Here Are the Central Figures in the Case of Joshua 'JJ' Vallow and Tylee Ryan
The remains of the missing siblings were found on property belonging to their mother's husband, Chad Daybell, more than nine months after they were last seen.
The investigation into what happened to Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, spans multiple states, includes inquiries about three other suspicious deaths and involves questions about their mother and her husband's "cult-like" religious beliefs.
Lori Vallow Daybell has been charged with two counts of felony desertion of her children and remains in jail on $1 million bond. Her husband, Chad Daybell, faces felony charges of willfully destroying, concealing or altering evidence after the children's remains were found on his property and also remains in jail on $1 million bond. Both Chad and Lori have pleaded not guilty and the couple denies all allegations of wrongdoing.
Here are the central figures in the case and what we know about them. Check back for updates on this developing story.
Joshua "JJ" Vallow - Joshua Jaxon Vallow was born on May 25, 2012 and was initially cared for by his paternal grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock. Within his first year of life, Kay's brother, Charles Vallow, asked if he and his wife, Lori, could adopt JJ to raise as their own. Charles was Lori's fourth husband and had also been married before.
"They each had two children by previous marriages, and they wanted a baby to raise. Kay and I, after months of deliberation, said it was probably best because Charles was a high earner, a hard worker and devout in his religion, him and Lori both," Larry Woodcock previously told Inside Edition Digital of the adoption. "They were just good people, tremendous people. I was proud to have Charles and Lori, at that time, as a brother-in-law and sister-in-law."
JJ had special needs, including autism. While the family was living in Arizona, JJ had a service dog named Bailey who was trained for him by Neal Mestas.
"Bailey just helped him stay calm," Mestas previously told Inside Edition. "'[Bailey] was a comfort to him as well. One of the things that JJ really struggled with and the family struggled with was him sleeping through the night. He would get up and often times even try and sneak or wander out of the house. And so, when we first introduced Bailey to the home, that was one of the first nights that JJ stayed in his bed and slept through the night."
But Mestas said Lori told him they would be giving the dog back before their move from Arizona to Idaho in the summer of 2019. When Mestas inquired further about why they were giving the dog back, he said, Lori told him it was too hard to talk about.
JJ attended school at Laurens Institute for Education, also known as LIFE Academy, in Gilbert, Arizona. After the family moved, Lori enrolled JJ at Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg, Idaho on Sept. 5.
But weeks later, on Sept. 24, Lori unenrolled JJ, explaining she planned to home-school him, the school's principal told EastIdahoNews.com.
Once JJ was unenrolled, he was no longer tracked by the school, because "Idaho does not regulate or monitor home school education," according to the state's Department of Education.
His former Kennedy Elementary School classmates and their families gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember JJ on what would have been his eighth birthday.
JJ was last seen on Sept. 22 with his uncle, Alex Cox, by his mother's friend, Melanie Gibb, who was staying with the family in Rexburg at the time.
When Gibb and her boyfriend asked where JJ was the next morning on Sept. 23, Lori said that "JJ had been acting like zombie and had been crawling on the kitchen cabinetry and had gotten on top of the cabinetry in the space between the cabinetry and the ceiling" and that "Alex had come and taken JJ," according to an affidavit filed by Rexburg Police Lt. Ron Ball, the lead detective on the case.
At 9:55 a.m. on Sept. 23, cellular data analyzed by the FBI showed that Alex's cellphone was on Chad's property near the pond until 10:12 a.m, according to the affidavit. JJ's remains were found buried near the pond by investigators on June 9, police said.
Tylee Ryan - Tylee was born on Sept. 24, 2002 to Lori and her third husband, Joseph Ryan. Lori already had a son from a previous marriage, Colby, who also took Joseph's last name.
In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Colby Ryan described Tylee as "feisty; she's funny, she has very dry humor," adding that, "she's so strong and sweet and she's been growing into her own. She has really stepped up, she's so strong and I miss her, I miss being around her."
Annie Cushing, Joseph's sister, said Tylee was her brother's only child and "he was over the moon" when she was born.
Lori and Joseph Ryan divorced in 2004 when Tylee was 18 months old, Cushing said. Tylee moved with her mother from Texas to Hawaii and then to Arizona.
Cushing said the last time she saw Tylee was when she visited Lori in Arizona shortly after Joseph's death from an apparent heart attack in March 2018.
“When I got there, it was as if nothing had happened,” Cushing told KSL-TV. "People were hardly talking about Joe and when Lori did, the tenor was — she would actually say, 'The world is a better place without Joe Ryan.'"
“There was also a lot of tension between Tylee and Lori,” Cushing added.
Melanie Gibb told police Lori had called her teenage daughter, Tylee, a "zombie" in the spring of 2019 after Tylee said she didn't want to babysit JJ.
"Gibb was on the phone with Lori and heard Lori call Tylee a zombie, to which Tylee responded, 'Not me, mom,'" Ball wrote in his affidavit. "Lori Vallow also told Gibb that Tylee had turned into a zombie when she was 12 or 13, which was approximately the same time Tylee had become 'difficult' to deal with," the document states.
Tylee was present when Alex shot and killed her stepfather, Charles Vallow, on July 11, according to police. Alex claimed he fired in self-defense and wasn't charged in the incident.
Tylee moved with her mother and JJ to Rexburg, Idaho on or around Sept. 1, according to the affidavit.
She was last seen a week later when she visited Yellowstone National Park with JJ, Lori and Alex on Sept. 8. The FBI has asked anyone who was at the park on that day to submit "photos and video that may assist in the investigation" via its special tips page here.
Tylee's phone was used on a few occasions since she disappeared, but it's not clear by whom. In October, a text had been sent from Tylee’s phone to a friend who was worried about her, but her friend said what Tylee allegedly wrote didn’t sound like her, CBS News reported.
Instead, police believe Tylee was killed within hours of the time she was last seen. Between 2:42 a.m. and 3:37 a.m. on Sept. 9, cellular data shows Alex's phone returned to Lori's apartment where JJ and Tylee were living, according to police.
"This is significant, not only because [Alex] is there in the middle of the night, but also because this is the only time in September he appears to go over to Lori’s between midnight and 6 a.m.," Ball wrote in the affidavit.
At 9:21 a.m. the following morning, data from Alex's cellphone showed it was on Chad's property, near the barn where Tylee's remains were ultimately found by investigators executing a search warrant months later on June 9, according to the affidavit.
Lori Vallow Daybell - Lori is the mother of JJ, Tylee and her oldest son, Colby Ryan. Lori is currently being held on $1 million bond in an Idaho jail on felony charges of deserting JJ and Tylee, as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt. She has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
Born Lori Norene Cox on June 26, 1973, she grew up in a Mormon family in Southern California and attended Eisenhower High School in Rialto from 1987 to 1991. There, she was on the cheerleading squad.
"I just thought she was just a Barbie doll. She was a doll," her childhood friend Bernadette Flores-Lopez previously told Inside Edition Digital. "She was just really, really friendly, not overly friendly, but she was just really sweet. I was just so excited to get to know her."
The Cox family were "very, very devout Mormons," Flores-Lopez said, and Lori would attend religious education classes in the morning before school.
Lori married her first husband, a boy from her high school, in 1992. But the marriage was short-lived.
"I know the boy was not a Mormon, so that might've been a cause of [the breakup]," Flores-Lopez said.
Lori had children with her next three husbands, William Lagioia (the father of her son, Colby); Joseph Ryan (the father of her daughter, Tylee); and Charles Vallow (with whom she adopted JJ).
Lori had her first taste of fame when she appeared on "Wheel of Fortune" and competed in the Mrs. Texas beauty pageant as a mother of two. She took it as a sign from above.
"She told my brother that God told her she was going to be on 'Wheel of Fortune' before she auditioned," her ex-sister, Annie Cushing, told Inside Edition.
Lori and Joseph Ryan divorced in 2004 when Tylee was 18 months old, Cushing said. A bitter custody battle ensued.
Joseph died from an apparent heart attack in 2018. Lori married her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, in Las Vegas.
In a Facebook post, Charles' sister, Kay Woodcock, wrote Lori was a "wonderful, loving, attentive mother" until "things started changing over the past 18+ months when Lori began spending all her time with a new religious group."
"The first six years, you couldn't ask for a better mother than Lori," Kay's husband, Larry Woodcock, previously told Inside Edition Digital. "I can't tell you a date she got involved in this cult, but I told Kay two or three years ago I thought Lori was changing. There was something about her that was not the Lori we loved."
Lori started "to read some books published by [Chad] Daybell and listen to other podcasts and things like that," Larry added. "But up until that point, Lori was the quintessential mom: extremely athletic, loving, caring. You could not ask for a better mom. And then it all just went to hell in a hand basket, and Lori changed."
After her husband, Charles, was shot and killed by her brother, Lori married her fifth and current husband, Chad Daybell, an end-times author and publisher living in Idaho.
Chad Guy Daybell - Chad was born in Provo, Utah on August 11, 1968 to Sheila and Jack Daybell. Chad wrote that his middle name comes from his maternal grandfather, Guy Chesnut, who told him a story about meeting a "messenger from heaven" at a temple one day. The story seems to have stuck with Chad and sparked his belief that people on Earth could communicate with people "on the other side of the veil."
Receiving messages from heaven and acting on them soon became a part of Chad's life. He had two near-death experiences, one at 17 and the other in his early 20s, that he said showed him glimpses into the spirit world, as well as visions of what could happen here on Earth.
The two near-death experiences became the foundation of his book, Living on the Edge of Heaven, and Chad spoke at conferences and on podcasts about what he had seen and been told in the "spirit world."
That included visions of an apocalyptic United States before the second coming of Jesus Christ, which Chad wrote about in a series of books he called Times of Turmoil. The events depicted in the books include a massive earthquake in Salt Lake City, Utah and "a convoy of United Nations peacekeepers is making its way to Utah to assist in the full invasion of the United States by the Coalition forces, which will spark World War III."
Chad married his first wife and college sweetheart, Tamara Douglas, on March 9, 1990 and the couple had five children together: Garth, Emma, Seth, Leah and Mark. Chad alternated between working as a writer and publisher and digging graves and caring for cemetery grounds as a sexton.
The Daybells lived in Springville, but while they were vacationing at a rented cabin in Idaho in 2014, Chad wrote "the Spirit" told him to move to the city of Rexburg.
In addition to their five children, Tammy and Chad moved the publishing company they had started together to Rexburg as well. Since 2004, the couple had worked together at Spring Creek Book Company.
While speaking at a conference in St. George, Utah in the fall of 2018, Chad met Lori, a married mother of three. Lori's friend, Melanie Gibb, told EastIdahoNews.com that during that first meeting, Chad informed Lori they had been married to each other in past lives.
Gibb said Chad and Lori spent a lot of time talking about their spiritual beliefs, which Gibb said she once shared. Those beliefs included that Chad and Lori had a special role to play in the end of the world, she said.
"They did believe they were the head of the 144,000," Gibb said, referring to a Bible passage from the book of Revelations about a group of people chosen by God. "They believed that that was what their assignment was."
Both Lori and Chad believed their spouses, Charles and Tammy, would die in car accidents, allowing them to be together, Gibb said. While neither Charles nor Tammy died in a car accident, both passed away within months of each other.
The Daybell family
Tammy Daybell - Tammy is Chad's first wife who was found dead in their home on Oct. 19 at the age of 49. While Tammy's death was ruled to be from natural causes, her body was exhumed and the results of an autopsy are still pending, according to authorities. Tammy's death remains under investigation.
At the time of her death, Tammy worked as a school librarian at Central Elementary School in Sugar City, Idaho.
"She smiled nonstop, she was out to do her very best and then some," Mandy Fowler, Tammy Daybell’s friend and co-worker there, told KSL TV.
After the discovery of JJ and Tylee's remains in June, Tammy's parents, siblings and extended family shared a statement with EastIdahoNews.com.
"As the family of our beloved Tammy, we want to extend our deepest and heartfelt love and sympathy to the families of Tylee and JJ. We share the pain of the tremendous and shocking loss you are enduring. We still suffer and we will suffer with you for many years to come. Please know we will continue our prayers to strengthen your families, as you are finally able to properly lay to rest your precious Tylee and JJ," they wrote. "As matters move through the judicial process, we pray that each of our families can be strengthened and trust that justice will be swiftly served."
Garth Daybell - Chad and Tammy's oldest son.
Emma Daybell Murray - The couple's oldest daughter, Emma worked at the same school as her mother, Tammy. Chad was sitting in his car in her driveway on June 9 when police discovered the remains of JJ and Tylee.
"Around the time [JJ's] head ... was discovered, Chad Daybell was observed leaving his daughter’s residence in a grey SUV. I and other officers pursued him in police vehicles, conducted a traffic stop and detained him due to the fact that human remains were discovered on his property," Ball wrote in his affidavit.
A fictionalized version of Emma also appeared in many of Chad's books.
Seth Daybell - The couple's middle son.
Leah Daybell Murphy - The couple's younger daughter.
Mark Daybell - The couple's youngest son, who has been serving on an LDS mission in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to Tammy's obituary.
The Cox family
Janis Cox - Janis is Lori's mother, who claimed in an interview with 48 Hours that she spoke to JJ on Oct. 1, weeks after police said he was last seen. During the interview, Janis showed what she said were phone records proving that there was a 97-minute call to Lori's number on Oct. 1. The records, of course, do not show who was speaking on the phone at the time. Janis repeatedly said Lori would not hurt her kids during that interview.
"She's invested her whole life in those children, so we know there's another whole side to this, we don't know what it is. But we know her," Janis told 48 Hours in early May. "I'm positive beyond any doubt that she hasn't harmed those kids."
Following the discovery of the children's remains, the family's attorneys, Robert Jarvis and Garrett Smith, issued this statement: "The Cox family –Janis and Barry, Summer, Melani and Ian — is deeply saddened by the recent findings in the investigation into the whereabouts of J.J. and Tylee. Their love for them knows no bounds.
"The family has maintained a strong hope and belief that they were alive and well. With that hope and belief apparently shattered, they struggle to find comfort and hope in this potential new reality. They miss J.J. and Tylee very much," the statement read in part. "The family is very grateful to those who have expended so much time and effort in trying to locate them."
Barry Cox - Lori's father.
Alex Cox - Alex is Lori's brother who also moved to Rexburg in the fall of 2019. Police say Alex's cellphone was present at both of the places where the children's remains were found on Chad's property. Alex's cellphone pinged those locations on Sept. 9 and Sept. 23, the two dates after Tylee and JJ were last seen.
Alex was found unresponsive on Dec. 12 at the home he shared with his new wife, Zulema Pastenes, weeks after their marriage.
His death was ruled to be from natural causes, but remains under investigation by police in Arizona.
Adam Cox - Adam is Lori's brother who was investigated in the 2007 death of a woman who participated in a radio contest he hosted but was never criminally charged.
Adam, who also goes by the names Lukas and Bo Nasty, was one of the hosts at the "Morning Rave" show on KDND-FM in 2007 when the station held its "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest, Cox wrote in his book, My Crazy Radio Life.
The Jan. 12, 2007 stunt involved contestants drinking large amounts of water and then attempting to hold it in without vomiting or urinating, CBS News reported. Jennifer Lea Strange, 28, a California mother of three, died of acute water intoxication hours after participating in the contest.
In 2009, Strange's family was awarded $16.5 million by a California jury, which found the radio station liable for the actions of its employees, CBS News reported.
Zac Cox - Zac is Adam's only son. He was staying with Lori, Charles, Tylee and JJ in Gilbert, Arizona in January 2019 when Charles called the police and told them he was worried about Lori's mental state.
Zac has since written about his late cousins on Twitter, sharing photos of them together.
"JJ and Tylee, I am so sorry for what happened to you guys. You did not deserve any of this and I am just heartbroken. I am sick. I love you both so much and it brings comfort to me during these horrible times knowing you are both back with Charles. Justice will be served," Zac tweeted shortly after the siblings' remains were found.
Summer Shiflet - Summer is Lori's younger sister who appeared with Janis in the 48 Hours interview. Summer said Lori couldn't tell her family where JJ and Tylee were.
"She can't tell us," Summer said. "She's in jail, everything's recorded. She can't discuss anything about the case."
Following the discovery of the children's remains, Summer posted a lengthy statement on her Facebook page and shared it with EastIdahoNews.com.
"I was wrong," she wrote, in part. "I am an extremely imperfect person that loves my family with all my heart, and I wanted to believe the best in them, and I held out hope for the best possible outcome. I have always said things truthfully as I understood them, and will continue to do that as I learn new information."
Stacey Lynne Cox Cope - Stacey is Lori's late sister whose daughter, Melani Boudreaux Pawlowski, Lori helped raise. Stacey Lynne died on May 21, 1998 at the age of 31, according to an online memorial.
In his book, Adam wrote Stacey "suffered from a rare form of diabetes type one that she contracted during her pregnancy at age 22. Her style of diabetes was called 'gastroparesis' which prevented her from absorbing nutrients from her stomach into her bloodstream. When Stacey passed away while I was in Arkansas and [sic] a part of me passed away also."
Melani Boudreaux Pawlowski - Melani is Lori's niece who also moved to Rexburg in the fall of 2019 and remarried a man she met there, Ian Pawlowski, soon afterward.
“Melani Pawlowski has never been part of a cult," Melani's attorney, Garrett Smith, said in the statement. "She may understand some of the extremist beliefs of her aunt, Lori Vallow, and Chad Daybell, but that does not mean that she has adopted those beliefs as her own."
"Melani does not judge those who accept those extremist beliefs, just like she does not judge you or me for what we believe. Melani holds on to her core beliefs as an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," he added.
Melani is the mother of four young children with her ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux. The two are engaged in an ongoing custody battle in Arizona.
After the discovery of JJ and Tylee's remains, Melani wrote a lengthy statement, which was shared with EastIdahoNews.com.
"Thank you to those who have honored JJ and Tylee with kindness. My cousins are beautiful souls who both radiate love towards others and whom had a zealous passion for life," she wrote in part. "I know Tylee and JJ know how I feel already – but I want to share for so many who didn’t have the blessing of being able to be a part of their lives. And especially in gratitude for those who have expressed heartfelt empathy and who have chosen to love our family without judgment and to lift us up through this."
Ian Pawlowski - Ian is Melani's current husband who served as an FBI informant in the case.
Ian wrote about Lori's alleged religious beliefs in a summary of information he gave to law enforcement. Those beliefs include the existence of "translated beings" who "may, with the Lord's permission, teleport" and zombies who "have had their original spirits forced from them and have been possessed" by a "demon," "disembodied spirit" or a "worm/slug."
The document also contains disturbing details about Lori's missing children. Ian wrote that Melani told him she was concerned that Lori's late brother, Alex, might have had something to do with the disappearance of JJ and Tylee.
"Melani had been told by Chad and Lori that their children had been possessed and had become zombies," Pawlowski wrote. "She shared concerns that she's been told Brandon [Boudreaux] needed to die and that may indicate that Tylee and JJ needed to die as well.
"She told me she was worried that Al [Alex Cox] may have had to 'take care' of the kids. She explained that Al had great faith and never wavered in his trust in the Lord. No task would be too difficult or great for him. When I asked for clarification, she restated her concern verbatim."
Brandon Boudreaux - Brandon is Melani's ex-husband with whom she has four small children. Brandon claims Alex Cox shot at him in his driveway on Oct. 2, 2019, and that he went into hiding with his four children to protect them.
In a court document filed in connection with their custody battle, Brandon claimed Melani "is involved in a cult where numerous members, adults and children alike, have been being killed off like flies," a claim Melani has repeatedly denied.
Brandon also claimed in the document that Melani's "knowledge of the whereabouts of her aunt's two missing children and her unwillingness to cooperate with law enforcement in finding those children is daunting to [Brandon]." Melani denied knowing where JJ and Tylee were.
His custody battle with Melani is ongoing.
The Vallow family
Charles Vallow - Charles was JJ's adoptive father and Tylee's stepfather. Charles told police in Gilbert, Arizona, he was worried about Lori and what she could do to JJ and Tylee in January 2019.
"I want her to get help. She's my wife. I love her to death. Something's gone wrong. And if she wants me gone, fine, I can do all that stuff. I just don't want her to hurt [JJ]. I just don't want her to hurt anybody else," Vallow told Gilbert Police Department officers in newly released bodycam footage.
Charles said he had called police on Jan. 30, 2019 after he returned from that business trip to find his truck gone from the airport parking lot, the Arizona house he shared with Lori locked and the kids nowhere to be found. That led Charles to file a petition for Lori to have an emergency mental health evaluation.
"I don’t know what she’s going to do with them. I don’t know if she is going to flee with them, if she’s going to hurt them," Charles can be heard saying in the Jan. 30, 2019 bodycam footage in response to a police officer's question about whether Lori posed a threat to JJ and Tylee.
Charles told police Lori had "lost her reality," had threatened to kill him, and believed his body had been inhabited by a spirit named Nick Schneider.
"She meets with [the angel] Moroni and Jesus Christ face to face in the temple every day," Charles told officers. "I’ve tried to support her as much as I could but it’s gotten really, really bad lately. She says I’m Nick Schneider, I’ve taken over Charles' body, 'Charles has been killed and I’m going to kill you.'"
Six months after the Jan. 31, 2019 police recordings, Charles was shot and killed by Lori's brother, Alex, who claimed he fired in self-defense and was not charged in the incident.
Kay and Larry Woodcock - Kay and Larry are JJ's biological grandparents. Kay is Charles' sister who allowed him and his then-wife, Lori, to adopt JJ.
Kay and Larry were the relatives who asked police in Idaho for a welfare check on JJ in the fall of 2019 after they hadn't heard from him in weeks. Kay is also the sister of Lori's late husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot and killed by Lori's brother, Alex, in July. Alex told police he fired in self-defense, and was not charged in the incident. Charles' death is also now under investigation.
"We were worried about JJ that minute we found out Charles had died," Kay told Inside Edition Digital. "I knew last January, Lori, she didn't want JJ, she was already talking about being done with Charles and being done with JJ. It's like she was done being a mother all together."
JJ used to speak with his grandparents all the time, Kay said, but the last time they FaceTimed with JJ in August, it seemed like someone else was holding the device and the call lasted less than a minute. The couple never heard from their grandson again.
Kay and Larry were outspoken in their search for the children, offering a $20,000 reward. Kay said the couple intends to attend every court hearing they can.
"Any time there is a court hearing, we're going to be there," Kay said. "I want to haunt her if I can. I want her to see me in her sleep. She's going to have to talk at some point."
The Ryan family
Colby Ryan - Colby is Lori's oldest son who posted multiple videos to his YouTube channel pleading with his mother to tell police where JJ and Tylee were.
"You have the power to end this," Ryan said in a video posted in January and addressing his mother. "You have an opportunity to put this all to rest. I know that it's hard maybe for you, maybe it's something you don't want to do. I really, really want to see Tylee and JJ. I really want this to be over."
"I'm your son. I would never want anything to happen to you, and I would never want anything to happen to Tylee and JJ ever, ever. I would do anything to protect them, and you know that. I just want them to be safe and want them to be okay," he added.
After the discovery of JJ and Tylee's remains, Colby and his wife, Kelsee, issued a statement with Kay and Larry.
"The Woodcocks and the Ryans are confirming that the human remains found by law enforcement on Chad Daybell’s property are indeed our beloved JJ and Tylee. We are filled with unfathomable sadness that these two bright stars were stolen from us and only hope that they died without pain or suffering," they wrote.
Colby and Kelsee also visited the memorial to JJ and Tylee that has been created on the fence outside of Chad's property and left a sign that reads, "To my beautiful little brother and sister. We will never forget you. This is not the end. You will have justice and we will meet again in paradise. I love you so much. Rest in peace."
Joseph Ryan - Joseph was Lori's third husband who died of an apparent heart attack in March 2018.
Annie Cushing - Annie is Joseph's sister and Tylee's aunt who helped raise awareness about the search for JJ and Tylee. Following the discovery of the children's remains, she issued a statement:
"Thank you for the overwhelming outpouring of love for Tylee and JJ throughout this crisis," she wrote. "As sad and taxing as this protracted investigation has been, I’ve been deeply touched by the heartfelt expressions of grief, kindness, and support throughout this process. Tylee and JJ won the hearts of people all across the globe. I’ve seen and have been impacted by both the worst and best of humanity. Hopefully, goodness and justice will win out in the end."
Chad and Lori Daybell's former friends
Melanie Gibb - Melanie was thrust into the spotlight after the affidavit of probable cause in Lori's case revealed she was the friend Lori told police in Idaho JJ was staying with when they came to perform a welfare check at Lori's home on Nov. 26.
In the affidavit, Lori told police in Rexburg on Nov. 26 that JJ was with Melanie in Gilbert, Arizona. But when police were unable to contact Melanie, they asked Lori to call her.
"At this time, Lori told us that Melanie and [JJ] were at the movie 'Frozen 2' so it was unlikely Melanie would answer the phone. We instructed Lori to call Melanie Gibb and have her call us so we could verify the location of [JJ]," the affidavit states.
But when Gilbert police questioned Melanie, she told them JJ "was not staying at her Arizona house and had not been there for several months."
Then, on Dec. 6, Melanie told police in Rexburg that both Chad and Lori had called her at separate times on Nov. 26 and "asked her to tell the police that she had [JJ] even though [JJ] was not with her."
According to her website, Melanie is the author of "Feel the Fire," a religious book with a foreword written by Chad Daybell. Melanie also appeared with Lori on the "Time To Warrior Up" podcast, which was distributed by Preparing A People, a media company with a mission to help "prepare the people of this Earth for the second coming of Jesus Christ."
She has recently spoken out extensively about the couple and their religious beliefs, which she said she once shared but became disillusioned with after seeing the circle of deaths surrounding the couple.
Zulema Pastenes - Zulema is the woman Lori's brother, Alex, married in the fall of 2019 who was also part of Chad and Lori's circle.
April Raymond - April told Dateline she met Lori while she was living on Kauai with Charles, JJ and Tylee, and that Lori was "really fun, fun to be around, really positive, full of energy, full of life, really nice to me, really nice to my boys, just enveloped us really quickly into her life."
April said Lori had talked to her about the end times and invited April to one of Lori's religious group's meetings, but she declined.
"I know they were doing a lot of meetings and she invited me to some of them but I just didn't have any interest in participating in any way," April told Dateline.
Later, April said, Lori and Tylee came back to Hawaii in early 2019 to stay with her and during that time, Lori told April she was a member of the 144,000 chosen people Lori and Chad believed they were meant to lead.
Suzanne Freeman - Suzanne told EastIdahoNews.com she met Chad 16 years ago after a friend connected her with him to write about her near-death experience.
Chad wrote about meeting Suzanne on his website, calling her "a humble housewife from a small Utah town [who] had actually died, met the Savior, and returned."
Together, Chad and Suzanne published three books, Led by the Hand of Christ in 2005, Through the Window of Life in 2006, and The Spirit of Liberty in 2013, according to Chad's website.
But Suzanne told EastIdahoNews.com she sent Chad an email in 2017 warning him that, "I know without a shadow of a doubt what you are preaching will not lead to happiness. It will lead to death and sorrow."
Shortly before the children's remains were found, Suzanne pleaded with her former friend to help find JJ and Tylee.
"Chad, we get deceived, we all get deceived, but please do the right thing, just know that there are people who love you and will back you up, just do the thing that you know is right," she told EastIdahoNews.com.
Julie Rowe - Julie is an author who published multiple books with Chad between 2014 and 2017. She said that during a meeting and energy healing session with him in Rexburg in mid-December 2018, Chad forcibly kissed her, got on top of her and while they were clothed, rubbed his genitals against her body.
"I had no idea that he was going to do what he did to me, and I felt very betrayed," Rowe told Inside Edition Digital of the incident, which she has not spoken about publicly before. "I felt used, abused, manipulated. I felt betrayed. It was awful."
Rowe said when she first met Chad in 2014, he was professional and appropriate, and she observed that he seemed to love his wife, Tammy.
Rowe and Chad had originally connected on LDS AVOW, an online end-times preparedness website, in February of that year. Rowe said she had decided to write about the dreams and visions she had after a near-death experience in 2004, during which she spent two and a half days in a comatose state.
Chad had written books about his own near-death experiences, and Rowe said she and Chad bonded over talking about them. She said she trusted Chad and became close with Tammy as well from 2014 to 2018. But in 2018, she started noticing some shifts in Chad but believed they were meant to continue publishing books.
After the alleged sexual misconduct, Rowe said, she came to believe that Chad had been "grooming" her and using discussions about spiritual beliefs to get close to and use her.
Then, Rowe said, she confronted Chad about the alleged misconduct in several text messages in early 2019. Rowe said she texted Chad about publishing rights issues later that year. After she wrote him a handwritten letter in the summer of 2019, she said, Chad called her in the fall and said something that disturbed her.
"Three weeks before Tammy dies, he said to me, and he was in this frustrated voice, 'My plan can't move forward until Tammy's dead,' or 'until Tammy dies,'" Rowe said, explaining she believes Chad was referring to his "life plan," or the plan that God had for him. "I was disheartened, I was very disturbed by that."
On Oct. 19, Tammy was found dead at the couple's home in Rexburg. Chad and Lori wed weeks later in Hawaii.
The legal teams
Mark Means - Lori's attorney, who previously also represented Chad.
John Prior - Chad's attorney.
Rob Wood - The Madison County, Idaho prosecutor in charge of Chad and Lori's cases.
Michelle Radford Mallard - The magistrate judge presiding over Lori's case.
Faren Eddins - The magistrate judge presiding over Chad's case. He was previously assigned to Lori's case until Lori's attorney requested he be removed.
Lt. Ron Ball - The Rexburg Police Department detective who filed the affidavits of probable cause in both Chad and Lori's cases.
Idaho Attorney General's Office - Chad and Lori are now under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's Office for "conspiracy, attempted murder and/or murder." Neither Chad nor Lori have been charged with any crime in connection to Tammy's death and both deny any wrongdoing.
The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding this case to contact the department at 1-208-359-3000.
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