‘Cult Mom’ Trial: Surviving Son Says Lori Controlled Tylee’s Money Before Her Disappearance, Murder

On Tuesday, Lori Vallow Daybell’s surviving son testified that, prior to her disappearance, Tylee Ryan told him that their mother controlled her money.

According to East Idaho News, Colby Ryan said that Tylee, 16, told him about the money issue on September 8, 2019, after he asked her for money. Colby claimed he spoke on the phone with his mother, who said she and Tylee were at the Yellowstone National Park gift store. Colby recalled hearing Tylee in the background. 

Charles Vallow was fatally shot by Alex Cox in Arizona in July 2019. For reference, Cox is Vallow Daybell’s brother. Charles was Vallow Daybell’s fourth husband. Cox died of natural causes in December 2019.

Weeks after Charles’ death, Vallow Daybell allegedly told Colby that she was not getting any life insurance money. Colby testified that his mother often told him she was out of money in the months that followed, East Idaho News reported.

In late November 2019 — weeks after the money conversation with Ryan — Gilbert police contacted him about her and J.J. Vallow’s whereabouts. J.J., 7, was Vallow Daybell’s adoptive son.

Colby reportedly told cops that the children were not with him and that he was concerned because Tylee’s text messages to him did not sound like her.

According to East Idaho News, Colby also testified that he contacted his mother in November 2019 about the children’s whereabouts and why the police were looking for them. Colby reportedly knew that his mother had left Phoenix but he did not know where she was.

“She just told me she was moving somewhere cold, and it was dangerous for her to tell anybody where she had gone,” he said, per the news outlet.

In June 2020, J.J., and Tylee were found buried on Chad Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho, in 2019. Chad is Vallow Daybell’s current husband who is facing the same charges but will stand trial at a later date.

Prosecutors said Tylee was dismembered and burned; her remains were located near a burn pit while J.J. was in a plastic bag, wrapped in plastic. His face, arms, wrists, and feet were wrapped with duct tape.

In addition to Tylee and J.J.’s murders, Vallow Daybell and Chad are charged with killing Chad’s wife Tammy in 2019. In Arizona, Vallow Daybell is charged in connection with Charles’ shooting death.

Vallow Daybell said she was with Melanie Gibb, David Warwick, or her husband when her son and daughter died in her brother’s apartment in Rexburg, Idaho. Vallow Daybell allegedly said she was at her residence, also in Rexburg.

Vallow Daybell claimed she was in Hawaii when Tammy Daybell was killed at her husband’s home in Salem, Idaho. Vallow Daybell stated she was with two other people at the time.

Vallow Daybell — who is believed to have been involved in a so-called doomsday cult  — allegedly told a friend that her children had become zombies and the only way to exorcise their bodies of evil spirits was to kill them.

Vallow Daybell underwent psychiatric treatment twice before she was deemed fit to stand trial. She is not facing the death penalty. Cameras are not allowed in the courtroom per a court order.

The trial continues. 

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[Featured image: Lori Vallow Daybell and Tylee Ryan/Chandler Police Department]