‘Cult Mom’ Trial: Uncle Alex’s Fingerprint Found on Plastic Bag Containing J.J.’s Decomposed Body

On Thursday, a forensic scientist testified that fingerprints found on a bag containing J.J. Vallow’s body are his adoptive uncle’s prints, who died months after the boy’s disappearance.

According to East Idaho News, Idaho State Police employee Tara Martinez said that Alex Cox’s palm print and a right fingerprint were located on the bag. The prints were reportedly latent, meaning they are invisible to the human eye because the impression is created from sweat or oil.

Cox’s fingerprints were given to Idaho authorities by Arizona police. In July 2019 — months before J.J. and Tylee Ryan’s disappearances — Cox fatally shot Charles Vallow in Arizona. Charles was reportedly married to Lori Vallow Daybell, who is Cox’s sister and the slain children’s mother. Lori is charged in Arizona in connection with Charles’ slaying.

According to East Idaho News, Martinez testified that she also obtained Lori and Chad Daybell’s fingerprints, hair samples, and footprints. Chad is Lori’s fifth husband. The couple is charged with killing Lori’s two children and Tammy Daybell, who was Chad’s wife. Tammy was killed in Idaho in October 2019.

In addition to the bag J.J. was found in Martinez also processed the duct tape that was located over his mouth, ankles, and hands. However, she said no usable prints were found on the duct tape, East Idaho News reported.

Martinez also testified that there was a print that she could not identify as belonging to Lori, Chad, or Cox.

Tylee and J.J. were missing for nine months before their remains were found on Chad property in June 2020. Lori  J.J.’s body was reportedly found in a plastic bag that was wrapped in plastic. His face, arms, wrists, and feet were wrapped with duct tape. Tylee’s burned remains were on the property, though her entire body was not intact.

During Wednesday’s testimony, it was revealed that J.J. was suffocated with a plastic bag and duct tape. Due to the condition of Tylee’s remains, her cause of death was undetermined.

Lori is currently standing trial for the three slayings, while her husband’s trial has not yet begun.

Lori 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. She allegedly said she was at her residence, also in Rexburg.

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

The defendant — 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.

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

The trial continues.

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[Featured image: Alex Cox with Tylee and JJ/Handout]