Idaho mother of 2 missing children arrested in Hawaii
The Amazon account used to buy the wedding ring belonged to Vallow’s ex-husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot to death by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, last July. Cox himself was found dead from unknown causes in December.
A report by Arizona news station AZ Family reported Cox might have played a role in Tammy Daybell's death, although he died before authorities could question him.
In another twist, Cox is also suspected of firing a shot at Brandon Boudreaux, who was once married to Vallow’s niece, Melani Pawlowski, in Arizona.
Boudreaux and Pawlowski are involved in their own custody battle, and Boudreaux accused his ex-wife of knowing where Vallow’s children are, but Pawlowski's attorneys have denied that claim.
Her new husband, Ian Pawlowski, told authorities about the Oct. 2 shooting that narrowly missed Boudreaux as he was returning home from the gym.
“What I shared with the police were the ideas that Chad, Lori and Alex [Cox] may have planned shooting at Brandon and that Tylee and JJ may be in serious danger if Melani’s fears have any validity,” Ian allegedly wrote, according to East Idaho News.
A private investigator hired by Boudreaux also said he believed Cox was the shooter, East Idaho News reported.
The couple’s time in Hawaii
A month after the shooting incident, Daybell and Vallow were married in Hawaii on Nov. 5, however, there were no signs that the children were ever with them.
Wedding photos obtained by Fox 10 Phoenix confirmed Vallow was wearing the same ring that Daybell purchased online before Tammy Daybell's death.
Vallow was arrested Feb. 20 in Kauai after ignoring an earlier court order to bring the children in front of a judge, and she has since been extradited to Idaho to face felony abandonment charges.
For now, Vallow is being held in the Madison County Jail and is seeking to lower her $1 million bail — an amount that was reduced from the $5 million bond she faced while jailed in Hawaii.
Her next court appearance is scheduled May 7.
How the case unfolded
Vallow had been under investigation in the case since her son’s grandparents reported him missing Nov. 25, but Vallow lied to police and vanished from her Idaho apartment just as authorities were preparing to carry out a welfare check, according to reports.
Before she left Rexburg, Idaho, Vallow reportedly told neighbors she sent JJ to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to spend time with his grandparents, which turned out to be untrue, according to investigators.
Police next announced the children missing in December.
After Vallow resurfaced in Hawaii, police served her with a court order from Idaho that gave her five days to bring the children in front of a judge by Jan. 31, a deadline she missed.
The focus of the investigation has turned to Yellowstone National Park, not far from the family’s last known residence, where the family took photos Sept. 8. Police say it was the last day Tylee was ever seen. The FBI has released photos to the public in hopes that someone there that day would recognize the family and contact them with information.
Police in Rexburg said Vallow never reported the children missing and never cooperated with their investigation. Since her arrest, Vallow has not offered an explanation of their whereabouts.
But Vallow’s Hawaii lawyer claimed she had not produced the children because she did not want them to go into foster care, according to reports.
Three suspicious deaths
Vallow's arrest Feb. 20 in Hawaii was the culmination of months of efforts by federal, state and local agencies working around the clock to find the children and to explain three other suspicious deaths connected to the case.
Vallow married Daybell only two weeks after his previous wife of 30 years died in October, police said. Tammy Daybell’s body has since been exhumed for an autopsy, reports said.
Two months later, in December, Lori’s brother Alex Cox also died of unknown causes, according to reports. Cox, who appeared in the Sept. 8 photos at Yellowstone, claimed self-defense in the July 2019 shooting death of Lori’s previous husband, Charles Vallow, and he was never arrested or charged.
Reports say Arizona authorities are continuing to investigate Cox’s death.
Ex-husband felt threatened
Daybell, an author of several novels about near-death experiences and the apocalypse, reportedly developed a relationship with Vallow while she was still married to her fourth husband.
Chad Daybell, 51, is not facing any charges in the case and maintains that he and his wife, Lori Vallow, have done nothing wrong.
According to multiple news reports, members of Vallow’s extended family have told authorities that Vallow joined a “cult” with Daybell and that the two were preparing for the end of the world.
Before his death, Charles Vallow filed for a protection order against Lori after she allegedly began making threats to kill him.
He confided to family members that Lori was cheating and claiming to be a god, according to The Arizona Republic. He was in the process of filing for divorce when he was killed, according to news reports.
Daybell, meanwhile, told news media in Hawaii back in February that “the kids are safe,” according to a report in the Huffington Post, citing ABC News.
He is not facing any charges in the case and maintains that he and Vallow have done nothing wrong.
A wide-ranging investigation is continuing.