Lori Vallow Daybell often bragged to her friends and family about a failed attempted murder of her third husband Joseph Ryan, according to detectives in Chandler, Arizona.
The information came to light in the thousands of files released in the Chandler Police Department’s investigation of the murder of Charles Vallow, Lori Daybell’s fourth husband.
Lori Daybell and her current husband, Chad Daybell, are suspected in the killings of her two children. Joshua “JJ” Vallow was 7 years old when he went missing in September 2019; Tylee Ryan was 16. Their mother and Chad Daybell face charges of murder and conspiracy in the cases that have delved into their apocalyptic religious beliefs and the mysterious deaths of their former spouses.
Charles Vallow was killed by Lori Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, in what he said was self-defense in July 2019. After his death, her friends told detectives they started taking her comments more seriously including the statements she made about Ryan.
Another of Lori Daybell’s brothers, Adam Cox, also corroborated the friends’ statements.
“There’s got to be somewhere where they talked this through because Lori and Alex planned Joe’s death,” Adam Cox told detectives.
Almost immediately after Charles Vallow was killed, Adam Cox, Alex Cox’s confidante, started raising red flags about Lori Daybell’s self-defense justification.
“I’m telling you there is something wrong about Lori and Alex and this belief they have. Lori thinks death is nothing,” Adam Cox said. “There are just a lot of red flags for me.”
After the shooting, Alex Cox told detectives he shot Charles Vallow in self-defense after Charles Vallow attacked him with a baseball bat.
“I said Alex and Lori murdered Charles,” Adam Cox said, “The family — cousins and uncles — they understand the history with Lori, Alex, and Lori’s ex-husbands. There is a whole pattern of things there.”
Lori Daybell and Joseph Ryan had a bitter custody battle over their daughter, Tylee Ryan. Things got ugly when Lori Daybell accused Joseph Ryan of sexually abusing Tylee Ryan and Lori Daybell’s older son, Colby Ryan. Joseph Ryan was eventually cleared of the accusations.
In 2007, Alex Cox physically assaulted Joseph Ryan with a Taser in Texas.
“Lori and Alex planned to kill Joe.” Adam Cox told detectives. “They planned out how they were going to kill Joe, and Al was going to Taser him, throw him in the trunk and take him out to a field and shoot him and then bury him. Well, Al went to Taser him and it didn’t work and Joe called the cops and Al went to jail.”
Court documents in Texas confirm the incident and Alex Cox was convicted.
Joseph Ryan survived the assault, but was reportedly hospitalized for several days.
According to detectives, multiple friends close to Lori Daybell also told detectives she shared the story with them.
“Lori had said before that she hired her brother to kill Joe because of stuff he did to them,” said Angeline Law, a close friend of Lori Daybell’s.
Law said she met Lori Daybell while living in Kauai and considered her a close friend.
“She said eventually Joe is going to die for what he did. She’s like ‘People don’t get away with stuff like that.’ She claimed she had gone off the wall and gone crazy because of what he did to them,” Law said in a Jan. 7, 2020 phone call with detectives.
In April of 2018, Joseph Ryan died of an apparent heart attack in Arizona. April Raymond, another friend from Hawaii, told detectives Lori Daybell visited her shortly after Joseph Ryan’s death.
“My understanding if I remember correctly, what she told me is they hadn’t heard from Joe for about a month and so she and Tylee went over to check on him, or to see him … because I guess Tylee had a key or something … and when they went there they had found him dead,” Raymond told detectives on Jan. 7, 2020.
But according to Phoenix police, it was a neighbor who detected a foul smell and called 911 for a welfare check.
Apparently, Lori Daybell never informed Joseph Ryan’s family of his passing.
Joseph Ryan’s sister Annie Cushing says the medical examiner contacted her family after no one claimed Joe Ryan’s body.
“It’s odd that Joe, her ex-husband, supposedly died of a heart attack when they were desperate for money and he left her $50,000 and Tylee gets $2,000. Then Charles has $2 million … there’s a lot of red flags for me,” Adam Cox said.
Detectives also spoke with a close friend of Tylee Ryan’s who said she received $2,000 a month until her 18th birthday after Joseph Ryan’s death.
Joseph Ryan’s case was briefly revisited earlier this year by the Phoenix Arizona Police Department.
However, police said they were not able to find a connection to Lori Daybell and kept the case closed.