BOISE, Idaho (ABC4) — On Day 11 of the Lori Vallow Daybell murder trial, her son, Colby Ryan, testified about his relationship with his siblings, JJ and Tylee, and his mother Lori. And the court reviewed a phone call between Ryan and Lori that was made after officials discovered JJ and Tylee’s remains.
Ryan told the court that he had a good relationship with JJ and Tylee and that Lori cared for their needs. Ryan also said he had a good relationship with Charles Vallow, his stepdad. Ryan said Lori taught him about Jesus, but not about multiple lives, zombies, casting out spirits, and light scales. Lori reportedly never asked Ryan to come to special church meetings or participate in castings.
When Tylee and JJ were still alive, Ryan said he spoke with Lori about her life insurance, as JJ and Tylee were not listed as beneficiaries. Ryan moved out of the house in 2018 when he got married and was not at home when Charles filed for divorce, or when Charles and Lori reconciled. To read more about their timeline, click here.
Ryan spoke about his experience the day his stepdad, Charles Vallow, was killed. It was July 11, 2019, and Lori reportedly called Ryan while he was at work, and said Charles died of a heart attack. However, when Ryan went home later that day, he figured out this was not the truth.
When Ryan got home from work that day, he said he noticed his uncle, Alex Cox, had a bandage on his hand. Cox reportedly told Ryan he was hit with a bat, and then he shot Charles.
Ryan said his relationship with Cox was minimal, and said his uncle was “odd.” Ryan said, “[Cox] was crude, and kind of funny, and odd.”.
A few weeks after Charles’ death, Ryan said Lori told him that she wasn’t receiving any life insurance from Charles’ death. Ryan said he and Lori spoke about finances nearly every month, and Lori would often say they were out of money. According to Ryan, Lori would often send money to Tylee on Venmo, and sometimes Tylee would send the money to him.
Ryan said on the evening of Sept. 8, 2019, he asked Tylee for money, and she responded that she was no longer in control of her money, but that Lori was handling it. Officials said Sept. 8 was the last time Tylee was seen alive, in a photo with JJ and Cox, at Yellowstone National Park. Ryan said he spoke with Lori that day, and she told him they were at the Yellowstone National Park gift store. Ryan said he heard Tylee while on the phone with Lori.
After Sept. 2019, Ryan said he received money from two different accounts registered with Lori.
Gilbert police contacted Ryan on Nov. 27, 2019, and asked him where Tylee and JJ were. Ryan told them they were not with him, and that he was concerned about Tylee. Ryan told officers that his texts with Tylee were “in a different language than how Tylee would talk and type.” Ryan said it felt like it wasn’t Tylee who he was speaking with.
After the Gilbert police visited, Ryan said he was confused about what was going on, and why the police were looking for the kids. Ryan said he didn’t know where his mom was, and just knew she moved away from Phoenix.
“She just told me she was moving somewhere cold, and it was dangerous for her to tell anybody where she had gone,” Ryan said. He allegedly tried to contact Lori on Thanksgiving, but her phone was disconnected and he could not reach her.
After the bodies of JJ and Tylee were found buried on Chad’s property, Ryan called Lori on the jail phone system. The audio recording was played for the court. Lori began the conversation by addressing Ryan, “Hi […] Can you hear me? Do you want to talk to me?” Lori said.
“Do you think you can hide from me?” Ryan replied. Lori said she wasn’t hiding, but thought he didn’t want to talk to her. Ryan said, “Probably because you murdered my siblings.”
Ryan continued speaking to Lori. “I have prayed for you in my worst moments, I have prayed for my siblings who you swore to me were ok,” Ryan said. “I thought I could trust you. I thought you were a completely different person.” Lori responded, “You’ve known me your whole life.” Ryan said, “I don’t know a murderous mother.”
Ryan said it kills him to watch Lori take the victim’s route and claim it shouldn’t have happened to her. “Chad Daybell came into your life and all of a sudden everything changes,” Ryan said. “I prayed, I trusted you, I gave you every chance I could […] I pushed back all of everything to try and get to you, to help my own mother.” But Ryan said Lori lied to him and knew where the kids were.
“You tell me this is God’s will for my whole family, including my stepfather, to be dead. After everything you’ve tried to tell me, you can tell me right now that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World is on your side?” Ryan said. Lori replied, “I can tell you that.” Ryan told Lori that Jesus will judge her, but Lori just laughed.
Lori replied that only Tylee and JJ know exactly what happened. “They love me and they are fine and they know the truth, and we are the only people that do,” Lori said. Ryan began yelling at Lori.
“The kids are found buried in your new husband’s backyard?!” Colby yelled. “Why are you following Chad down the rabbit hole? Why would you follow anyone who is not good? How can you follow someone who cannot lead to salvation in Jesus? You can’t lie to me anymore. You can’t hide anymore.”
Ryan told Lori he will continue to pray for her. “I pray every day no matter how mad I am at you, no matter how bad I want to hit your husband in the face with a shovel, I pray for you, I pray for him,” Ryan said. “You ripped my heart out, you ripped everyone’s heart out.”
To read more about Lori Vallow Daybell’s trial, click here.