CHANDLER, Ariz. - There is a potential new development in a homicide case connected to the mother of two missing kids.
Lori Vallow's former husband, Charles Vallow, died following a shooting in Chandler in 2019. According to a FOX 10 news story at the time, Vallow was declared dead at the scene, located at a home north of the intersection of Riggs and Gilbert Roads.
At one point during the fight between Vallow and the brother-in-law, now identified as Alex Cox, Chandler Police officials said Vallow struck Cox in the head with a baseball bat. Vallow was then shot by Cox. Cox called 911 afterwards and performed CPR on Vallow until emergency crews arrived at the scene.
In September 2019, months after Vallow's shooting death, Lori Vallow's children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, went missing.
Joshua "JJ" Vallow (left) and Tylee Ryan (right) (Photo Courtesy: Rexberg, Idaho Police Department)
JJ and Tylee's disappearances have uncovered a complicated sequence of events related to Lori and her new husband, Chad Daybell, including details surrounding Vallow's death, details surrounding the death and subsequent burial of Daybell's former wife, Tammy, and allegations of cult membership.
Lori was arrested in February 2020 by police in Kauai, Hawaii, after a warrant was issued for her arrest by authorities in Idaho's Madison County. She is accused of multiple offenses, including desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court.
Lori has since been extradited to Idaho, and has appeared in front of a judge there.
Lori Vallow appears in court on March 6, 2020.
Meanwhile, the case surrounding Charles Vallow's shooting death remains open, and police have never said outright that Lori has ever been a suspect. However, according to an e-mail from a Chandler Police detective, there may be justice for Vallow.
FOX 10 obtained the e-mail from a source, which was originally sent by Nathan Moffat on March 24. The e-mail reads, in part:
"...We continue to work on Charles' case and are confident we are getting closer to getting Lori indicted for her involvement in Charles' death."
The e-mail went on to say that the e-mail's intended recipient can contact Moffat to discuss any concerns the person may have.
Cheryl Wheeler, who is Charles' ex-wife and is the mother of his two sons, does not buy the current accounts surrounding her ex-husband's death.
"He’s not a violent human being," said Wheeler. "Number two, he would have -- Alex would have at least passed out, if not dead."
According to police, Lori left the scene of the shooting, driving off with JJ and Tylee in Vallow's rental car, only to return a little bit later. Wheeler still remembers Lori's demeanor, as seen on footages taken by a body camera.
"Lori’s reaction was, unfortunately, not surprising to me because that’s Lori," said Wheeler, who says she wants closure and answers on the death of her ex-husband.
"They can indict her, but convicting her is a whole different deal," said Wheeler.
As for Cox, he died in the months following Vallow's death. His death, along with the death of Daybell's first wife, Tammy Daybell, are under investigation.
“Now we’ve had other deaths," said Wheeler. "Now we have children missing, and I think it’s a tragedy."
FOX 10 has reached out to Chandler Police for comment, and on Thursday, Sgt. Jason McClimans issued a respond which reads:
"The investigation is still ongoing and detectives have and still are working hard to determine what exactly occurred on the day of Charles' death. I don't want to speculate on the content of the e-mail...as I am not familiar with it and unable to speak with Det. Moffat. That being said, upon conclusion of any criminal investigation, the case is sent to a prosecuting agency for review and criminal charging. Quite often the officer or detective will work with the prosecuting agency when this occurs."
Chandler Police officials also say their detectives don't plan to travel to Rexburg, Idaho to question Lori on her ex-husband's death, at this time.