Phoenix Police Will Review the Death of Lori Daybell's Ex-Husband After Secret Audio Is Released

Lori Daybell

Chad and Lori Daybell's combined jury trial has been scheduled to take place in July. A trial was previously set for Jan. 25 to 29, 2021

Last week, an audio recording allegedly of Lori Daybell was posted online, revealing Daybell discussing the "murder" of her late ex-husband –– and Phoenix police are now reviewing his death, according to reports. Annie Cushing, the sister of Daybell's ex-husband, shared the 2018 audio with East Idaho News in hopes of opening an investigation into her brother's death, the outlet reported.

“The Phoenix Police Department has been made aware of the information and is reviewing the 2018 death investigation of Joseph Ryan,” a police spokeswoman said in a statement to on Sunday.

In the recording, a voice alleged to be Daybell attributed Mormon scripture to justifying the urge to murder her ex-husband. “You think you can’t be shocked anymore by Lori Vallow Daybell, and then you get a recording like this,” Cushing told the outlet.

"I was going to murder him. I was going to kill him like the scriptures say," the voice says, apparently referencing Ryan –– who was determined to have died of an apparent heart attack several months before the recording. "Just to stop the pain and to stop him for me, to stop him from coming after my children."

"I just thought I couldn't take it anymore," she said, describing her relationship with Ryan. "I did not have a murderous heart. I just wanted to stop the bleeding and stop the pain."

The woman, alleged to be Daybell told the people in the meeting that Ryan had raped her children and that during the divorce proceedings, he called her a "lying crazy Mormon." She said Ryan was trying to get custody of their daughter Tylee who, at the time, was three years old. Ryan and Daybell divorced in 2004 but the custody battle went on for years, the outlet reported.

“I would go through the scriptures and find all the things,” Daybell allegedly said. “If he comes against you once, if he comes against you twice, if he comes against you three times, then you can kill him. It says it in the scriptures.”

The 40-minute recording was taken during an informal religious discussion where Daybell preached about her beliefs. Cushing did not disclose where she obtained the audio recording, but the outlet said it verified the voices of several people at the meeting. 

Ryan died in April 2018 –– but his body was not discovered for about a week, the outlet reported. A medical examiner said Ryan died of a heart attack but his sister believes otherwise.

So far, the department is sticking to the cause of death by the medical examiner despite the multiple other deaths surrounding Daybell.

Daybell has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges related to the disappearance and deaths of her two children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16. The Arizona mother has been charged with conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in Fremont County, Idaho, after JJ and Tylee's remains were found in her new husband's backyard on June 9.

Daybell also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt in nearby Madison County. Daybell has previously pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of wrongdoing. 

A trial was previously set on those charges for Jan. 25 to 29, 2021 –– but the court date was moved to July 12, 2021, according to East Idaho News. The trial is expected to last several weeks. John Prior and Mark Means, the lawyers representing Chad and Lori Daybell, respectively, have argued that their clients cannot receive a fair and impartial trial due to excessive media coverage.

Daybell's fifth husband, Chad Daybell, is also set to go on trial in January after pleading not guilty to felony charges of willfully destroying, concealing or altering evidence and conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence after JJ and Tylee's remains were found in his backyard June 9. Chad has previously denied all allegations of wrongdoing. 

Chad and Lori remain in jail in Idaho, where they are both being held on $1 million bond. 

Separately, Chad and Lori are currently under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's office for "conspiracy, attempted murder and/or murder" in the death of Chad's first wife, Tammy, who died weeks before the couple married last fall. 

Lori also remains a person of interest in the July 2019 shooting death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, and could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, according to the Chandler Police Department in Arizona. 

The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding the case to contact them at 1-208-359-3000.