PEOPLE magazine features Vallow-Daybell story this week

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Lori Vallow-Daybell was an ideal mom until she met apocalyptic writer Chad Daybell and became obsessed with Chad's belief in the end of times, reports this week’s People magazine.

In the article written by Steve Helling, Vallow-Daybell’s Kauai, Hawaii, neighbors considered her to be the epitome of a wife and mother. Vallow-Daybell had moved there with her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, where they ran a beachside smoothie bar called Juice Island. Vallow-Daybell’s now deceased brother Alex Cox shot and killed Charles in an alleged domestic dispute in July 2019 while the family lived in Arizona.

"She seemed like a supermom," says Lori’s former neighbor Leigh Tucker in the article. "She was always well put together. Dressed nicely, organized, unflappable. I wanted to be just like her."

Vallow-Daybell met Chad in 2018. People magazine reports that shortly after, Lori’s family and friends noticed a dramatic change in her. Chad has written numerous books focusing on doomsday. 

“According to family and friends, that fateful meeting changed Vallow's life,” writes Helling. “She started focusing on end times prophecy, and even allegedly told her sister-in-law that she considered driving her children off a cliff.”

During their stay in Hawaii, Charles Vallow took care of Juice Island, while Lori tended to toddler J.J. Vallow and then pre-teen Tylee Ryan. She often took Tylee to birthday parties while watching over young J.J. riding his tricycle, reported People.

Fast-forward to 2019, and J.J. 7, and Tylee, 17, are reported missing following a welfare check. After a search from Idaho to Arizona to Hawaii, law enforcement found the children’s buried bodies on Chad Daybell’s Salem property in June 2020.

Vallow-Daybell has been in the Madison County Jail since February after being transported from a Hawaii jail. She initially faced two counts of felony desertion and nonsupport of dependent children. After authorities found the children’s bodies, those charges were dismissed. Yet, Lori still faces misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt of court. With the discovery of the children’s bodies, she also faces a felony for concealing evidence as does Chad.

The case took another turn this week after Vallow-Daybell’s attorney Mark Means and Chad Daybell’s attorney John Prior alleged that Special Prosecutor Rob Wood had intimidated a key witness in the case. Wood has served as the prosecutor in the case since September 2019 when J.J. and Tylee first went missing. Wood has adamantly denied any allegations of misconduct and noted that it took the defense two months to bring up the meeting where Shiflet’s lawyer, Garrett Smith, made no objections. Smith recorded the conversation.

The recording revealed that Wood told Shiflet he planned to file conspiracy to murder charges against both Chad and Lori. Shiflet did not defend Vallow-Daybell, but instead thanked Wood for finding the children’s remains.

The defense cited Wood’s comments concerning Chad Daybell who Wood said was “highly manipulative. He kind of blew up the situation. He did not care who died, who got hurt. He did not care at all.”

It won’t be known until Friday whether Wood will remain on the case. The couple’s joint jury trial is scheduled on July 12.

It's all too difficult to believe, Tucker told People.

"I can't wrap my mind around all the things they say she did," she said. "It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."