SALT LAKE CITY — FOX 13 has confirmed that detectives from Arizona and Idaho are planning a big face-to-face meeting this week in Salt Lake City, potentially involving the FBI.
A retired FBI senior executive is explaining what the investigators might talk about, as new reports circulate about a bizarre connection in the case.
The Fremont County, Idaho Sheriff’s Office as well as the Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona Police Departments told FOX 13 they are sending people to the meeting. The FBI could not confirm if they’d be present, though their field office is located in Salt Lake City.
Rexburg Police also did not confirm to FOX 13 if they’d be in attendance, however, they are the lead agency in the investigation into the disappearance of 7-year old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year old Tylee Ryan.
Each department is investigating events that took place in their respective jurisdictions, all related to Lori Vallow-Daybell and her missing children. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.
“This meeting is important,” said Frank Montoya Jr, Retired Senior Executive with the FBI. “Because it gives the investigators a chance to see where everyone is, at the same time.”
He explained that traveling to meet as one group gives everyone the opportunity to talk about the case and various investigations and coordinate the next steps.
“First and foremost, to talk about what has been happening as far as the investigation is concerned, to find children,” he said. “But, to keep everything organized, to keep everything coordinated, to talk about future strategy, to compare notes.”
Comparing notes, as authorities connect the dots between the events involving JJ, Tylee, their mother Lori Vallow-Daybell and her new husband Chad Daybell.
One example of a possible discussion topic: The suspicious death of Chad’s late wife, Tammy Daybell, in Fremont County, Idaho.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what caused Tammy to suddenly pass away in October, just weeks before Chad married Lori.
CBS News reported Tuesday that a source close to the investigation says Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, may be linked to Tammy’s death.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that days before Tammy died, she called to report suspicious activity. Sheriff Len Humphries explained that deputies responded, but that Tammy thought it was a prank and nothing beyond that.
He said it is still an open investigation.
A Facebook post apparently written by Tammy and published by East Idaho News explains that she saw, “a guy wearing a ski mask… with a paintball gun.”
“He shot at me several times, although I don’t think it was loaded,” she wrote. She said the man wouldn’t answer why he was there, so Tammy called for Chad and the man ran away.
“I have no idea what his motive was,” she said.
Tammy passed away in her home less than two weeks later.
“Could he be a player in all of these?” Montoya questioned, of Alex Cox. “Absolutely.”
Alex shot and killed Lori’s late husband, Charles Vallow, in Chandler, Arizona in July.
Alex was also pictured with Tylee the day of her last known whereabouts in September, in Yellowstone National Park.
Alex died in Gilbert, Arizona in December, one day after authorities exhumed Tammy’s body for an autopsy.
“At least it appears that they are all connected,” Montoya said.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and Gilbert Police said Tuesday the autopsy results for Tammy and Alex have not yet been released.
Montoya indicated that it’s possible there may be information from autopsy results to share at this week’s meeting, in addition to other potential new information like witness interviews, evidence or analysis from behavioral scientists.
Not only will this meeting allow investigators to keep drawing the connections, but he also explained that it’ll help the agencies come up with a plan to move forward.
“All of these pieces of information help those investigators get a clearer picture,” Montoya said. “Not only what they have, but where they need to go next.”
He stressed the importance of the agencies coordinating their next steps together. He said investigative actions by one department could have an impact on the investigation in another.
“Perhaps the best chance that investigators have to solve these things, resolve them, is to make sure that they’re all operating in concert,” Montoya said. “Because it does seem that they are all very closely tied together, that common thread—again-- being Lori Vallow.”
Madison County, Idaho confirmed that Lori Vallow-Daybell was still in jail Tuesday on felony charges of desertion and nonsupport of her children. Her bond is set at $1 million.