Watch Our Live Network Now

Lori Vallow Daybell Was Excited to Be Bigger Story Than COVID-19, Kobe Bryant’s Death: Former Inmate

Lori Vallow

What is Lori Daybell (a.k.a. Lori Vallow) thinking? A former fellow inmate at Madison County Jail claims to have had a first-hand look at this defendant’s attitude and behavior while behind bars, according to East Idaho News.

Daybell, who remains locked up after the deaths of her son Joshua “JJ” Vallow and daughter Tylee Ryan, has frozen out reporters and allegedly snubbed a court order to turn over the then-missing kids. She is now in jail, and the only thing clear is that she denies wrongdoing in connection to hiding the kids’ deaths.

Missy Cook” said she was locked up with Daybell in March. (She asked the news outlet not to use her real name, citing safety concerns.)

“Everybody in the jail was talking about how Lori was coming back from Hawaii and we wondered if we’d be able to see her,” Cook said. “So I’m sitting in the pod and in walks two or three guards with her. They were very nice and she was nice. She walked in with her stripes on but she also had a bulletproof vest on. I had never seen another inmate like that.”

The jail told the outlet that Cook was in jail on a parole violation back when Daybell was booked. The source had reportedly been in a disciplinary lockdown from March 4 to 8, then moved to a segregated pod. She was later transferred to another facility, then recently released. Officials said that the two women were in the same pod for four days. There were not cellmates, but could walk around the pod.

“I made it a point not to ask about her kids,” Cook said. “I wanted to gain her trust and see if she would tell me anything. I’d been judged [unfairly] for one of my crimes and turned inside out for something it wasn’t. I couldn’t imagine feeling what she was feeling when she got there.”

It sounds like they got along with well enough. In any case, Cook claims that Daybell was “totally aware” of the media coverage.

According to her, Daybell said, “‘We have the death of Kobe Bryant and COVID but no – there’s me. I’m the lead story. I’m more important than all that stuff.’ She knew she was the main story and she liked it.”

At the time, JJ and Tylee were still considered missing. Police said that Daybell up and left Rexburg, Idaho in November 2019 instead of helping them find the kids. It was months before the children were found dead on the property of Daybell’s new husband Chad Daybell. Now police say the couple and Lori’s now-deceased brother Alex Cox conspired to hide evidence.

But back in March, there was still the possibility of hope the kids might be found alive. Cook said she took notes of her time with Daybell, and overheard her talking on the phone with eldest son Colby Ryan. She could not always hear what Ryan said because Daybell sometimes wore earbuds, she said. Nonetheless, she claimed to hear that the son voiced frustration about his mother not revealing where the kids were.

“He kept saying, ‘Mom, where are JJ and Tylee? Why won’t you tell us? What’s going on?'” Cook said. Daybell would not tlak about it, instead asking for Ryan to show his baby, or she would talk about the past. Ryan got frustrated and Daybell told him to read scripture, Cook said.

“She told Colby to read [the Book of] Job and he would understand,” Cook said. “She said she was being tested like Job. She would say, ‘Colby, just listen to me. Everyone wants to know but it’s none of their business. God doesn’t judge me and they shouldn’t judge me. The prophet says to stay off social media so don’t go on there.'”

Law&Crime could not immediately reach Ryan for comment. Cooks’ account syncs up with what is publicly known about this son’s frustration with his mother.

“Like, how do you not produce the kids?” he told NBC in an interview that aired May 1. “That’s the whole reason you’re in jail in the first place right now.”

[Mugshot via Madison County Jail]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: