Idaho Kids Case: Chad Daybell Said Late Wife Not Part Of His 'Plan' Weeks Before Her Death, Former Friend Says
Julie Rowe published several books with Chad Daybell's publishing company and said she was close with the Daybell family, including his late wife, Tammy, and five children.
A former friend and colleague of Chad Daybell says she is "haunted" by a call she said she received from him three weeks before the death of his wife, Tammy.
"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,'" Julie Rowe told InsideEdition.com, 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," said Rowe, an author who writes about her own visions and near-death experiences. "Because if anyone understands how a person's plan works, people don't get in the way of our plans. Our plans are our plans, especially our spouses, and we are married to them for a reason.
"I felt darkness in it, I felt his frustration and his anger, and it was a big caution for me. It was enough of one that I talked to my husband about it, and I was very concerned," she added.
Rowe said that Chad had said something similar about Tammy's death in December 2018. While Rowe said she has had visions of her own spouse and other family members dying, her religious beliefs tell her that things will happen in their own time. "When it comes to the light side, if you're in the light, if you're working for the light, if you are getting messages from the light, those thoughts don't occur to you like that," she said.
Sean Bartholick, Chad and Lori's attorney, did not respond to InsideEdition.com's request for comment.
On Thursday, Chad's wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, was arrested in Kaua'i, where the couple had been living together, and charged with two counts of felony desertion of a child in the disappearance of her son, Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and daughter, Tylee Ryan, 17, Rob Wood, the prosecuting attorney for Madison County in Idaho, announced.
Vallow also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime, and contempt, Wood said in a statement. Chad Daybell has not been arrested or charged with a crime and both have denied any wrongdoing.
Rowe is an author who published multiple books with Chad between May 2014 and March 2019. After the two had a falling out in 2019, Rowe said she tried to get in touch with Chad via phone and email before finally sending him a letter.
"I was trying to figure out on the business end, what I needed to do through royalty checks and all that stuff. He wasn't responding to my texts or emails or phone calls, so I wrote him a handwritten letter," Rowe said. "That is the reason that he finally called me three weeks before Tammy died."
Tammy Daybell, 49, was found dead in her home on Oct. 19, and while her death was initially ruled to be from natural causes, it is now under investigation. Tammy's body was exhumed and the results of an autopsy are pending.
Chad and Lori were thrust into the spotlight after Lori's children, 7-year-old JJ and 17-year-old Tylee, went missing nearly five months ago.
The siblings were last seen in Rexburg, Idaho, on Sept. 23. Lori failed to comply with a Jan. 30 court-ordered deadline to physically show the children to authorities in Rexburg. Lori and Chad have been living in Hawaii, but police did not find the children with them. The FBI has joined the search for JJ and Tylee, and believes the siblings are in serious danger.
Tammy Daybell's death is one of three suspicious deaths surrounding the children's disappearance, including the death of Lori's brother, Alex Cox, on Dec. 12, and the shooting of Lori's fourth husband, Charles Vallow, on July 11. All three deaths are now under investigation.
The spotlight on the missing children has also led to scrutiny of Chad and Lori Daybell's religious beliefs.
Connecting over near-death experiences
Rowe said she connected with Chad through LDS AVOW, an online end-times preparedness forum, in February 2014. 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.
"I basically had a tour of different heavenly realms and dimensions," Rowe said. "Then I was shown through the window of heaven my past lives and experiences in history on the Earth—everything from some of the creation of the Earth—and then they fast forwarded to potential things that would happen on the planet in my lifetime."
Rowe's first book was published in May 2014, and she met Chad and his wife, Tammy, in person for the first time in July. They went on to publish more books together and Rowe said she became friends with the couple and their five children.
"We worked closely the first couple of years, talked on the phone almost every day, every other day, every couple of days, related to the books and the work we were doing," Rowe said of Chad. "We would compare notes on our visions and things that we saw coming in the future. I became good friends with he and his wife and his kids."
Rowe said she thought Chad and Tammy had a strong bond and loving family, noting they gathered with their five children for Sunday dinners. It makes Chad's actions after Tammy's death even more confusing, she said.
"I know Chad loved Tammy, I watched them. There are certain things you can't fake," Rowe said.
Gradually, Rowe said, she and Chad both became busy with separate projects and were in touch less. Rowe started a podcast, began doing energy work with clients and launched a nonprofit focused on helping people after natural disasters called the Greater Tomorrow Relief Fund.
She said she still kept in touch with Chad, who was busy speaking at conferences organized 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."
Before they were wed, both Chad and Lori appeared together on since-deleted podcasts distributed by Preparing A People. The company's owners, Michael and Nancy James, have distanced themselves from the Chad and Lori, writing in December they were "shocked" and "deeply disturbed" to learn of the investigation into the children's whereabouts, adding, "We also do not share any of Chad Daybell’s or Lori Vallow’s beliefs if they are contrary to Christian principles of honesty, integrity and truth, or if they do not align with the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Rowe said she began noticing changes in Chad in 2018.
"About a year and a half ago, I started noticing some shifts in Chad. We would disagree on some things, points of doctrine, LDS theology, things like that," Rowe explained. But sometimes, on work trips to Idaho, Rowe said she would still spend time with Chad and Tammy and their kids.
Rowe said the last time she saw Chad in person was in December 2018. She said the cause of her falling out with her former publisher were the warnings she tried to give him about his current wife, Lori, as well as publishing issues.
Rowe said angels had come to warn her not to get involved with Lori Vallow or her niece, Melani Boudreaux. Like Lori, Boudreaux moved from Arizona to Rexburg, Idaho, in the fall of 2019 and married soon after. A marriage certificate shows Melani Boudreaux married on Nov. 30. Boudreaux's ex-husband, Brandon, has spoken out about his ex-wife's religious beliefs and his belief that Lori's brother, Alex Cox, shot at him outside of his home in October.
"Lori is who got Melani Boudreaux involved in all of this religious belief system," Rich Robertson, an Arizona-based private investigator with R3 Investigations, told InsideEdition.com. "It was all of this end-times, apocalyptic going down those rabbit holes that caused the marriages of both Lori Vallow and Brandon Boudreaux to collapse."
But Rowe said her warnings to Chad about Lori went unheeded.
"I warned [Chad] and I told him exactly what my angels told me, and he told me, 'I've been married to her [Lori] before,'" Rowe said. "I got a big warning on that, and I looked into the future and I saw some stuff, and I was concerned.
"I tried three times to warn him, and not only did he blow me off, but he cut me off," Rowe added.
She said she is speaking out now because she believes Lori and Chad are deceived in their beliefs.
In divorce papers, Lori's late fourth husband, Charles Vallow, claimed Lori had told him she was "a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020," The Arizona Republic reported.
Rowe said she was excommunicated from the LDS church in April 2019 and said her beliefs are her own.
Nearly five months later, the search for Lori's missing children continues. The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding JJ and Tylee's whereabouts or welfare to contact the department at 1-208-359-3000 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST.
JJ has brown hair and brown eyes, is 4 feet tall and weighs 50 pounds. He has autism and "may be in need of medical attention," according to authorities. Tylee has blonde hair and blue eyes, is 5 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds.
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