Idaho Couple Face Murder Charges in Deaths of Children and a Former Spouse

Headlines refer to them as the “Doomsday Couple,” a couple who have drawn international attention for their so-called apocalyptic religious beliefs and the recurring deaths of their immediate family members under questionable circumstances.

Lifetime TV even made a movie about her.

On Tuesday, Idaho prosecutors announced that husband and wife Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow had been charged with two first-degree murders in the deaths of two children of Ms. Vallow. Mr. Daybell was also charged with the first degree murder of his ex-spouse’s death, a case that received renewed attention after the disappearance of Ms. Vallow’s children.

The couple, who were indicted Monday by a grand jury in Fremont County, Idaho, could face the death penalty, according to prosecutors.

“Members of the grand jury have considered and determined that there is likely reason to believe that the Daybells intentionally and knowingly committed several crimes that resulted in the deaths of three innocent people,” said Lindsey Blake, Fremont County attorney. at a press conference.

The couple’s indictment came almost a year after investigators found the remains of Ms. Vallow’s children, Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua Vallow, 7, who were buried at the home of Mr. Daybell, her stepfather, last June.

Prosecutors did not say how the children were killed, but the couple’s religious beliefs played a role, according to the indictment. Mr. Daybell and Ms. Vallow “supported and taught religious beliefs to justify the murders,” the indictment reads.

Mr. Daybell’s former wife, Tammy Daybell, 49, was found dead at her Idaho home in October 2019. Her death was originally attributed to natural causes, but authorities ordered that her remains should be exhumed as they suspected that her death could have been linked to Ms. Vallow’s missing children.

According to the indictment, Mr. Daybell and Ms. Vallow said in a text message exchange that Ms. Daybell was “in limbo” and “possessed by a ghost named Viola.” In September 2019, just over a month before her death, Mr. Daybell had increased the coverage in a life insurance policy for Ms. Daybell.

Mr. Daybell, 52, and Ms. Vallow, 47, married shortly after their former spouses died.

One of Mr. Daybell’s attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

Ms. Vallow’s attorney said in a text message Tuesday that he was not ready to comment immediately.

Both Mr Daybell and Ms. Vallow have been in custody since last year when Ms. Vallow was arrested in Hawaii on charges that included two cases of desertion and unsupporting of dependent children. Mr Daybell was arrested last June on charges related to the disappearance of his stepchildren. He and Ms. Vallow have not pleaded guilty to these previous allegations.

In another level of story, Mrs. Vallow’s former husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed in Arizona in July 2019 by Mrs. Vallow’s brother Alexander Cox, who informed police that his brother-in-law hit him in the head with a baseball bat and that the shooting was taking place was a case of self-defense. Mrs. Vallow was estranged from her first husband at the time, and Mr. Cox has since died.

The religious views of Mr. Daybell and Mrs. Vallow have drawn international attention to the case.

Mr. Daybell has written several novels on recurring doomsday themes. In divorce papers on Phoenix TV broadcaster Fox 10, Ms. Vallow’s former husband said she had told him she believed she was receiving “spiritual revelations and visions to help the elect and preparers for life in New Jerusalem after the Great War, as in the book of the Revelation prophesies. “

Both Mr. Daybell and Ms. Vallow are affiliated with a facility called Preparing People, which their website says is designed to help prepare people for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

In addition to the murder charges, Mr. Daybell and Ms. Vallow were charged with two first degree murder and aggravated theft by deception related to the death of their children, and one first degree murder conspiracy case related to Ms. Daybell’s death.

The indictment states that Ms. Vallow continued to collect social security benefits for children and social security benefits for one of them for several months after her death.

Mr Daybell was also charged with two insurance fraud cases and Ms. Vallow was charged with a major theft.

In a press release last month, Lifetime announced that Ms. Vallow would be featured in a movie called “Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story,” which will air June 26th.

A Lifetime spokeswoman said in an email on Tuesday evening that the film was still airing and that the producers were closely monitoring developments in the case. An update will come out at the end of the film, she said.

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