Daybell, a doomsday write and self-proclaimed prophet, worried Vallow’s friends and family.
“I thought Lori was great, very loving,” says her former sister-in-law, Annie Cushing, shared in PEOPLE’s new issue. “But there was a tectonic shift in her, and she went over the edge.”
Vallow’s former father-in-law cut in. “I saw a change in 2018,” Larry Woodcock shared. “It was … just crazy. I couldn’t believe that she was falling for it.”
Just after meeting Daybell, death seemed to touch everyone around Vallow. Currently, police are investigating the 2018 death of her third husband, Joseph Ryan, whose death was previously ruled as a heart attack.
Vallow’s fourth husband, Charles, Kay Woodcock’s, brother — was shot to death during a July 2019 altercation by Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, who claimed he was acting in self-defense and was never charged. And just three months later, Daybell’s wife, Tammy, was found dead in her bed — a death police later called “suspicious.”
Tammy’s body has since been exhumed. Cox was later discovered dead under mysterious circumstances. All the bizarre deaths came to the surface in late 2019 after authorities began searching for Vallow’s two children, J.J. Vallow, 7, and his 17-year-old half-sister, Tylee Ryan.
J.J. was last seen on September 23, 2019 in Rexburg, Idaho, when his mother withdrew him from school, informing the principal she planned to homeschool him — while Tylee was last seen at a Sept. 8 day trip to Yellowstone National Park.
After they hadn’t heard from the children in months, the Woodcocks called authorities. But both Vallow and Daybell refused to talk. Back in January, authorities gave Lori Vallow five days to give up the children to prove they were in fact, safe. After she failed to do so, she was arrested.
Authorities discovered the charred, buried remains of both children on Daybell’s property in June of 2020.
Vallow has been charged with desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, contempt of court and willful disobedience of court process or order. While Daybell was charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
They both have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Currently, the Woodcocks are set on searching for answers — along with hoping that someday, they may reconcile with the woman they claim “loved her daughter and loved J.J.”
“There are just so many unanswered questions that Kay and I have,” Larry Woodcock shared with PEOPLE. “If [Vallow] would just be half-honest. She doesn’t even have to be completely honest. Just be half honest and give us answers because we just don’t understand it.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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