‘Cult’ mom Lori Vallow is laying low and waiting for the massive media firestorm surrounding the search for her missing children to die down, a close friend has revealed.
The friend, April Raymond, spoke to Dateline NBC for a special about the disappearance of Lori’s children, seven-year-old Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, who were last seen in Idaho in September.
The children were never reported missing by their mother, who fled Idaho for Hawaii with her new husband Chad Daybell when police began asking questions about the kids’ whereabouts in late November.
The case captured national attention with the revelations that police were also investigating at least three mysterious deaths linked to Lori and Chad, who family members say are members of a dangerous doomsday cult.
In a preview for the Dateline special airing Friday, Raymond said Lori has been ‘telling people there’s a lot of media hype around her right now. And she’s waiting for that to die down.’
Raymond added: ‘I would describe it as something a little more serious, a lot more serious.’
April Raymond (left), a close friend of Lori Vallow, spoke to Dateline NBC in a new special about the disappearance of the ‘cult’ mom’s children. Raymond said Lori (right) has been laying low and waiting for the massive media firestorm surrounding the case to die down
In a preview for the Dateline special airing Friday, Raymond said Lori has been ‘telling people there’s a lot of media hype around her right now. And she’s waiting for that to die down’
Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow, seven, were last seen in Idaho in September
Lori and Chad were named persons of interest in JJ and Tylee’s disappearance in mid-December when the Rexburg Police Department in Idaho issued a press release asking for they public’s help in locating the children, who were thought to be in danger.
Authorities have accused the couple of repeatedly lying to investigators and refusing to cooperate with the probe. They believe Lori knows where her children are or what happened to them.
Police tracked Lori and Chad down in Princeville, Hawaii, late last month and served the mother with a court order requiring her to physically produce the children to authorities in Idaho by January 30.
Lori failed to meet the deadline, after which police were expected to charge her with contempt of court and seek her extradition from Hawaii.
But nearly two weeks later, it appears police still haven’t taken any action against her.
Lori (left) and her new husband Chad Daybell (right) fled Idaho for Hawaii when police began asking questions about her children’s whereabouts in late November. The couple have since been linked to the mysterious deaths of three family members
Lori’s estranged husband Charles Vallow (pictured together) was shot dead by her brother Alex Cox in Arizona on July 11
Chad’s wife Tammy Daybell (pictured together) was found dead under mysterious circumstances in October, just two weeks before he married Lori
The search for the missing children uncovered a web of mysterious deaths surrounding Lori and Chad.
The first death is that of Lori’s fourth husband and JJ’s adoptive father Charles Vallow, who was shot dead by her brother Alex Cox in Arizona on July 11.
Lori’s brother Alex Cox died under mysterious circumstances on December 12
Charles and Lori had gotten into an argument when the father came to pick up JJ at the mother’s home in Chandler.
Police initially determined that Cox acted in self defense while intervening in an argument between Charles and Lori.
But the case was reopened amid the multi-state search for JJ and Tylee, who had moved to Idaho with their mother a month after the shooting.
The second mysterious death was Tammy Daybell, who was found dead at the couple’s home in Salem, Idaho, on October 19.
Tammy’s body was exhumed on December 11 and the autopsy results have not yet been released.
On December 12, Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, was found dead in Gilbert, Arizona.
The 51-year-old’s death is now under investigation as police wait for an autopsy to determine the cause.
As police worked to untangle the troubling mystery, Lori and Chad were sunning themselves in Princeville, where they’ve reportedly been renting a home since mid-December.
They’ve stayed largely out of the public eye during the ongoing investigation.
In the few instances that they have been caught on camera, they’ve appeared unfazed by the drama encircling them.
The couple were seen for the first time since the children’s disappearance made headlines on January 26, when an East Idaho News reporter confronted them at the scene where police served them with search warrants in Kaua’i.
They stayed silent and kept walking as the reporter repeatedly asked them where the children are and if they are alive.
Lori only spoke once after the reporter said that people eastern Idaho and across the country are praying for JJ and Tylee.
‘That’s great,’ she replied.
Chad kept his mouth shut throughout the entire exchange, merely grimacing when the reporter mentioned his previous wife Tammy, who died two weeks before he married Lori.
Photos from the November 5 wedding were published by FOX10 this week, in which Lori and Chad are seen gleefully dancing on a Hawaiian beach.
They returned to Idaho after the wedding and were there for about three weeks before police began asking questions about the children, at which point they went back to Hawaii.
Lori and Chad were seen for the first time since the children’s disappearance made headlines on January 26, when an East Idaho News reporter confronted them after police served them with search warrants in Kaua’i
Photos from Lori and Chad’s November 5 wedding were published by FOX10 this week, in which the couple are seen gleefully dancing on a Hawaiian beach
While police have been careful not to publicly cast suspicions on Lori and Chad, a troubling portrait of the pair has emerged from accounts from family members who claim they are members of a dangerous cult obsessed with the end of the world.
Timeline of Joshua and Tylee’s disappearance
July 11: Lori Vallow’s husband, Charles Vallow, is killed by her brother, Alex Cox, in Arizona
August: The last time Joshua’s grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, said they saw the boy via FaceTime
August: Lori moved children Joshua and Tylee to Rexburg, Idaho
September 23: The last time Joshua was seen at his school in Idaho
October 19: Chad Daybell’s wife, Tammy Daybell, dies at their Idaho home
October 25: A friend of Tylee receives a text from her phone
Early November: Lori and Chad get married
November 26: Out-of-state relatives ask Idaho police to perform a welfare check on Joshua. Lori and Chad claim he is in Arizona with a family friend. Police also learn Tylee has not been seen since September, either
November 27: Police execute a search warrant at Lori and Chad’s home, discovering the couple have fled the city
December 11: Tammy Daybell’s body is exhumed from the Utah cemetery
December 12: Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, believed to have died in Arizona
December 21: Police issue a press release about JJ and Tylee, revealing they believe their disappearance is linked to Tammy’s death
December 24: Lori and Chad issue a statement through an attorney saying they love their son and daughter and look forward to addressing ‘allegations once they have moved beyond speculation and rumor’
December 30: Police accuse Lori and Chad of lying to investigators and say they believe the couple know where the kids are or what happened to them
January 26: Lori and Chad are seen for the first time in months as police serve two search warrants in Kaua’i
January 30: Lori misses court deadline to produce the children to authorities
Kay Woodcock – the sister of Charles Vallow who is also JJ’s grandmother – issued a statement in December in which she described how Lori turned into a ‘monster’ after she met Chad in 2018.
Chad, 51, is a prolific author of 25 books focusing on doomsday scenarios and near-death experiences. He is what’s known as a ‘prepper’ – someone who is getting ready for the End of Times – and was a member of a group called Preparing a People.
Last month DailyMail.com exclusively revealed that Chad had been kicked out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints back in the fall after he declared himself a prophet.
Lori reportedly began reading Chad’s writing while she was living in Hawaii with Charles, JJ and Tylee between 2014 and 2017.
It’s unclear how or when exactly Lori and Chad met, but family members say it was sometime around June 2018.
The pair made their first appearance together in December 2017 on a podcast for Preparing a People, a group which, according to its website, organizes conferences and lectures for those who ‘look forward to the rapidly coming changes to our current Telestial way of life, and rejoice in the hope of a far better world to soon come!’
Lori and Charles’ marriage deteriorated rapidly as she became more and more involved with Preparing a People, and he filed for divorce and for custody of JJ in February 2019.
In court documents, he claimed that Lori had become ‘obsessed’ with doomsday and believed she was a reincarnated god sent to Earth to help prepare for the second coming of Christ.
He also claimed she had threatened to kill him if he got in the way of her mission.
Attorneys who represented Charles in the divorce spoke out in January and claimed that their client had predicted either Lori or her brother Alex would kill him.
Five months later, his prediction came true when Alex shot him dead.
Alex told detectives he acted in self-defense after Charles hit him with a baseball bat – but several family members don’t believe that version of events.
Charles’ ex-wife Cheryl Wheeler recently said she believes Charles’ death was ‘100 percent planned’ by Lori.
Wheeler also believes that Lori had something to do with the deaths of Tammy Daybell and Alex Cox, suggesting that they were poisoned.