'Cult mom' Lori Vallow Daybell deemed unfit to stand trial in murder case

Lori Vallow Daybell is accused of murdering two of her children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan

An Idaho woman who was charged earlier this week with murdering her two children was deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial on Thursday, according to multiple local news outlets. 

Lori Vallow Daybell was charged with two counts of murder, three counts of conspiring to commit murder, and grand theft by deception.

The criminal proceedings will be put on hold for now. 

"The completed assessment determined that at this time the Defendant is not competent to proceed, and recommends restorative treatment," Judge Steven Boyce wrote in Thursday's order, according to East Idaho News

Her husband, Chad Daybell, also appeared in court earlier this week and is facing three counts each of first-degree murder, conspiring to commit murder and grand theft by deception. The additional murder charge is for the alleged killing of his former wife, Tamara "Tammy" Daybell, in October of 2019. 

Lori Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, are facing murder charges in the deaths of Vallow's two children. (Madison County Sheriff's Office)


Lori and Chad Daybell first started espousing bizarre apocalyptic beliefs in 2018 when they were both married to other people. 

Lori's ex-husband, Charles Vallow, sought a divorce in 2019, telling a court that Lori believed she was a God-like figure who supposed to usher in the end times. 

But Lori's brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed Charles Vallow in the summer of 2019, claiming self-defense. Cox died several months later due to a blood clot in his lungs. 

Following Charles Vallow's death, Lori Daybell moved to Idaho with two of her children, 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. 

This combination photo of undated file photos shows Vallow's children, Joshua Vallow, left, and Tylee Ryan. (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children via AP, File)

Chad Daybell's then-wife, 49-year-old Tamara "Tammy" Daybell, died in October of 2019 of what her obituary said were "natural causes," but authorities became suspicious when he married Lori two weeks later. 

In November of 2019, police began searching for the two children after extended family members became alarmed about their whereabouts. Investigators said that Lori and Chad Daybell lied to investigators and showed up in Hawaii months later without the children. 


The bodies of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan were eventually found on Chad Daybell's property in eastern Idaho last June. Lori and Chad Daybell have been in custody since the children's bodies were discovered. 

It is unclear what exactly will happen to Lori next. Someone who is deemed unfit to stand trial in Idaho typically undergoes treatment that could last years or decades before they regain competency, according to KTVB

The Associated Press contributed to this report.