The so-called “cult mom”, who was convicted earlier this year for the murders of her two children in the Gem State, was “very chatty” with deputies the 18-hour drive to Arizona where she faces conspiracy charges in the murder of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow.
A new mug shot was taken as she was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on Wednesday, showing her with a wide-eyed expression.
At a press conference on Thursday, Sheriff Paul Penzone revealed Lori was very talkative on the long ride to Arizona, and described her demeanor as sociable.
“I just understand that she was very sociable... talked the entire trip,” he said. He did not give details on what was said, but added he was not aware that she gave any specific statements related the investigation. “I just know she was very chatty.”
The 50-year-old made her initial appearance at the Maricopa County Superior courthouse when they arrived early Thursday morning. She asked if her two cases would be combined, to which the judge explained that there would be two separate proceedings. Her first hearing date is set for 7 December.
Lori has been incarcerated at the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center since August when Judge Steven Boyce handed down three life sentences for the murders of her children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, and 7-year-old JJ Vallow.
According to a statement provided to East Idaho News by the Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, deputies in Arizona travelled to Idaho to pick Daybell up in a vehicle as weather created complications to have her travel by air.
“On Nov. 30, deputies arrived back in Maricopa County just after midnight. Suspect Vallow was booked in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office ITR facility. This is one example of the exceptional, understated and efficient operations conducted by the Extraditions Detail of MCSO,” Mr Penzone said.
“Suspect Lori Vallow will stay in the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The Maricopa county Attorney’s Office will assume prosecution of the allegations. Pursuing criminals and bringing them to justice is what we do, and we’re very good at it.”
Charles was shot and killed by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox. Cox told police he acted in self-defence, and he was never charged. Cox died later that year of what investigators said were natural causes.
Shortly after Charles died, Lori and her kids moved to Idaho. Prosecutors said she made the move to be closer to her then-boyfriend, Mr Daybell, and that together the two plotted to remove any obstacle to their happiness.
Two weeks before they got married on a beach in Hawaii while the children were missing, Mr Daybell’s then-wife Tammy died of what was initially believed to be natural causes.
But authorities became suspicious when Lori and Mr Daybell married just two weeks later, later determining Tammy had been asphyxiated.
Meanwhile, another person connected to the family reported an attempted shooting.
Brandon Boudreaux, who had recently divorced Lori’s niece, said someone driving a Jeep had shot at him outside his home. The Jeep matched the description of one that had been purchased by Charles before his death.
The Arizona indictment charges Lori with conspiring to kill Charles and Mr Boudreaux. If found guilty of the conspiracy charges in Arizona, she could face another life sentence.
Charles’ death was the first step in a wider plot by Lori and her current husband Mr Daybell to rid their lives of “obstacles” as they termed their spouses and her children, as her reial heard in text messages entered into evidence earlier this year.
Mr Boudreaux was married to Vallow’s niece Melani Pawlowski (she remarried in November 2019 to Ian Pawlowski, who testified at Vallow’s trial). Melani was very close to Vallow and believed in many of the same bizarre doomsday prophecies espoused by her and Mr Daybell.
This ultimately ended her marriage to Mr Boudreaux with whom she shared custody of their five children. From evidence heard at Lori trial, it was apparent that he too was considered an “obstacle” and — in their beliefs — a “dark” spirit had possessed him.
Google location data allegedly showed Alex Cox travelling from Idaho to Gilbert, Arizona, in early October 2019.
On 2 October an attempt was made on the life of Mr Boudreaux when he was shot at after returning home from the gym. He had earlier taken his older children to school and dropped the youngest off at Ms Pawlowski’s home.
The shots were fired from the back window of a grey Jeep Wrangler that had had its back spare tyre removed. Video footage from a storage facility in Idaho showed Cox and Vallow placing the spare tyre in a storage facility the day before he drove south to Maricopa County and then taking it back out a few days later.
Mr Boudreaux gave heartbreaking testimony at Vallow’s trial about the end of his marriage to Ms Pawlowski and broke down as he recalled having to be the person who identified JJ Vallow’s remains.
Cox died in December 2019, after telling Zulema Pastenes — whom he had married shortly before — that he feared he would be the “fall guy” for Mr Daybell and his sister.
Mr Daybell has been in the Fremont County Jail since he was arrested in June 2020.
He is set to stand trial 1 April on murder charges in Ada County, where his wife was tried. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.