New body camera footage shows Lori Daybell’s ex-husband expressing concerns to police before his death

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GILBERT, Ariz. (ABC4 News/East Idaho News) – Newly released body camera footage shows Lori Daybell’s ex-husband expressing concerns about her to police just months before he died. It’s the first time the public is seeing video of Charles Vallow since their children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan went missing in September.

The video, obtained by East Idaho News from the Gilbert Police Department in Arizona showed Vallow frantic in front of his home on the night of January 31, 2019.

He told police he had returned home from a business trip in Houston to find his wife had depleted his bank account and took his truck from the airport where it was parked. It had been two days since he was able to speak to his children.

“You could tell in his voice that he was really worried and distressed. All his stuff are gone, the kids are gone, he was really concerned. But I mean Lori had been saying a lot of concerning things,” said Eric Grossarth, reporter with East Idaho News.

Vallow’s then-wife of nearly 13 years, now known as Lori Daybell reportedly considered herself a translated being who spoke with an ancient prophet and Jesus Christ daily. She allegedly accused Vallow of being “possessed by an evil spirit named Nick Schneider” and threatened to “kill him with her powers.”

“She’s lost her mind. I don’t know how else to say it. We’re LDS. She thinks she’s a resurrected being and a God and a member of the 144,000 … Jesus is coming next year,” Vallow said to the officer in the body camera footage. “I love her to death. This is killing me, officer.”

The officer appeared to be initially confused by Vallow’s statements.

“When somebody tells you these things, they’re kind of out there. I’ve never personally heard some of these beliefs before that Lori supposedly adopted for herself,” said Grossarth. “For the officer, it would sound like these people kind of have this crazy viewpoint. There’s even one part where he said something along the lines of, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about here.’”

Vallow’s main concerns at the time were with his children he shared with Daybell, JJ and Tylee.

“She (Lori) said […], ‘Come take the kids. I don’t care what happens to them. Come take ’em,'” said Vallow in the video.

Vallow’s keys to get into their home had been inside the truck, and the police body camera footage shows him, as well as officers, kicking in the door of the house.

When the police arrived, they had an order to have Lori picked up by officers for a mental health exam. They said typically they don’t serve those orders during night time and only came to check on the kids.

“The only reason why we’re here is some of the statements that you provided to our dispatcher. (An officer) made the discussion to conduct the welfare check to make sure your children are safe,” an officer said.

A crime had not been committed, so police left the home.

The next morning, Lori went to the police station to file a report against Vallow, claiming he was having an affair and stole her purse. She then went for the mental health exam and was medically cleared.

Family tree showing Lori Daybell’s relationship to other characters involved in the case of her missing children

Although none of the information shared in the video is anything new to the public, Grossarth believes it provides more insight for those who have been following Daybell’s case.

“It does put a lot more personal aspect to it, because he’s one of the few people we haven’t seen actual video and heard their voice,” he said.

Vallow filed for divorce from Daybell just a few weeks later in February. He later died in July when her brother, Alex Cox shot and killed him, claiming self-defense.

Just four months after in November, she married Chad Daybell in Hawaii who’s published several books about the end of the world and is originally from Utah. The couple has remained silent on the whereabouts of JJ and Tylee, who have been missing since September.

Many questions still remain in the investigation as Lori Daybell sits behind bars on a $1 million bail at the Madison County Jail in Rexburg, Idaho. She was arrested after failing to meet an order to physically produce her children to authorities in Idaho.

“We’re still in a waiting game for her court appearance in early July, where they would present evidence to see if there was enough to move it on to a district court, which handle these felony cases,” said Grossarth.

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Rosie_Nguyen
Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. After interning for ABC4 News in 2011, she featured ABC4 News in her Master’s project documentary in 2016, and graduated from the University of Utah’s journalism program under ABC4’s very own Craig Wirth.

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