PHOENIX — Phoenix Police have confirmed that Joseph Ryan, the late husband of Lori Vallow, died of natural causes.
Ryan, Vallow's third husband and the father of her daughter Tylee Ryan, died in 2018.
His death was initially ruled a heart attack, but investigators opted to reopen the case for a closer look after Vallow's fourth husband was shot to death and her two children were found dead on the property of her fifth husband.
Both Lori Vallow and current husband Chad Daybell are facing felony charges in connection to the slain children, 16-year-old Tylee and 7-year-old JJ Vallow.
Daybell is charged with two felony counts of concealment of evidence and two felony counts of conspiracy to conceal evidence, while Vallow is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit alteration, destruction or concealment of evidence, as well as misdemeanors for resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court.
JJ's remains were found bound with duct tape and wrapped up in plastic, while Tylee's body had been dismembered and burned, investigators say. Both children were unearthed on Daybell's land in Fremont County in June.
Phoenix Police began investigating Joseph Ryan's death for the second time after a family member of Tylee Ryan released an audio recording of Lori Vallow speaking to a religious group about her custody fights with her former husband.
“I was going to murder him,” Vallow says in the recording, referring to Joseph Ryan. “I was going to kill him like the scriptures say."
The recording was made months after Joseph Ryan's death, according to the family member.
The second investigation by Phoenix Police concluded that the originally listed cause of death - a heart attack - was correct and that Joseph Ryan died of natural causes.
Other investigations remain ongoing into the death of Lori Vallow's fourth husband, Charles Vallow - who was shot to death by her brother - as well as the death of Chad Daybell's late wife Tammy Daybell, who was found dead in the couple's home the month after JJ and Tylee disappeared. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell married three weeks later.
A joint trial in the case is set for July.
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