Chandler PD: Lori Vallow planned former husband's murder to fulfill religious prophecy

A probable cause statement reveals what happened after Charles Vallow was shot and killed nearly two years ago.

13 pages of bombshell revelations boil down to this: investigators say Lori Vallow planned her then-husband's murder for a higher purpose.

Taylor Larson is the lawyer who penned and filed divorce paperwork on behalf of Charles Vallow in February 2019. He says Charles told him that his then-wife Lori Vallow threatened to kill him and that she believed she was a god preparing for the second coming of Christ.

"She's not the loving mother and wife that he had been with for 14 years."

Lori Vallow mugshot

Lori Vallow mugshot (file)

On July 11, 2019, Lori's brother Alex Cox shot and killed Charles, but told Chandler Police he did it in self-defense, claiming Charles came at him with a bat in the 13-page probable cause document.

CPD says the second shot hit Charles below his ribcage, indicating he was laying on the ground at that time. It took 43 minutes for Alex to call 911 and police say he never performed CPR.

Investigators also refer to texts between Lori and her current husband, Chad Daybell, following the shooting.

MORE: Lori Vallow-Chad Daybell case

Lori Vallows former, late husband, Charles Vallow.

Lori Vallow's former, late husband, Charles Vallow. (file)

Police say Charles' death was planned so Vallow and Daybell could marry and fulfill their religious prophecy.

"And under the guise of these religious beliefs, this is how they're going to achieve the desired result," said Larson.

Financial gain is also believed to be a motive.

A week after Charles' murder, police say Lori texted Chad, saying she talked to the insurance company about the benefits, but Charles had changed the beneficiary. 

Larson says if Charles did not dismiss the divorce filing, things could be different.

"If we had gone through the divorce and Charles had gone through with it and they were divorced, I don't see how we would be here today speaking."

And of course what Larson means is the fate of Lori's children, JJ and Tylee. She moved them to Idaho, they went missing, and were later found dead in Daybell's backyard.

The couple is facing murder charges, also in the death of Chad's first wife, Tammy.

Documents reveal a complex story

The probable cause statement released by the Chandler Police Department suggested that Charles' death was ‘necessary’ in order for Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow to marry and "fulfill their religious prophecy."

Vallow and Daybell reportedly believed that they had abilities including teleportation, calling on natural disasters and being able to see if someone was "light" or "dark."

Those who opposed their beliefs and destiny were seen as possessed, according to court documents.

Meanwhile, the widow of Alex Cox, Lori's brother, had reportedly told Lori that she was told by God to protect her. A few months later, the widow told Lori that she could create storms and fire.

Marriage records showed that the widow, named Zulema Pastenes, had been married to Alex Cox for two weeks before he died in her home in December 2019. The cause of death was ruled as natural.

Lori allegedly told Pastenes that Charles was "blocking her gifts."

"From this point forward, there is specific conversation to cause harm to Charles Vallow who has also been referred to as a dark spirit called ‘Hiplos’ or ‘Ned,’ " police said.

Chandler detectives said they discovered searches for social security disability in Lori's web history.

"So I talked to the insurance company," read a transcript of a text message from Lori to Chad Daybell. "He changed it in March. So it was probably Ned before we got rid of him… I’ll still get the $4K a month from SS."

In June 2019, Charles reportedly confronted Lori about a letter she wrote in his name asking Daybell to visit Arizona and help him write a book.

"This discovery would send everything into action," police said.

Officials say that Charles asked Lori to come clean about her affair with Daybell or he would tell Tammy, Daybell's wife.

At this point, Charles allegedly began speaking with a brother of Lori and Alex Cox in order to plan an intervention the following month. Lori and Chad continued to discuss ‘Hiplos’ over text, but police say there was no obvious communication found that would suggest that Daybell had been directly involved in Charles' eventual murder.

When Lori discovered the plans for the intervention on July 9, 2019, she reached out to Alex and other unidentified people to warn them. She reportedly believed that Charles would be coming to kill her for life insurance money and asked Alex, along with other unidentified people, for protection.

"It's all coming to a head this week," Lori told Alex.

On July 11, Charles was shot by Alex Cox, who claimed he did it in self-defense.

After the murder, police say Lori took Charles' rental car and phone and returned an hour later. Officers alleged that Alex did not perform emergency aid and that "Charles would have laid dead or dying for approximately 43 minutes before Alex called 911."

Charles had been shot twice in the chest, and an autopsy report suggested that he had been laying down when the second shot was fired.

"Based on this investigation, it has been proven how valuable Alex Cox was to Lori," officials said. "His mission on this earth was to protect his sister."

Continuing coverage of the Vallow case

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