The mother of two missing Idaho children allegedly believes that she is the reincarnation of God, family members allege.
Joshua Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, were last seen in September, according to the Rexburg Police Department. Authorities located their mother, Lori Vallow, and found she had married Chad Daybell, a religious author who writes about prophecy and the end of the world.
Daybell’s late wife, Tammy, was found dead in October under suspicious circumstances.
During the investigation into Tammy Daybell’s death, police discovered the children had been missing for months.
Police believe that Lori Vallow knows more about her children’s disappearance than she is disclosing. They have repeatedly alleged in press statements that she has been uncooperative in helping them find her kids.
But now, family members allege that Lori Vallow has extreme religious beliefs — and they fear that she has put her children at risk.
According to court documents obtained by Fox 13, the children’s father, Charles Vallow, wanted to divorce Lori Vallow because of her beliefs. He explained his concerns in a court filing last year.
“[Lori Vallow] has recently become infatuated at times obsessive about near death experiences and spiritual visions,” Charles Vallow wrote in a filing last January. “Mother has told Father [Charles Vallow] that she is sealed [eternally married] to the ancient Book of Mormon prophet Moroni and that she has lived numerous lives on numerous planets prior to this current life.”
Charles Vallow’s allegations in the filing continued: “Mother informed Father that she was a God assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020 and that if Father got in her way of her mission she would murder him.”
On July 11, Lori Vallow’s brother Alex Cox shot and killed Charles Vallow. At the time, Cox told police that the shooting was in self-defense. The case is still under investigation. Cox was not charged and died in December, local News 8 reports.
Charles Vallow’s sister, Kay Woodcock, tells Fox 13 that the family has long struggled with Lori’s beliefs. “For her to say she’s a translated being and she is reincarnated? That is scary,” she tells the station.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
The case of the missing kids began when police conducted a welfare check on November 26 after receiving calls from concerned relatives. They spoke with Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow. According to a police department press release last month, Vallow and Daybell told authorities that Joshua was with a family friend in Arizona. But police later learned the boy, who is adopted and has special needs, was not staying with the friend.
Later that month, police issued a blistering new statement, alleging that the children’s mother had been uncooperative.
“Lori Vallow has completely refused to assist this investigation,” Rexburg police said in the statement. “We know that the children are not with Lori and Chad Daybell and we also have information indicating that Lori knows either the location of the children or what has happened to them. Despite having this knowledge, she has refused to work with law enforcement to help us resolve this matter.”
“It is astonishing that rather than work with law enforcement to help us locate her own children, Lori Vallow has chosen instead to leave the state with her new husband,” the release continues. “We strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger.”
Anyone who has seen either child since September is asked to call 208-359-3000 or 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).