A woman who was incarcerated at the same Idaho jail where Lori Vallow has been in custody for several months has revealed her intimate conversations with the mother of two children who were found dead earlier this summer.
On June 11, investigators found the remains of Vallow’s children Tylee Ryan, 16, and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow buried in Vallow’s husband Chad Daybell’s backyard. Neither children had been seen alive since September 2019. Vallow was first arrested in February in Hawaii, where she and Daybell fled late last year after investigators had discovered her children were missing.
A fellow inmate at a jail in Madison County gave a lengthy interview to East Idaho News, where she shared details about her conversations with Vallow. The former inmate, who used the alias Melissa Cook for the interview, said that she was serving time for a parole violation in Madison County when Vallow was booked into the jail in early March.
“I made it a point not to ask about her kids. I wanted to gain her trust and see if she would tell me anything,” Cook told East Idaho News. “I’d been judged (unfairly) for one of my crimes and turned inside out for something it wasn’t. I couldn’t imagine feeling what she was feeling when she got there.”
Neither Vallow or Daybell have been charged with murder, but both are facing charges of conspiracy to destroy evidence, and Daybell is facing additional felony charges of concealing evidence. As CrimeOnline previously reported, both Daybell and Vallow are being held on $1 million bail, and neither have had luck securing a bail bondsman, who would ultimately be responsible for the total bail amount if either suspect fled.
Cook told East Idaho News that Vallow was preoccupied with her physical appearance, and at one point gestured to her slim figure when discussing meeting with her lawyers about the possibility of being released on bail.
“Every day she’s going out with her lawyers and I’d say, ‘Are you bonding out?’ She would say, ‘I hope so,’” Cook told East Idaho News. “I remember before one of those meetings, she ran her fingers from her head down her body and said, ‘We’ll see if all of this is worth $1 million.’”
Cook also said that Vallow was very aware of her notoriety, and that it appeared to go to her head.
“She was totally aware of all of it. She said, ‘We have the death of Kobe Bryant and COVID but no – there’s me. I’m the lead story. I’m more important than all that stuff,’” Cook said in the interview. “She knew she was the main story and she liked it.”
The fellow inmate also told East Idaho News that she overheard conversations Vallow had with her adult son Colby. Cook claimed that Vallow took phone calls in a cell adjacent to hers, and while she couldn’t always hear the person Vallow was speaking to, she took notes about what Vallow was saying.
“She talked on the phone with her son literally almost two days straight. After the big entrance at her arraignment, she got on the phone with her son and said, ‘I didn’t see you (in the courtroom). There were just so many people,’” Cook says. “He kept saying, ‘Mom, where are JJ and Tylee? Why won’t you tell us? What’s going on?’”
Cook said in the interview that Vallow never answered questions about where JJ and Tylee were.
“She told Colby to read Job (a book in the Old Testament) and he would understand. She said she was being tested like Job,” Cook says. “She would say, ‘Colby, just listen to me. Everyone wants to know but it’s none of their business. God doesn’t judge me and they shouldn’t judge me. The prophet says to stay off social media so don’t go on there.’”
Cook was reportedly released from custody in August, and told East Idaho News that she sent Vallow a message via an app used to communicate with inmates. Vallow initially said she wanted to meet with Cook, but hasn’t followed up.
Cook said in the interview that she thinks Vallow will try and blame her children’s death on her husband.
“I think she will turn against Chad. If she’s as vindictive as she is, those kids were buried on his land and at his house,” Cook said. “I would turn on him to save my own ass.”
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