Search for daughter of ‘Doomsday cult’ mom Lori Vallow turns to Yellowstone
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Search for daughter of ‘Doomsday cult’ mom Lori Vallow turns to Yellowstone

By Tommy Fradenburg

Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local | See @tommyfradenburg

Lori Vallow’s children Tylee Ryan and Joshua Vallow have been missing since September 2o19.

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The seven-year-old Vallow was most recently seen in the doorbell camera at a family apartment on September 17 in Rexburg, Idaho; but his adoptive sister has been missing even longer. Court documents secured by the East Idaho News state the last place anyway saw Ryan was during a family trip to Yellowstone National Park on September 8.

This disappearance is the latest in a string of bizarre events surrounding Vallow, 46. For one, she removed Joshua from Kennedy Elementary School, saying she planned to homeschool the boy.

But other, darker events have also swirled around Lori and her relatives.

Her recent marriage to Chad Daybell is her fifth with her most recent ending violently; with her brother Alex Cox shooting Charles Vallow in what he claims was self-defense.

Death and Devotion

A few months earlier Daybell’s wife Tammy died of what authorities originally deemed natural causes; but they have exhumed the body for an autopsy. Weeks after the death of Charles Vallow, Chad and Lori married at a Hawaiian resort — with no sign of the children.

Prior Charles’ death, Lori also began spending a great deal of time with the doomsday cult Preparing a People; a group dedicated to preparing the world for the second coming of Jesus Christ. Family member’s noted a distinct change in Lori after joining the group.

“Lori was a wonderful, loving, attentive mother,”  said grandmother Kay Vallow Woodcock on Facebook. “Things started changing over the past 18+ months when Lori began spending all her time with a new religious group, that we refer to as a ‘cult.’”

Matters devolved to the point where Charles filed for divorce from Vallow, and court documents report some of the ideas she had apparently inspired by this cult. According to Charles’ lawyers, she claimed “she was a God assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020 and that if [Charles] got in her way of her mission she would murder him.”

She also “informed Father that she is a translated being who cannot taste death sent by God to lead the 144,000 into the Millennium,” according to the documents.

Recovery Efforts

Authorities have information that indicates Lori Vallow knows the location of her missing children. After receiving a missing persons call from Vallow Woodcock, the Rexburg Police Department decided to conduct a welfare check.

On November 26, 2019, went to her apartment to conduct a welfare check on the kids but found only Daybell and Cox. Daybell reportedly acted as if he barely knew Vallow, while Cox said the kids were with Vallow Woodcock in Louisiana. Later that day, Vallow told authorities they were staying with Melanie Gibb in Arizona.

Neither proved to be true.

The ex-husband of Vallow’s niece Melani Pawlowski filed papers last week stating she knows the whereabouts of the kids; but she is not cooperating with the investigation. 

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Vallow has been arrested for desertion of young children in Hawaii and is being held on $5 million bond.

““Lori Daybell is a devoted mother and resents assertions to the contrary,” attorney Sean Bartholick said. ““We look forward to addressing the allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor.”

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