An Idaho judge has refused to lower the bond of Lori Vallow Daybell, the mother of two missing children who haven't been seen for more than seven months. So far, Lori has not been able to post the $1 million bond, and she has filed for bankruptcy in the past, court documents reveal.
She faces two counts of felony desertion of a child in the disappearance of her children, Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt, according to the Madison County, Idaho prosecutor's office. She has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
Lori's attorney, Mark Means, has tried repeatedly to have her bond lowered further so she could potentially bail out of jail, but on Friday, Judge Michelle Mallard denied that request. Lori's preliminary hearing has been rescheduled twice, and is now set to take place on July 9 and 10.
"There is not a lot of goodwill for her as she’s sitting in the Madison County Detention Center right now," Means told EastIdahoNews.com after Friday's hearing. "There are not a lot of people that are willing to step up and participate or put their name down on a co-sign sheet to help acquire a million dollars for the bond."
"Bondsmen are smart, right, they're not in it to lose money, they want up to $1 million in equity," Means added. "Well, we're in Rexburg, Idaho, you tell me what is the average home worth here in Rexburg, Idaho, $250,000? A million dollar bond here is much more difficult, say, than if you live in Los Angeles and your average home is $1.3 million."
But a 2005 bankruptcy filing reveals financial challenges are nothing new for the mother of three, who reported more than $723,000 in liabilities at the time.
Back in August 2005 when she filed for bankruptcy, Lori was Lori Norene Ryan, recently divorced from her third husband, Joseph. Both of them were on the hook for $79,440.89 to the IRS.
According to the filing, Lori earned $3,700 per month as a self-employed hair stylist in Texas, plus $1,500 in support payments from her ex-husband, according to the bankruptcy filing. But her total monthly expenses were $6,200.
Lori had lived in a house worth $710,000 in a tony community known as La Ventana in the Driftwood suburb of Austin with her two children, Tylee, 2, and Colby, 9, and then rented a $1,900 per month apartment.
She still owed money on the home, however, as well as more than $28,000 in credit card debt, loans and other bills, including $11,346.03 on her ex-husband's Bank of America Visa and $5,150 on a Target credit card.
Lori had also failed to pay bills for a number of medical practices, including ER Physicians and the North Central Baptist Emergency Room, both in San Antonio, according to the filing.
The document shows that in addition to back taxes for 2000 and 2001 owed to the IRS, Lori also owed $19,563.00 to the local county tax assessor in San Marcos, Texas.
In 2003, she listed herself as unemployed. As a self-employed hair stylist in 2004, she earned $17,500. She had earned $24,000 for the same work between January and August 2005, according to her bankruptcy filing.
In 2005, Lori valued her wedding ring at $4,300, which cost much more than the $38.15 ring that appears to be the one she wore in her wedding pictures with her fifth husband, Chad.
That ring was shipped to a Rexburg address where Lori was living at the time and billed to her late fourth husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot and killed by Lori's brother in July.
The ring was ordered from Amazon.com on Oct. 2, 17 days before the death of Chad's first wife, Tammy Daybell, according to a screenshot from the Amazon.com account obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.
Tammy, 49, was found dead at her home on Oct. 19. Chad and Lori married weeks later in Hawaii.
Chad and Lori are currently under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's office for "conspiracy, attempted murder and/or murder" in Tammy's death Neither Chad nor Lori have been charged with a crime in connection with Tammy's death, and both deny all allegations of wrongdoing.
Under Idaho law, confidential communication between spouses is not considered legally privileged if it is related to a criminal action or "a communication relevant to an issue concerning the physical, mental or emotional condition of or injury to a child, or concerning the welfare of a child." Both apply in the case surrounding JJ and Tylee, according to prosecutors.
Means did not respond to InsideEdition.com's request for comment.
Tylee was last seen Sept. 8 at Yellowstone National Park, and JJ was last seen Sept. 23 at Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg, Idaho. Lori has remained in jail since being arrested on the island of Kauai on Feb. 20. She was later extradited to Idaho, where her bond was lowered from $5 million to $1 million.
After Friday's bond reduction hearing, Means told reporters that despite the COVID-19 crisis, he would prefer to meet with Lori in person, even if it means wearing a mask. He told reporters the case involves more than 1,600 pages and more than 60 gigabytes of information and documentation.
Means has argued that restrictions meant to stem the spread of the virus in the Rexburg, Idaho jail have made it impossible for him to communicate with Lori confidentially, a claim law enforcement and the prosecutor in the case deny.
They say Lori's bond shouldn't be reduced until she produces her two missing children.
And when it comes to financially supporting JJ and Tylee, investigators have found no evidence that Lori has been paying someone else to care for them since they were last seen, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Rexburg Police Department Detective Ron Ball.
The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding the children'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.