She was known as a "wonderful, loving, attentive mother", but this week Lori Vallow was arrested over the unknown fate of her missing children, as family members claim she has fallen into the clutches of a doomsday group.

On Thursday Ms Vallow was arrested by police in Hawaii on a $7.9 million warrant from Idaho.

She's facing two charges of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children.

Ms Vallow and her fifth husband Chad Daybell are also being investigated by police over the mysterious deaths of three people around them, as the American public becomes increasingly obsessed with the bizarre chain of events surrounding the couple.


Ms Vallow's daughter Tylee Ryan, 17, and her adopted son Joshua 'JJ' Vallow, 7, have been missing since September last year.

According to a Facebook post by JJ's biological grandmother Kay Woodcock, Ms Vallow was a "wonderful, loving, attentive mother" until becoming involved with a doomsday group 18 months ago.

Ms Woodcock is also the sister of Ms Vallow's late fourth husband Charles Vallow, who was JJ's adoptive father.

Charles Daybell and Lori Vallow. Photo /
Charles Daybell and Lori Vallow. Photo /

According to USA Today relatives claim Ms Vallow and Mr Daybell had been involved in a group called Preparing A People.

Tylee's aunt Annie Cushing told KSL-TV that Ms Vallow had been increasingly obsessed with the end of days, even claiming she had made an eerie comment about her two children.

"There was one time where she was talking about it and she says, 'Sometimes, I think it would be better just to get put my kids in a car and go off the side of a cliff,'" Ms Cushing said.


The strange and tragic saga began in February last year when Ms Vallow's fourth husband Mr Vallow filed for divorce from his wife in Arizona.


The couple had adopted son JJ, while Mr Vallow was a stepfather to Ms Vallow's daughter Tylee.

Tylee was the daughter of Ms Vallow's third husband Joseph Ryan, who died in 2018 from a heart attack.

In the divorce papers Mr Vallow alleged his wife was becoming more extremist in her religious beliefs – and he feared her obsession could be fatal.

In excerpts of the divorce papers published by Fox 13, Mr Vallow claimed his estranged wife had told him she is a "translated being who cannot taste death sent by God to lead the 144,000 into the Millennium".

"On January 29, 2019, during a phone conversation between the parties and after their physical separation, Mother (Ms Vallow) informed Father (Mr Vallow) that she was a God assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020 and that if Father got in her way of her mission she would murder him," the legal documents stated.

On July 11, Mr Vallow was shot to death in Arizona by Ms Vallow's brother Alex Cox in an act claimed to have been self-defence.

Mr Vallow had arrived at his estranged wife's home to pick up JJ when an altercation occurred, resulting in Mr Cox fatally shooting him.

"I got in a fight with my brother-in-law and I shot him in self-defence," Mr Cox told police, according to KTVB7. "He came at me with a bat."

Neighbours would later claim to US current affairs show Dateline that Ms Vallow threw a pool party on the same day just hours after her husband was killed.

Mr Cox was never arrested in connection with the shooting and died in December last year. His cause of death has not been publicly revealed.

Following Mr Vallow's death, Ms Vallow moved from Gilbert, Arizona, to Rexberg, Idaho, with her two children around late August to early September.

On September 23, Ms Vallow's children were seen in public for the last time when JJ attended school.

According to People, Ms Vallow then sent the school, where JJ had only been enrolled for three weeks, an email explaining that she had to pull him out so she could move for an out-of-state job.

On October 1, one week after her children were last sighted in public, Ms Vallow began renting a storage unit.

According to East Idaho News the unit was used to store photo albums full of pictures of JJ and Tylee, their bikes, clothing, sports equipment and even her son's backpack.

Footage shows Ms Vallow making about 10 trips with an unidentified man to the storage unit throughout the month.

The belongings inside the unit are now considered abandoned after Ms Vallow stopped making payments for the space in January.


Ms Vallow married her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, on November 5, with a photo from the ceremony showing the couple dancing together on a Hawaiian beach.

It's not known how long the couple were romantically involved for prior to their wedding, however, their marriage occurred two weeks after Mr Daybell's wife Tammy Daybell, 49, suddenly died.

Ms Daybell, who reportedly had no existing medical conditions, died in her sleep on October 19 and was buried just days later, with her death ruled due to natural causes.

But her body has since been exhumed after public outcry and an autopsy is now being performed.

Chad Daybell with former wife Tammy Daybell, whose death is now being investigated. Photo / Facebook
Chad Daybell with former wife Tammy Daybell, whose death is now being investigated. Photo / Facebook

One of Mr Daybell's former friends Julie Rowe this week alleged to KTVB 7 that he claimed to her he had visions of his wife Ms Daybell dying prior to her death and the two had marital problems.

Mr Daybell is a religious writer who, like Ms Vallow, is obsessed with the end of the world.

His 2017 autobiography Living On The Edge Of Heaven Mr Daybell recounts his deeply religious life inside the Mormon church, however, has reported he was kicked out of the church last year after claiming he was a prophet.

A friend of Ms Vallow's told Fox 5 she had become obsessed with Mr Daybell's books years earlier.

"Those books, she got really obsessed with and she started buying me those books too. She must have gotten close to him from his books," the anonymous friend told the TV station.

Disturbingly, the friend also claimed Ms Vallow made comments to her about dying and the end of the world.

"(Ms Vallow would say), 'It's gonna be the end of the world and we should all just drive off a cliff and kill us and our kids and die all at the same time,'" the friend said.

Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan have been missing since late September. Photo / AP
Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan have been missing since late September. Photo / AP


Shortly after Mr Daybell and Ms Vallow wed, police responded to a welfare request for Tylee and JJ.

Visiting their home on November 23, the newlyweds told police the children were staying with a family friend in Arizona, however, their story didn't check out.

But when police returned to the Idaho home Mr Daybell and Ms Vallow had been living in to question them further, they found the couple had vanished.

It would take almost another month for police to go public with a plea to help find Tylee and JJ, with a press release sent out on December 20 asking for information about the two children.

By New Year's Eve, Rexburg Police said Ms Vallow was completely refusing to help with their investigation.

"We strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee's lives are in danger. We are aware that in the weeks after Tammy Daybell's death, Lori Vallow/Daybell and Chad Daybell told witnesses that Lori's daughter had died a year before the death of her father, which is untrue. Around that same time Chad told another witness that Lori had no minor children," police said in a statement.

"Many people have inquired as to why we have not filed charges yet in this case. Our primary concern at this point is simply locating Joshua and Tylee and charging decisions will be made in due course based upon the evidence available.

"If we find that harm was done to these children within our jurisdiction, we will prosecute whoever caused that harm."

A wedding photo from Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell's wedding in Hawaii. Photo / Fox10
A wedding photo from Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell's wedding in Hawaii. Photo / Fox10

But it would take until January 25 for Mr Daybell and Ms Vallow to be found, with the couple living on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

The couple were then ordered to produce Tylee and JJ to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare with five days, however, this deadline came and passed without any action from either of them.

They have since been spotted multiple times in Hawaii, appearing unfazed by the media attention surrounding them.


The couple's last known location was in Maui before police finally arrested Ms Vallow on Thursday amid growing outcry at police over the case.

Meanwhile, investigators are continuing to look into the whereabouts of Ms Vallow's two children, as well as the mysterious deaths that have occurred around both her and Mr Daybell.

But one of Ms Vallow's close friends April Raymond told Dateline that Ms Vallow had been "telling people there's a lot of media hype around her right now. And she's waiting for that to die down".

"I would describe it as something a little more serious, a lot more serious," Ms Raymond added.