‘Cult Mom’ Trial: Lori Vallow Smiles as Ex-Friend Testifies About Being Threatened After Tylee & J.J.’s Disappearances

Lori Vallow Daybell reportedly smiled in court on Wednesday as her former friend testified about threats Vallow Daybell allegedly directed toward her after her two children disappeared in 2019.

According to the Daily Mail, Vallow Daybell was apparently also seen laughing and talking to her legal counsel as Audrey Barattiero took the stand. During cross-examination, the defense suggested Barattiero was lying about the threatening exchange and asked her why she never disclosed it to a grand jury.

Barattiero claimed she was afraid to come forward because Vallow Daybell told her, “If you ever tell anyone, I will find you in the dark of the night.”

Barattiero testified that a month after Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow’s disappearances, she asked Vallow Daybell if anything was “weird.” According to her, Vallow Daybell laughed as she told her, “You’re so naïve … So trusting … You’ll believe anything. You think the world is all unicorns and rainbows.”

“She threatened to kill me. She said she would cut me up. Something about that she wasn’t in the mental place to do that but she would get herself in that place to be able to do it … She said something about bleach and trash bags. And she would bury me,” Barattiero also alleged.

Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell were married in November 2019, days after two of Vallow Daybell’s children disappeared and a month after Tammy Daybell’s death. Tammy was Daybell’s wife; Vallow Daybell’s husband, Charles Vallow, was killed the summer before she married Daybell, her fifth husband.

Tammy Daybell’s initial cause of death was listed as pulmonary edema with the manner being ruled as natural. However, officials now believe she was asphyxiated her death was a homicide.

Vallow Daybell and Daybell are charged with killing the children, Tylee Ryan, and J.J. Vallow, and Tammy Daybell. Vallow Daybell is currently standing trial and Daybell will be tried later.

J.J. and Tylee were missing for nine months before their remains were discovered on Daybell’s property in June 2020. 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.

Prior testimony revealed that J.J. was suffocated with a plastic bag and duct tape. Tylee’s cause of death was undetermined due to the condition of her remains.

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

Vallow Daybell — 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.

In Arizona, Vallow Daybell is charged in connection with Charles Vallow’s death. Her brother, Alex Cox, fatally shot Vallow in July 2019, months before Tammy Daybell’s death and J.J. and Tylee’s disappearances. Cox died, reportedly of natural causes, in December 2019.

Vallow Daybell, 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: Tony Blakeslee/East Idaho News via AP, Pool, File]