CHANDLER, Ariz. — The Chandler Police Department announced Thursday it submitted a conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charge against Lori Vallow Daybell in the death of her fourth husband Charles Vallow.
Chandler PD said they submitted the case to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office on April 1, after coordination with investigators in Idaho. The county attorney will make the decision to pursue the charge in court.
Investigators say Charles Vallow was shot and killed by Lori's brother Alex Cox at their home in Chandler in July 2019. Alex told police he shot Charles in self-defense after Charles hit him with a baseball bat during an argument.
Lori and her new husband Chad Daybell are currently in jail in Idaho facing murder and conspiracy charges connected to the deaths of Lori's children, Tylee and JJ, along with Chad's first wife Tammy Daybell.
The children disappeared in September 2019, after Lori moved them from Arizona to Idaho.
In November 2019, she married Chad Daybell, about two weeks after Chad's first wife Tammy was killed. Her death was initially ruled as natural, but her body was exhumed and a grand jury indicted Chad and Lori on charges connected to hear death earlier this week.
In early 2019, court records show Charles and Lori's relationship was rocky.
At the end of January 2019, Charles called Gilbert Police after he returned home from a business trip, claiming Lori took his truck from the airport parking lot.
Charles explained he thought that Lori's religious beliefs turned radical and that he feared for his own life and his children. Court records show by this point she had already connected with doomsday author Chad Daybell and was part of a group that followed Daybell's alleged "end of times" teachings.
Charles was trying to locate Lori so police could serve her with a mental health petition he filed.
"She needs help," he said to officers. "She needs some serious help. I want her to get help. I’m worried about her."
He also expressed concern over what Lori might do to the children.
Records show Lori gave Gilbert Police her side of the story hours later, claiming she wanted Charles out of their home because she allegedly caught him cheating.
Police say she did get the mental health evaluation and was released.
Charles filed for divorce, but in the months that followed, the couple reportedly reconciled. They were estranged but still married when Chandler Police say Alex Cox shot and killed Charles.
Alex Cox is a name that comes up again and again in court paperwork. He's included in the indictment of several charges Lori and Chad are facing, but Cox will never see a day in court for this case.
In December 2019, Alex Cox was found dead inside his home in Gilbert. Months later, an autopsy revealed he died of natural causes, but Gilbert Police continued to investigate. Gilbert Police eventually concluded to uphold the medical examiner's findings.
His death raised questions because Alex Cox also moved to Idaho around the same time Lori did and court records show he rented a place in the same complex as Lori. The FBI released a photo of him with Lori, JJ and Tylee in Yellowstone National Park, about an hour away from Rexburg, on the day Tylee was last seen alive.
Charles' former divorce attorney sent the following statement to 12 News regarding the potential charge in his death:
This statement is made in response to recent developments in the murder investigation of our former client Charles Vallow. We are grateful for the diligence shown by the many law enforcement agencies involved in Charles’s murder investigation in Arizona as well as the related homicide investigations taking place in Idaho. We are also grateful for the news that the Chandler Police Department has submitted their investigation to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office recommending Lori Vallow be charged with conspiracy to commit first degree murder in the death of Charles Vallow. Charles feared for his life and predicted his demise from the day he stepped in our office and said, “If anything happens to me, it was Lori and her brother Alex who did it.” Our hearts and prayers go out to all the people affected by these heinous crimes and know that complete justice can never be achieved in these cases. Nevertheless, our hope and faith remain that the criminal justice process will appropriately punish individuals responsible for these crimes.
Both Chad and Lori are facing first degree murder and conspiracy charges in the deaths of Tylee and JJ.
Chad is also charged with first degree murder in the death of his wife Tammy.
On Thursday, a court filing in Idaho deemed Lori "not competent" to proceed with the cases there. The prosecution objected to that report and a hearing will be held over the matter.