
April 19, 2022: Lori attended her arraignment, she did not speak, and her attorney Jim Archibald pleaded not guilty on her behalf.
May 2, 2022: Prosecutors announced they would pursue the death penalty against Lori. It was later ruled off the table by Boyce.
May 26, 2022: Boyce announced the trials would be held together in January 2023, this was later decided against due to new evidence, and Lori did not waive her right to a speedy trial.
August, 2022: Lori appeared in court, and photos were taken of her smiling and wearing a band on her ring finger. A few weeks later, Lori’s attorneys filed a motion asking that cameras be banned from the courtroom. Boyce granted the motion, and cameras were banned from future court hearings and the trial.
October 6, 2022: Lori’s case was put on hold due to competency issues. A month later Lori was found competent for trial, but it was postponed to April 3, 2023.
March 2: District Judge Steven Boyce ruled that Lori and Chad’s cases would be separated after new evidence was submitted. Lori would appear at trial on April 3. Boyce grants a motion to take the death penalty off the table. The Judge said the main reason was due to a large amount of evidence that her team does not have time to go through before trial.
April 3-7: Jury selection for Lori Vallow’s murder trial. Her jury was finalized. To read about the jury selection and the questions prosecutors and defenders asked potential jurors, click here.
April 10: Opening arguments in Lori’s murder trial were given. Prosecutors said Vallow used money, power, and sex to get what she wanted. Whereas Lori’s attorneys painted a picture of her as a caring mother with strong religious beliefs.
April 11: A Rexburg police detective took the stand. Jurors were shown graphic photos of the dead children, to the point that Vallow’s attorney requested she leaves for her own mental health. Boyce rejected the request, saying her presence in the courtroom was needed to ensure a fair trial for all involved.
April 12: Day 8 of Lori Vallow’s murder trial ended abruptly due to a death in the prosecution’s family. Before it ended, the Rexburg police detective was cross-examined by John Thomas, and a phone call between Lori and Chad was played for the jurors.
April 13: On day 9 of Lori Vallow’s murder trial, Lori’s best friend Melanie Gibb took the stand. She talked of possession and castings, and the first time Lori met Chad. A detective played the court a patriarchal blessing given to Alex Cox by Chad, and a phone call Chad made to a mortuary right after Charles’s death. They also talked about Charles’ confronting Lori about her affair.
April 14: Day 10 of Lori Vallow’s murder trial included information that Lori found out after Charles’ death that she was not his beneficiary, and testimony from Cox’s wife, Lori’s sister-in-law, Charles’s ‘possession.’
April 18: Lori’s murder trial continued with day 11 after a brief break for events for the death in the prosecution’s family. On day 11, Lori’s sister-in-law testified that Cox wouldn’t make decisions without Lori and Chad, and a heartbreaking conversation between Lori and her son Colby Ryan is played for the court. Several witnesses reviewed Lori’s use of money, including suspicious activity.
April 19: Officials continue their review of Lori, Chad, and Cox’s money usage, as well as more information on the Social Security benefits of Tylee and JJ. The court also interviewed several detectives involved in reviewing Charles’ death, including some testimony on discrepancies in information given to them about Charles’ death.
April 20: The court reviewed the day Charles died, how Lori allegedly stopped responding to JJ’s babysitter, and that Tylee and JJ were not in school, as well as jarring new details of the weekend JJ allegedly died.
April 24: Audio is released of the first time Lori lied to officers about JJ’s location during a wellness check.
April 25: Lori’s sister Summer Shiflet testified, and a phone call is played between Lori and Shiflet after JJ and Tylee’s remains were discovered. “You threw them away like garbage,” Shiflet said in the call.
April 26: JJ and Tylee’s cause of death is revealed by a forensic pathologist.
April 27: It was revealed that Lori’s DNA, and Cox’s prints were found at the crime scene.
April 28: The court discussed pink foam found in Tammy’s mouth when she died.
May 1: More discussion on Tammy’s cause of death, all included in this timeline.
May 2: A podcast that Lori is a guest in is discussed. The podcast reportedly shows that Tammy was a good mother, as it discussed her taking care of the children and taking them away from an abusive father.
May 3: The court discussed the day that someone tried to shoot Tammy, including the search history of Cox. He reportedly searched several AR-15-related searches leading up to it.
May 4: It would have been Tammy’s 53 birthday if she was still alive. More on Tammy’s insurance being changed before she died.
May 5: The court reviewed several text messages between Chad and Lori, as well as Lori and others relating to the case. More of the same romantic messages between Chad and Lori.
May 6: More romantic text messages between Lori and Chad are revealed.
May 8: Additional text messages from Lori, Alex, and Chad are revealed, including text messages about eliminating zombies, and romantic texts between Lori and Chad.
May 9: The prosecution announced that they have concluded their arguments and the defense followed suit. Concluding arguments started May 11.
May 12: A 12-member jury unanimously finds Lori Vallow Daybell guilty on all charges. The jury deliberated for seven hours. Lori was found guilty of murder, and conspiracy to commit murder for her children. She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Tammy Daybell. Additionally, Daybell was found guilty of grand theft.
July 31: Lori Vallow Daybell is sentenced to five life sentences in prison, only three of which will run consecutively. Judge Steven Boyce denied her any chance of parole. Victims spoke at the sentencing, which you can read about here. Lori also gave her own statement, in which she quoted scripture and spoke about her dead children as if they approved of her.
Chad Daybell’s trial is expected to take place in April 2024.