Sister-in-law of Lori Vallow Daybell recalls events leading up to deaths and disappearances

Apr 14, 2023, 4:13 PM | Updated: Apr 21, 2023, 11:46 am

Day 10 in the Lori Vallow Daybell trial began with Chandler Police Detective Nathan Duncan on the s...

This courtroom sketch, from left, depicts Madison County prosecutor Rob Wood, Lori Vallow Daybell and defense attorney Jim Archibald during opening statements of Vallow Daybell's murder trial in Boise, Idaho, Monday, April 10, 2023. Prosecutors have charged Vallow Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, with multiple counts of conspiracy, murder and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Vallow Daybell's two children: Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Both are also charged in connection with the death of Chad Daybell's previous wife, Tammy Daybell. (Lisa C. Cheney via AP)

(Lisa C. Cheney via AP)

BOISE, Idaho — Emails and text messages were the focal points of day 10 in the trial of Lori Vallow Daybell.

The day began with Chandler, Ariz. Police Detective Nathan Duncan on the stand with Prosecutor Lindsey Blake. She asked Duncan if anything, in particular, stood out on the cellphone of Charles Vallow.

To which, Duncan replied, yes.

Then, prosecutors admitted into the records of evidence a PowerPoint that complied emails and text messages leading up to and past Charles Vallow’s death. 

Lori Vallow Daybell is charged with seven felonies. She and her husband Chad Daybell are accused of murdering her two children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Also, Vallow Daybell is charged with conspiring to murder Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell. 

Text messages and emails between Charles Vallow, Lori Vallow, and Alex Cox

First, the PowerPoint displayed emails sent on June 29, 2022, of Charles Vallow asking Lori Vallow if Chad Daybell was who she was having an affair with. 

Charles then emails Lori Vallow, stating that he has Tammy Daybell’s email address and cell number. 

“I’m sure you are up by now. You have until 10 a.m. your time to respond or I send the emails and texts to Tammy,” one email from Charles to Lori Vallow read. 

According to Duncan, two emails, one to Tammy Daybells’s work and personal, were sent on June 29, 2019. 

“My name is Charles Vallow. I have some vital and disturbing information regarding your husband and my wife Lori…you can call or email me… I apologize for being the one sending this, but something has to be done,” read one of the emails. 

On the same day, Charles sent an email to Chad Daybell concerning false claims of him writing a book and asking what is going on between him and Lori Vallow. Chad did not respond. 

July 11, 2019, Charles Vallow wrote Adam Cox, one brother of Lori Vallow, to say her other brother, Alex Cox, was at Lori’s. 

According to the emails, both Charles Vallow and Adam Cox agreed that Alex Cox and Lori Vallow were planning something. 

Following the death of Charles, Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow discussed how the beneficiary information for Charles was changed in March 2019. 

“Hmmmm. It will be very interesting if it got changed after two bullets in the chest,” Chad Daybell replied to one of Lori Vallow’s messages. 

Zulema Pastenes takes the stand

The state called Zulema Pastenes, a former friend of Lori Vallow Daybell, who married her brother, Alex Cox. As a witness at trial today, she described dialogues between herself, Chad Daybell, Alex Cox, and Lori Vallow Daybell.  

Pastenes recalled that back in February 2019, she attended a meeting at the home of Melanie Gibbs where Lori said that Charles Vallow, her husband at the time, was possessed by a dark spirit or demon.

At another meeting, Pastenes said Alex Cox believed Lori’s claims of Charles Vallow becoming possessed. And she said that Lori Vallow was very attached to the number 711. 

“She would mention that number all the time… She said that because it was 711 and those were numbers that Charles or Hiplos (the name given to the demon possessing Charles, according to Lori) had been delivered to her (Lori Vallow) and Alex,” Pastenes said in court Friday. 

Charles Vallow was shot by Alex Cox in what police initially deemed as self-defense. 

Following the death of Charles, Lori Vallow moved with her children Joshua Jaxon “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan and brother Alex Cox to Rexburg, Idaho.

According to Pastenes, before they moved, Lori Vallow told her that Tylee was possessed by an evil spirit or a demon named Hilary. 

Lori Vallow moves to Rexburg, Idaho

Pastenes went to Rexburg to visit Lori Vallow, Alex Cox, and the children. This visit took place before Pastenes and Cox began dating; however, they had gone on one date prior to him moving. 

When she arrived at the home in Rexburg, Tylee was nowhere to be found. However, JJ was playing outside with friends. 

Pastenes asked where Tylee was. She testified that Lori Vallow told her Tylee had to be free. When she tried to ask her what she meant by that, Lori Vallow lifted her hand up to her face and said don’t ask, according to Pastenes.

Then, Lori began making claims JJ Vallow was also being attacked by evil spirits, Pastenes said. 

Pastenes went back to Arizona following the visit, and Alex joined her there for Thanksgiving. Upon his arrival, he mentioned that Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell stopped responding to his messages. 

Pastenes said, “He was upset. He said something like, can you believe they’re being such jerks after how much I helped them, now they don’t even want to talk to me?”

Later, it was learned that Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell had gotten married in Hawaii, and on their return flight, Pastenes met up with the both of them for dinner. 

“I asked where was JJ (at dinner) and who was taking care of them when they were in Hawaii. She told me that JJ was with Kay (Woodcock, JJ’s grandmother) and that she had given him to her.” 

Before the death of Alex Cox

Pastenes married Alex Cox on December 1, 2019. 

After determining that JJ and Tylee were missing, Pastenes confronted Alex Cox about what was going on. 

“He was very quiet. Not his usual self,” she said. “I was asking him why would they be exhuming her body if she had died of natural causes and I asked him if he was involved in anything that could do with Tammy’s death, he said no.”

Pastenes went on, pressuring Alex Cox for answers, and he responded by saying he thought he was the fall guy. 

He died the following day, after this conversation on Dec. 12, 2019. 

The trial of Lori Vallow Daybell resumes on Tuesday; court will be in recess Monday because of a death in the family of one of the attorneys. 

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Sister-in-law of Lori Vallow Daybell recalls events leading up to deaths and disappearances