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Affidavit for Chad Daybell Details Horrifying Story of How Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan Were Found

Joshua “JJ” Vallow, and Tylee Ryan

A newly unsealed probable cause affidavit details the horrifying story of how investigators say they found dead Joshua “JJ” Vallow and sister Tylee Ryan on property belonging to their mother’s husband Chad Daybell. Some of the information will be familiar to those who’ve followed the story for months, but authorities are also going out of their way to point out that shortly after they went missing, their uncle Alex Cox‘s cellphone was at the locations they were buried at.

1. Zombies

As previously alleged, the victims’ mother Lori Daybell believed they were zombies. The idea is that other spirits invaded the children’s bodies, and displaced their original souls, which became trapped in “limbo.” The only thing that could save the original spirit from limbo was to destroy the physical body, according to this account. Officials said Melanie Gibb, a close friend of the mother, visited her at her new residence in Rexburg, Idaho, and heard Lori make a disturbing claim that Joshua had become a zombie.

From the Chad Daybell probable cause affidavit (h/t East Idaho News):

Lori Vallow had learned it [the belief of zombies] from Chad Daybell and immediately told Gibb. Gibb was present with Lori Vallow when Chad Daybell first taught Lori this information over the phone in early 2019 in reference to [Lori’s then-husband] Charles Vallow.

Gibb told investigators that Lori Vallow had called Tylee Ryan a zombie back in the spring of 2019. [Editor’s Note: Lori Daybell as named as “Vallow” in this point in the story because she hadn’t yet married Chad Daybell.]

From the affidavit:

Lori Vallow also told Gibb that Tylee had turned into a zombie when she was 12 or 13, which was approximately the same time Tylee had become “difficult” to deal with.

Now Lori was allegedly claiming that JJ too was a zombie, and that he had said he loved Satan, had an increased vocabulary, and “sitting still” and watching television.

2. Disturbing Story from Around the Time Joshua Vallow When Missing

According to investigators, Gibb and her boyfriend David Warwick “verifiably” last saw JJ on the night of September 22. They and Lori Vallow were going to do a podcast, but Joshua was acting up, so the boy’s uncle Alex Cox took the child to his nearby apartment in the same complex.

From the affidavit:

When Alex returned later that night he was carrying JJ who appeared to be asleep with his head on Alex’s shoulder. Warwick specifically remembered this because he saw it as a tender moment.

According to officials, Warwick woke up the morning of September 23, 2019. He asked Lori Vallow where Joshua was between 8 and 9 a.m. Again, the mother made a disturbing claim based on her belief in these so-called zombies.

From the affidavit:

Lori informed Warick and Gibb that JJ had been acting like a zombie and had been crawling on the kitchen cabinetry and had gotten on top of the cabinetry in the space between the cabinetry and the ceiling. She informed Warwick and Gibb that when JJ had climbed upon the cabinetry that he had knocked a picture of Jesus off the refrigerator. Vallow then informed Warwick and Gibb that Alex had come and taken JJ.

3. Alex Cox‘s Phone Placed a Locations Where Joshua and Tylee Were Found

If there’s anyone police would like to talk to, it’s Lori Daybell’s brother Alex Cox. He shot and killed his sister’s previous husband Charles Vallow on July 11, back when the family lived in Arizona. He claimed self-defense. Cox later died in December. Medical examiner’s said this was “natural”: a blot clot. Cops in Gilbert, Arizona have said they’re still investigating his death.

Nonetheless, his presence looms large in the Chad Daybell affidavit. He moved to Idaho with his sister, and her kids around September 1, and soon got his own apartment near theirs, authorities said. Cox joined them in a Sept. 8 trip to Yellowstone National Park: the last time Tylee had been seen.

In the affidavit, officials made sure to point out that his cellphone had been placed at the locations where Joshua and Tylee were found dead in graves at a pet cemetery on Chad Daybell property.

  • The first gravesite matched two GPS pings from Cox’s phone on September 23, 2019, the day Joshua would’ve been last seen.
  • The area of the second gravesite matched several GPS pings from Cox’s phone on September 9, 2019, the day after Tylee was last seen.

4. Suspicious Text from Chad Daybell

Officials noted what they described as a suspicious text that Chad Daybell wrote to his then-wife Tammy Daybell on Sept. 9, 2019. He wrote that he was burning “limb debris by the fire pit before it got too soaked by the coming storms.” He saw a big racoon by the fence, so he got his gun, and shot it.

The affidavit author claimed to find this suspicious because raccoons are typically nocturnal, not daytime animals.

From the affidavit:

It should be noted that from interviewing neighbors of Chad Daybell, we are aware that in mid-July of 2019, Garth Daybell, Chad’s son, told their neighbors that Chad had shot a raccoon out of a tree on their property during the day.

One of the neighbors had heard a gunshot. The neighbors also said that the firepit at the Daybell property had hardly been used until recent months. One of the neighbors said she first noticed this was soon after Tammy Daybell’s October 19, 2019 death.

[Images via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]

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