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Newly released Arizona police documents suggest that so-called “doomsday cult mom” Lori Daybell, charged with conspiring to commit the murders of her son, daughter, fourth husband and the wife of her current and fifth husband, previously discussed her failed plot to also have her third husband killed.
The Chandler Police Department last week released thousands of files, including text messages, hundreds of pages of police reports and audio and videos of interviews conducted by detectives investigating Lori and Chad Daybell. Both are charged in Idaho with conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Lori’s children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, as well as Chad’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell. Lori Daybell is also charged in Arizona with conspiring to kill her former estranged husband, Charles Vallow, with the help of her now-deceased brother, Alex Cox.
Tammy Daybell died unexpectedly at a home in eastern Idaho that she shared with Chad Daybell, who married Lori two weeks later. The children were missing for months, but their bodies were eventually found buried in the yard outside Chad Daybell’s home.
It was Charles Vallow’s death on July 11, 2019, that launched the Chandler Police Department investigation. But friends and family members have since told investigators that Lori Daybell also allegedly conspired to have her third husband and Tylee’s father, Joseph Ryan, killed. In 2007, Alex Cox assaulted Joseph Ryan with a Taser in a Texas parking lot. Ryan survived but was hospitalized for several days, and Alex Cox was convicted of that assault.
“Lori and Alex planned to kill Joe,” Daybell’s other brother, Adam Cox, previously told detectives, according to documents obtained by Deseret News. “They planned out how they were going to kill Joe, and Al was going to Taser him, throw him in the trunk and take him out to a field and shoot him and then bury him. Well, Al went to Taser him and it didn’t work and Joe called the cops and Al went to jail.”
Multiple other friends told detectives a similar account, according to the documents. Angeline Law, who considered Lori Daybell a close friend after meeting her while living in Kauai, told investigators, “Lori had said before that she hired her brother to kill Joe because of stuff he did to them.”
During a bitter custody battle, Lori Daybell accused Joseph Ryan of sexually assaulting Tylee, as well as her older son, Colby Ryan. Joseph Ryan was later cleared of those allegations. He died at his Phoenix, Arizona apartment in April 2018 from what authorities ruled to be a heart attack.
“It’s odd that Joe, her ex-husband, supposedly died of a heart attack when they were desperate for money and he left her $50,000 and Tylee gets $2,000. Then Charles has $2 million,” Adam Cox said in an interview with detectives. “There’s a lot of red flags for me.”
“There’s got to be somewhere where they talked this through because Lori and Alex planned Joe’s death,” Adam Cox continued. “I’m telling you there is something wrong about Lori and Alex and this belief they have. Lori thinks death is nothing… The family — cousins and uncles — they understand the history with Lori, Alex, and Lori’s ex-husbands. There is a whole pattern of things there,” he said.
Tylee was to receive $2,000 a month until her 18th birthday even after her father’s death, another friend told investigators. Phoenix police said Joseph Ryan’s body was discovered after a neighbor reported a foul smell coming from his apartment. But that account is inconsistent with what April Raymond, another friend of Lori’s from Hawaii, told investigators.
Raymond said Lori visited her shortly after Ryan’s death.
“My understanding if I remember correctly, what she told me is they hadn’t heard from Joe for about a month and so she and Tylee went over to check on him, or to see him … because I guess Tylee had a key or something … and when they went there they had found him dead,” Raymond said on Jan. 7, 2020.
Lori Daybell reportedly never told Joseph Ryan’s family about his passing, and his sister, Annie Cushing, said she was contacted by the medical examiner after no one claimed his body. Phoenix police briefly reopened the case but were unable to find any connection linking Lori to Joseph Ryan’s death.
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