How Lori Vallow went from beauty pageant winner to being accused of murder

“Did you do anything to your children?” Are your children still alive? a reporter asked Lori Velo as the blonde strolled toward the beach townhouse she and her newlywed husband, Chad Daybell, rented for $6,000 a month on Kauai just weeks after his wife Tammy’s death.

The reporter, Nate Eaton of the East Idaho News, responded to Velo’s “no comment.” pressed: “They’ve been missing for four months; you have nothing to say?

It was January 2020 and a nationwide search was underway for Velo’s adopted son “Joshua” JJ Velo, 7, and his 17-year-old daughter, Tylee Ryan. JJ’s biological grandmother, Kay Woodcock, called the police after she was unable to reach the boy in the months that followed the suspicious death of his adoptive father, Lori’s husband Charles. Officials visited Lowry’s Rexburg, Idaho, home last November to conduct a welfare check. When they couldn’t find JJ, Lori said the boy was in Arizona with her friend Melanie Gibb. (Weeks later, Gibb admits that Lori asked him to lie about JJ’s whereabouts.)

A nationwide search by JJ Velo and Tylee Ryan eventually led to their remains being found in Lori Velo’s backyard.
Rexburg Police Department

In late January 2020, after JJ’s biological grandparents presented $20,000 prize With the national media scrambling for information, Lori and Chad were on the beach. “People across the country are praying for your children – you are praying for the people – why don’t you answer us?” Eaton asked. “That’s great,” was Valio’s cryptic reply.

In “The Doomsday Mother: Lori Velo, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family” (St. Martin’s), true crime author and journalist John Gilt traces Lori Velo’s history of failed relationships, including her are also included. Married to fifth husband Chad Daybell, a novelist, podcaster, and doomsday prophet. The couple fled to Hawaii after the mysterious death of her husband, Chad’s wife, and the disappearance of her two children – whose remains Finally got it Daybell’s backyard.

Chad Day Bell
Chad Daybell – Willow’s fifth husband – wrote the novels. which included themes such as the apocalypse and the second coming.
Rexburg Police Department

The couple has been charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. While this is done. Almost a decade Since the state of Idaho has executed an inmate, the pair, who will be tried together, Can face the death penalty If convicted. (The trial was originally set for April 3; in December, attorneys Asked for a delay). He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Also Lori Velo A lawsuit is pending in Arizona. For plotting the first-degree murder of her then-husband, Charles Velo, Lori’s brother, Alex Claimed that he killed in self-defense. In July 2019. Daybell is not charging. In the death of Charles Willow.

Tilly and Lori
Tylee and Lori in Hawaii in 2019.
Chandler Police Department

Gillette’s interviews with Lori’s family and friends tell the story of an amazing woman who had it all: beauty, vibrant health, love and family. But according to Gillette, beneath the perfect surface lurks a deep flaw. Growing up in Rialto, California in the 1980s, Lori Cox was a beautiful, charismatic girl, born into a prosperous family with deep roots in the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS). According to Gillette, the Cox family was eccentric, with Lori’s parents traveling to Hawaii for weeks at a time, leaving the five children alone with cash for food and Lori’s older brother, Alex, in charge.

Lori’s best friend from junior high remembers Lori that Alex tried to have sex with her. “Lori was crying and emotional and she said, “Alex is trying to have sex with me. What can I do?”’ Rose Vaughan (not her real name) recalled. Lori and Alex would continue an unusual relationship into adulthood, with Alex maintaining a strange fixation on her sister. Alex reportedly did his sister’s bidding. “Everybody suspected that Alex was the hit man,” Gillett told the Post.

After two early, ill-fated marriages, Lori, a hairstylist and single mother of one son, Colby, married business analyst Joe Ryan, with whom she had a daughter, Tylee. While married to Ryan, Lori won the Mrs. Hays County pageant in Texas. “In later photos, she and Joe look like the perfect married couple,” writes Gillette. “Lori proudly wears Mrs. Hays County’s sash and a smiling Joe Ryan wraps his arms around her.”

Larry and Kay Woodcock
JJ’s grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock, attended a 2021 court appearance in Rexburg, Idaho when Lori Velo’s bail was reduced from $5 million to $1 million.
Pool Photo/John Rourke. position

Lori automatically qualified for the 2004 Mrs. Texas beauty pageant. “The winner . . . will go on to compete for the coveted title of Mrs. America,” Gillette writes. “The mission to become Mrs. America now dominates her life.”

Lowry made it to the top 15 semifinalists in the swimsuit competition. However, when asked by the judges, “What makes you tick?” “Being a good mother is very important to me, and a good wife and a good worker,” Lori replied. And it is not easy to have all these things together. So basically, I’m a ticking time bomb.

She did not win, but appeared on “Wheel of Fortune” shortly after.

However, there was trouble in heaven. After Lori accuses Ryan of abusing their son Colby, they divorce, and during a bitter custody battle, Lori’s brother, Alex, ambushes Ryan. tease him.

Lori Velo
Value became involved in the beauty pageant circuit, at one point becoming obsessed with winning the Mrs. America title.

After her marriage to Ryan broke up, Lori became a more devout Mormon.

In 2006, she married financial advisor Charles Velo, and by most accounts, their marriage was initially happy. They moved to Hawaii, attended church, and in 2013, agreed to adopt Velo’s grandson JJ.

It was called lullaby. A devoted mother To both Tylee and JJ, who had special needs.

After marrying Willow, Laurie became an avid reader of author Chad Daybell, whose novels Prominent themes such as the apocalypse and the Second Coming, as well as time travel, angels, demons, and, in at least one book, digging graves. (Book titles include “Heavenly City” and “One Foot in the Grave.”)

JJ and Tilly.
Ironically, Lori Velo was said to be a devoted mother to JJ and Tylee.

In the fall of 2017, Lori’s new friend Melanie Gibb introduced Lori to Daybell at a Preparing a People (PAP) gathering in St. George, Utah. The group presented conferences and podcasts on the “End Times” that would precede the Second Coming.

When he meets her, Chad tells Lori that they have spent many lives together.

“Chad wasn’t really the devoted family man he claimed to be,” Gillette told The Post. “He was bored. [wife] Tommy, and when he meets Lori he is surprised to find her a beautiful blonde dream girl who has read and enjoyed all of his books.

A mild-mannered copy editor and part-time grave digger, Daybell had married young and longed for fame and freedom, according to Gilt.

Mother of Resurrection
John Gilt traces Lori Velo’s history of failed relationships, including her marriage to fifth husband Chad Daybell, a novelist, podcaster, and doomsday prophet.

With Tommy’s help, he founded Spring Creek Publishing. Chad promoted his books to small gatherings in people’s homes, while Tammy stayed at home managing the family business, working as a librarian, and taking care of their five children.

In the summer of 2017, Chad began giving speeches for PaP.

With gigs everywhere from mega-churches to universities, Chad preaches the doomsday message that only 144,000 faithful will survive until the end, when his town of “Rexburg, Idaho” will be “the city of refuge.” will become

(Glatt is careful to note that much of what Daybell talks about is not supported by the Mormon Church).

The Daybell property where the remains of the missing children were found.
The Daybell property where the missing children were finally found in June 2020.
Lisa Smith

Fans traveled to him to discuss doomsday, past lives, and near-death experiences. He enjoyed his groups – especially the women. Chad’s friend Eric Smith told Gillette that Chad would target attractive women and hypnotize them with his doomsday survival message. “When they would ask him a question, he would have this googly-eyed look and he would answer in a very personal way.”

“I think the business fed his ego, and made him feel powerful,” said cult expert Rick Ross, whom Gillette calls.

Daybell, who claimed to have a “translated existence” or immortality, developed a system for classifying people as “light” or “dark” souls.

“It’s very important to me to be a good mother, and a good wife and a good worker. And it’s not easy to have all of those things at the same time. So basically, I’m ticking a time bomb.

Lori Velo

The situation gradually took a dire turn.

“Chad Daybell was subhumanizing people,” Ross said, adding that the dehumanizing tactic was reminiscent of Nazism and that he believed Chad brainwashed Lori. used for

Daybell’s longtime wife Tammy died on October 19, 2019. Officials claimed that it Natural causes, but Glatt is skeptical. “Tammy was training for a marathon,” he writes.

Chad Daybell Book Signing
Chad Daybell (shown here at one of his book signings) preached a doomsday message.
Julie Rowe

Chad and Lori married in Hawaii about two weeks later.

According to Gillette, Chad began indoctrinating Lori into the idea that her children, Tylee and JJ, “were zombies and needed to die so their souls could be freed.”

“I believe Chad saw his children as a threat, and he wanted to get them out of the way,” Gillette told the Post.

Gibb would later testify that it was “like fire and gasoline” when Willow and Daybell met, and Gillette agrees. “Chad saw his “perfect” woman, who he thought was a god. He made her, she made him.

“It was like a match and gasoline. If they hadn’t met, maybe things would have been fine and no one would have been hurt.

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