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Lori Vallow Daybell's late husband told police of 'off the deep end' behavior before her children's deaths

Posted at 11:46 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 22:48:09-04

Newly released body camera footage, 911 calls and police reports from the Gilbert Police Department in Arizona are showing how Charles Vallow went to great lengths to get help last year as he feared for his wife at the time, Lori Vallow (now Daybell).

However, police instead expressed concern over Charles, apparent discrepancies in his claims and his "strange" demeanor.

Lori's two children, Joshua JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, were discovered dead on the property of her new husband Chad Daybell in June. Police have outlined in their case that the two children likely died right after they each went missing in September.

Lori and Chad are each in jail on charges related to the children's disappearance and/or deaths.

Previously released footage showed Charles calling police on the evening of January 30, 2019, explaining that Lori's religious beliefs have grown extreme. He tells the officers who respond that Lori changed the locks on their home while he was on a business trip in Texas. Officers help him kick the door into the house, where they see she's packed up her belongings and left with the children.

Charles says that Lori canceled his flight home, stole his truck, cleared out his bank account of $35,000, and disappeared with JJ and Tylee.

The newly released footage comes from the next morning, January 31. Charles calls police to a hotel in Gilbert, where he suspects Lori is staying with the children. Charles wants police to serve an emergency mental health petition he obtained for Lori. The petition would require her to check in to a local mental health institution called Community Bridges.

"I just never thought she would do anything like this, but she's just lost touch with reality," Charles tells officers. "I'm not me, she yells. She's just, it's just, she's unhinged. It's scaring the crap out of me."

He says that Lori claims to have been married to Moroni, an angel who is part of the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"She knows when the second coming is happening next year, so there's a prophet," he explains, relaying what he said Lori tells him.

"She says I'm 'Nick Schneider,' I've taken over Charles' body, and Charles has been killed," Charles says, of how Lori tells him that he's a dark spirit. He said Lori told him, "'I'm going to kill you. You're going to be murdered today or tomorrow.'"

Charles says that Lori tells him she can kill him with her God powers. He says, "her religious stuff has gone way off the deep end."

"She needs some serious help," a distraught Charles says. "I want her to get help. I'm worried about her."

Charles tells police he showed up to JJ's school earlier in the morning, hoping to find Lori as she dropped their adopted son off. He saw Lori's car, and said he took her purse from it to prevent her from leaving-- so that police could arrive and serve the mental health petition on her.

However, police write down in their report, Lori had car keys with her and was able to leave without her purse.

Lori shows up to the Gilbert Police Department a few hours later to report her purse stolen. Tylee and Lori's best friend Melanie Gibb accompany her there. She tells officers a completely different story of what is going on between her and Charles.

"He just goes nuts sometimes," Lori tells the officer. "But this time, I caught him cheating and I had evidence and I told him about it. And he travels a lot for business, so I told him about it. I told him not to come home, and that his stuff would be gone, and that his car would be gone..."

Tylee grabs Lori's arm to calm her down. They laugh. "So he's a little mad," Lori says.

Melanie Gibb tells police that Charles texted her on Lori's phone, pretending to be Lori and asking Melanie to come to their home. Melanie explains that she arrives at the house and only sees Charles, and that he tries to confront her about Lori.

Melanie asks Charles to give Lori her purse back, and she tells police Charles said he would give it back if Lori would be willing to meet with a therapist.

Tylee shows the officers text messages sent to her by Charles.

Officers call Charles to ask him to return Lori's purse, explaining that he's not allowed to steal her property. Charles then calls 911 to ask officers to serve her with the mental health petition when he shows up to the department with her purse.

"She's lost her marbles," Charles tells the dispatcher. Dispatch says an officer will call him and they hang up. Charles calls a second time to make sure officers are going to serve her with the petition.

Back at Gilbert PD, officers also call the couple's LDS Bishop whose name is Gabe, and whom Charles listed as a witness.

Gabe tells the officer that Lori was making some "strange" statements that he heard during a phone conversation between Charles and Lori, that Charles had conferenced Gabe in on.

"To be very clear, there was nothing threatening or terroristic of any kind, " Gabe tells police. "She didn't threaten to hurt herself, or the children, or him."

He does say her statements were "strangely irrational," but that she sounded lucid.

"I want to see everyone treated the best they can," Gabe says. "And if she is in a bad state, that she gets the right kind of care and hopefully this will resolve itself in the best way possible for those poor kids."

"I don't think anybody would disagree with you," the officer states, before they hang up.

Officers tell Lori about the mental health petition, saying that she is going to need to go to Community Bridges if she wants to sort that out. They said Charles is on his way with the purse, and petition.

Officers tell Lori that they would need time to verify the mental health petition, and she would be free to leave the police department before they verify it.

"I just think it's funny, because he's trying to..." Lori starts. Tylee stops her mother, putting her hand on Lori's arm. "Okay, just let him explain," Tylee says.

"Because I'm really the one that did something wrong," Lori says sarcastically.

"I don't see you being a danger to yourself or anybody else," the officer says.

Later in the police report, one of the officers writes, "During my contact with Lori, I found her to be in a normal state of mind but only slightly upset she did not have her property. Lori showed no signs of mental distress as she described what was occurring and appeared to be in a good mood. Talking with Lori's daughter and friend, they did not seem concerned for anything other than Lori getting her property back."

Another officer, who responded to the hotel that morning and spoke with Charles, wrote in his report: "Charles didn't seem concerned with his child's welfare..."

"During my conversation with Charles, I found his demeanor to be strange for a person in his circumstances. He seemed more concerned with asking questions about the legality of financial withdrawals Lori had made than her alleged incoherence," the officer writes.

This same officer is the one who called and spoke with Gabe, the bishop. He details in his report that Gabe said Lori was lucid and coherent, and never threatened Charles, herself or the children.

The officer writes that he wasn't positive the Gilbert Police Department was comfortable detaining Lori, "given the obvious discrepancies between what was documented on the affidavit and what the witness told me."

Police didn't take Lori to Community Bridges that day, but did write in a follow-up note on February 1 that Lori checked herself in, "and was discharged a few hours later."

"No further information," and the report ends.

Less than six months later, Charles was shot and killed by Lori's brother Alex Cox. Cox himself died in December, his death ruled as natural causes.

JJ and Tylee, police believe, died in September -- Tylee in early September and JJ in late September.

Lori and Chad Daybell married soon after that. Chad's wife Tammy died in October, and law enforcement is calling her death suspicious. Her autopsy results have not been released.

Documents state that Alex's phone pings and GPS data revealed the location of the children's remains in Chad Daybell's yard. Police recovered the remains in June.

Lori Vallow Daybell is in jail in Madison County, Idaho on charges of desertion and nonsupport of her custodial children. Chad Daybell is in jail in Fremont County, Idaho on charges of destruction or concealment of evidence.