PHOENIX – The slain husband of a woman whose two children are missing and the subjects of a nationwide manhunt claimed she believed she was a god and threatened to kill him months before his death in Chandler last year, according to divorce records.
The disappearance of Lori Vallow's children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, may have ties to two ongoing death investigations in Arizona, including the shooting and killing of her former husband, Charles Vallow, in Chandler last July. The search for Joshua and Tylee, who haven't been seen since September in Rexburg, Idaho, is ongoing.
Divorce documents filed by Charles in Maricopa County Superior Court last February provide insight into Lori Vallow's apparent state of mind months before his death and her children's disappearance.
Mom Lori Vallow claimed she was 'a god'
Charles claimed Lori Vallow didn't want anything to do with him or Joshua "because she had a more important mission to carry out," according to the court documents. Charles said Lori claimed she was "a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020," the court documents said.
She also told Charles that she would kill him if he got in her way and that she had "an angel there to help her dispose of the body," court documents said. Shortly after her alleged threats, Charles took out an order of protection against Lori Vallow, according to court documents.
Charles claimed that Lori Vallow had "become infatuated and, at times, obsessive about near-death experiences and spiritual visions," according to court documents. He said he attempted to get her help; however, she refused to visit a doctor because “they would discover that she is a translated being," court documents said.
Lori Vallow not 'mentally stable enough' to care for son
In the divorce documents, filed just shy of the couple's 13th wedding anniversary, Charles petitioned for sole custody of Joshua because he didn't think Lori Vallow was "mentally stable enough" to make decisions for him. Joshua is Charles and Lori Vallow's adopted son.
Charles said in the documents that, two weeks before he filed for divorce, Lori took some of his and Joshua's belongings while he was on a business trip, including Joshua's iPad, medication and clothes, and wouldn't answer requests to return them.
Charles explained that the iPad was essential to keeping Joshua calm because he has autism spectrum disorder and ADHD and prefers a routine, the court documents said.
"Mother has also never contacted Father about JJ's well-being or requested any parenting time with JJ. Father is extremely concerned that Mother would abandon JJ and take JJ's necessities without even attempting to communicate or see JJ," the document said.
Kids' disappearance follows a string of deaths
Five months after he began – and then quickly dismissed – divorce proceedings with Lori Vallow, Charles was shot to death in Chandler. Police at the time said Lori Vallow's brother, Alex Cox, shot Charles.
Cox, who claimed to shoot Charles in self-defense, died Dec. 12 in Gilbert. Both Charles' and Cox's deaths remain under investigation, officials said Monday.
Charles Vallow is Lori Vallow's second husband to die in the past two years. Joseph Ryan died of an apparent heart attack in 2018 in Gilbert, Fox 10 reported. Ryan was Tylee's father.
Lori Vallow married Chad Daybell weeks after the death of Chad's wife, Tammy Daybell, 49, in October. Authorities initially believed the woman died of natural causes but have determined it may be suspicious. Tammy Daybell's remains have been exhumed, and autopsy results are pending.
On Oct. 2, one of the children's relatives, Brandon Boudreaux, was shot while driving home from the gym. The bullet missed his head. The Jeep that his would-be killer was driving was registered to Charles Vallow.
Police believe Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan are in danger
Lori Vallow and her new husband, Chad Daybell, are wanted for questioning in connection with Joshua and Tylee's disappearances. Idaho police said they believe Lori Vallow knows where they are or what happened to them. However, the couple is not cooperating with police.
Police spoke with Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell on Nov. 26 while attempting a welfare check on Joshua. The couple told police the boy was staying with a family friend in Arizona, but police discovered that wasn't true.
Police also said they believe the children's lives are in danger. Rexburg Police Department Assistant Chief Gary Hagen said there were no updates in the case Monday.
Authorities searched Chad Daybell's home Jan. 3 in connection with the disappearance of Lori Vallow's children, the Associated Press reported. FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker said Monday the agency is assisting in the case but deferred all inquiries to the local agencies.
Hagen said Rexburg police is handling the missing children's case but referred inquiries about the search warrant at Chad Daybell's home last week to the Fremont County sheriff. Sheriff Len Humphries in Fremont County did not respond to The Arizona Republic on Monday.
Contributing: Rachel Leingang, Jessica Boehm and Mike Cruz, Arizona Republic
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Missing Idaho kids: Mom Lori Vallow said she was a god willing to kill