'Cult Mom' Lori Vallow in tears as court hears burned teen daughter’s body had to be identified by jawline
Disturbing new details in the case of 'cult mom' Lori Vallow were revealed in court records released Tuesday, June 30, including how the body of her daughter was so badly burned, she had to be recognized by her jawline.
Vallow and her husband Chad Daybell have repeatedly been the subject of national headlines over the past few months over the disappearance and death of her two children, seven-year-old Joshua 'JJ' Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.
They were last seen in September 2019 but were not reported missing by either Vallow or Daybell. They only came to the attention of the authorities two months later, when relatives called to report they were concerned for their welfare.
They would remain missing until last month when authorities who executed a search warrant and raided Daybell's Salem, Idaho, home uncovered human remains in his backyard. They were later confirmed belonging to Joshua and Tylee.
Court records obtained by the Daily Mail have now shown that, while Joshua had been easy to identify, Tylee's body was so badly burned and decomposed, investigators had to call upon the expertise of an orthodontist.
"It was not possible to identify those remains by simply looking at them as they were too damaged by fire and dismemberment and no longer had any recognizable features," a report read. "However, Dr. Glen Smith, an orthodontist and Deputy Coroner in the Ada County Coroner's Office was able to identify these remains as belonging to Tylee Ryan by matching an irregular jawline with an X-ray of Tylee when she was alive."
Vallow, who had previously been charged with two felony counts of desertion and non-support of dependent children, as well as resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court, was indicted on new charges this week.
She appeared at the Fremont County Court on June 30 via Zoom call and was filmed wiping away tears as she was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
Joining Vallow, defense attorney Mark Means, Judge Faren Eddins, and prosecuting attorney Rob Wood, was her eldest son and brother to Joshua and Tylee, Colby Ryan, and his wife Kelsee.
Ryan had previously spoken out against his mother on NBC's 'Dateline' and described how it "hurt so much" his mother was not helping police find his siblings, whose well-being was still a matter of speculation at the time.
"It hurts so much," he said. "And on top of that, we have a million questions. You can't call your own mom, can't go to her house and see your siblings — you're just out in the cold."
Vallow faces up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine on each felony count, which Eddins said the mother could serve concurrently or consecutively. Her next court hearing has been scheduled for August 10.
Daybell was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence the same day. He had been previously charged with two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
However, neither Vallow nor Daybell have yet been charged in the murders of Joshua and Tylee. Both are being held on $1 million bonds.
Vallow was a part of a doomsday cult and believed she was "a reincarnated God," court documents had previously revealed. Daybell had been ex-communicated from the Mormon Church while Lori was set to be expelled as well after they wrote several books revolving around the end of the world.
The pair had reportedly gone on to form a cult called 'Preparing A People,' details of which were included in divorce papers filed by her ex-husband Charles Vallow, who was shot dead by her brother Alex Cox in July 2019.