REXBURG, Idaho (ABC4) – It’s been a year since Idaho mother Lori Vallow Daybell was arrested on charges related to the disappearances of her two children. Now, 8 months after their bodies were found buried on her new husband’s property, disturbing new details continue to emerge.
7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan seemingly disappeared in the fall of 2019 then on June 9th of last year, investigators exhumed their bodies on Chad Daybell’s property outside of Rexburg.
Friday, in an ABC News Exclusive, 20/20’s Amy Robach delves into the relationship between Vallow and Daybell, the author of several books about the end of the world.
“She and Chad together, they just feed off of each other,” JJ’s grandmother Kay Woodcock says on the episode.
“I honestly think they like their Kool Aid,” Kay’s husband Larry added. “They were drinking the Kool Aid. Their own Kool Aid.”
Lori’s friend April Raymond describes her as a “superfan” of Daybell who eventually married him weeks after the death of his previous wife Tammy and tried to recruit Raymond into their Church of the Firstborn, mentioning a reference to the Book of Revelation.
“What they basically said is that ‘We are here to gather the 144,000 and you are one of them’,” Raymond told Robach. “I’m pretty familiar with Revelations so I knew what she was referring to. These are the people who will be here at the Second Coming. It was just too far out there for me. It wasn’t something that connected with me on any level.”
“So she planned on surviving the end of the world?” Robach asked.
“Yes,” Raymond replied. “Because she was one of the 144,000.”
“Did she ever say anything about her kids being part of the 144,000?” Robach asked.
“She never said one way or the other about the kids,” Raymond answered.
Another friend once told a Rexburg Police Officer that Lori had referred to JJ and Tylee as “zombies”, whose spirits had left their bodies.
“Is it fair to say that Lori had a fascination with death?” Robach inquired.
“I think that’s pretty accurate,”Raymond said. “Even before she started to exhibit changes in her personality, that was something that was always very interesting to her.”
Chad and Lori’s trials are set to get underway this summer.
You can see the entire 20/20 episode Friday night at 8 on ABC4.