A previously unreleased police report has revealed new, upsetting details about the 2018 death of Lori Vallow’s former husband Joseph Ryan, who was the father of Lori’s daughter Tylee Ryan.
Fox 10 Phoenix obtained the incident report from Phoenix Police detailing the discovery of Joseph Ryan’s body at his apartment on April 3, 2018.
According to the report, Ryan’s neighbor Roy Zliniga contacted police after his dog began scratching at Ryan’s door. The neighbor then noticed that flies were inside the apartment and smelled a strong, foul odor.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ryan is believed to have been dead for some time before his body was discovered — possibly weeks, according to documents reviewed by a Law & Crime reporter.
A medical examiner reportedly found that Ryan died of natural causes; a specific coronary condition that narrows arteries and can cause strokes or heart attacks.
According to the Fox 10 Phoenix report, police in Phoenix say Ryan’s death investigation is closed. When the Phoenix chapter of the FBI was asked if the agency was investigating the death, a spokesperson told Fox 1o Phoenix that the bureau “does not confirm or deny the existence [of] investigations.”
Ryan’s cousin Austine Murphy told the news station that Ryan’s death came as a shock — and that she feared he may have taken his own life, possibly driven to suicide by the ongoing custody battle for Tylee with his ex-wife.
“I couldn’t believe it. He was here in Atlanta with us for Thanksgiving week. Four months later he was gone,” Murphy reportedly said.
“My fear was that he committed suicide. Not that I ever thought he was suicidal but I knew Lori was making him suffer with not being able to see Tylee. He spent so much money fighting for Tylee so I knew money was tight,” Murphy added.
According to the police report obtained by Fox 10 Phoenix, Lori Vallow was listed as Ryan’s next of kin, but authorities did not contact her until 10 days after he was found. The report does not include an explanation for the apparent delay.
Vallow reportedly told police that she had not heard from Ryan in two years before his death.
In June, investigators found the remains of Tylee Ryan and her 7-year-old half-brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow buried in the backyard at the home of Chad Daybell, Vallow’s current husband. Neither child had been seen alive since September, and Vallow had refused to cooperate with the missing persons investigation.
Both Vallow and Daybell are now awaiting trial: Vallow is charged with two counts of conspiracy to conceal evidence, while Daybell is charged with two counts of concealing evidence and conspiracy to conceal evidence. Neither have been charged with murder.
Vallow will appear in court in Idaho on Friday for her arraignment.
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