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Lori Vallow – the alleged “cult mom” charged in the disappearance of her two children – is now being investigated by the Idaho attorney general’s office for murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy in the death of her husband’s former wife, Tammy Daybell.

Vallow, along with her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, is under investigation for the death of Daybell’s former wife of nearly 30 years, and the mother of his five adult children, Tammy Daybell, KTVB in Boise reported.

The couple married within weeks of Tammy’s death, and just a month after Vallow’s two underage children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, were last seen alive.

Tammy Daybell died in October inside her and her husband’s home in Salem, Idaho. Her death was initially ruled due to natural causes. By December, authorities exhumed her body to perform an autopsy, ruling the death “suspicious.” The results have not been released.


In a letter last week, the Idaho Attorney General’s Office said it would assume “full responsibility and authority for the case,” KTVB reported. The Freemont County Prosecutor’s Office, which initially handled the investigation, would be responsible for all out of pocket expenses for the attorney general.

Chad Daybell, a self-published author of more than a dozen doomsday novels, has not been charged with a crime and remains a free man.

Lori Vallow Daybell, front, second right, and her defense team wait to leave the courtroom during her hearing on Friday, March 6, 2020, in Rexburg, Idaho. Her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, is seen looking on in the courtroom gallery. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool)

Meanwhile, Vallow is being held in Madison County Jail on a $1 million bond after being extradited from Hawaii.

In the separate case involving her children’s disappearance, she has been charged with two counts of felony child abandonment, misdemeanor resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt of court. No attempted murder or murder charges have been filed.

Tylee Ryan, 17, was last seen alive visiting Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 8, 2019. She was spotted on security camera footage, and a photo from that day, obtained by authorities from her mother’s iCloud account, showed Lori Vallow, her brother, Alex Cox, Tylee and JJ together at the national park.


JJ was last seen attending Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg on Sept. 23, 2019. His mother withdrew his enrollment the next day, claiming she would homeschool him. The children had moved to Idaho from Arizona with their mother.

Vallow and Chad Daybell fled Idaho in November after Rexburg Police performed a welfare check on the children. The couple was located in January in Hawaii, and Vallow ignored a court order to “physically produce” the minors in Idaho within five days.

Joshua Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, are being sought by police in Rexberg, Idaho. Investigators are saying their mother, Lori Daybell, knows what happened to them but refuses to cooperate. (Rexberg Police Department)

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden agreed last week to take over the investigation of Tammy Daybell’s death after a request from a local prosecutor, according to documents The Associated Press obtained through a public record request.

Fremont County prosecutor Marcia Murdoch asked Wasden’s office this month to consider the possibility of filing conspiracy, attempted murder and murder charges against Lori and Chad Daybell in Tammy Daybell’s death. The attorney general had initially turned down the request citing a lack of resources, according to Murdoch.

Lori Vallow’s attorney, Mark Means, filed requests with both the Idaho attorney general and the Fremont County prosecutor’s office for all “electronic records, reports, tests, photographs, witness or suspect statements related to the murder investigation,” KTVB reported.


It’s not yet clear if the attorney general’s decision to take over the case will have an impact on Daybell’s request to have her $1 million bond reduced on the child abandonment charges. A judge in eastern Idaho is set to consider that request on Friday.

Tammy is one of three people connected with the couple who have died under mysterious circumstances over the past year. Lori Vallow’s fourth husband, Charles Vallow, was shot by her brother, Alex Cox, inside a home in Phoenix last July. Cox claimed self-defense and was never arrested before his own unexpected death in December.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.