A newly released recording reveals that cult mom Lori Vallow had considered killing her third husband, Joseph Ryan, before turning her life back to her religion, but that 2018 recording still prompted the Phoenix Police Department to announce a review of Ryan’s death.
Nancy Grace discussed the recording and other issues with a panel of guests this week on Fox Nation’s “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace.”
And while Vallow may very well be a “person of interest” in Ryan’s death, his body was cremated just days after he died, before his closest relative — his sister — had been told.
Ryan and Vallow were divorced in 2005, but the custody battle between the two over Tylee Ryan — one of two children whose disappearance and death eventually led to the arrests of Vallow and her new husband Chad Daybell — continued until his decomposing body was found in his Arizona home. A coroner said he had a heart attack.
Joseph Ryan’s sister, Annie Cushing, released the audio recording of Vallow, reportedly recording during a meeting led by Daybell six months after Ryan’s death, because she wanted police to look closer at her brother’s death, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
“She told the bishop there at the Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, that either she needs to turn her life around or she was going to murder her husband,” Grace said. “But as she’s telling this story, she’s speaking about what happened back when. For all I know, she had a, quote, murderous heart at the same time Ryan was was killed.”
While police have said they would review their investigation, finding answers isn’t likely to come easily or quickly.
“One of the problems here is that because he died and he was cremated so quickly, I mean, within a matter of days,” said EastIdahoNews.com reporter Nate Eaton.
The answer to the question of why the body was cremated so quickly, though, came from Cushing herself.
“My understanding is that the state made the call because they couldn’t get a hold of anyone, because — Lori and I maintained contact over the years, but she never told me that Joe had died,” Cushing told Grace. “I had found out through a relative being forwarded one of these letters where they were seeking family members.”
By the time Cushing learned her brother had died, his body had already been cremated “because he was an unclaimed body.”
Vallow and Daybell are awaiting trial on charges related to the disappearance of Tylee Ryan, 16, and JJ Vallow, 7, whose bodies were found on Daybell’s property this summer. Neither have been charged relating to the children’s deaths.
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[Featured image: Lori Vallow Daybell on March 6, 2020. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool)]