Lori Vallow's killer brother researched firearms before an attempted shooting of Chad Daybell's wife - and Googled 'trannys' and pornography.Detective
Detective Vince Kaaiakamanu told Vallow’s murder trial Wednesday that in the days leading up to Tammy Daybell’s death, Alex Cox searched for bullet drop data, using an AR-15 in cold weather and shooting a victim inside a vehicle.
Kaaiakamanu said he believed Cox was trying to gauge where to stand in order to shoot Tammy. The mother-of-five died as a result of asphyxiation on October 19, 2019 – ten days after an intruder pointed a gun at her. Her husband Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow are accused of murdering her. The pair married two weeks later in Hawaii.
Doomsday cultists Vallow, 49, and Daybell, 54, are further accused of killing her two kids JJ, seven, and Tylee, 16, the month before Tammy’s death. Nine months later their bodies were found buried in Daybell’s backyard in Rexburg, Idaho.
A list of Cox’s searches for firearms on October 10 were displayed on the screen. But Vallow’s defense attorney John Thomas put to Kaaiakamanu that there were other searches which showed he was not just a ‘gun nut.’ The cop agreed Cox also looked up ‘trannys’ and porn but these were omitted because they were ‘not pertinent.’
Kaaiakamanu said he believed Alex Cox (right) was trying to gauge where to stand in order to shoot Tammy Daybell (left). The mother-of-five died as a result of asphyxiation on October 19, 2019 – ten days after an intruder pointed a gun at her. Her husband Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow are accused of murdering her. The pair married two weeks later in Hawaii
Lori Vallow sits in a police car after a hearing at the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony, Idaho, on Aug. 16, 2022
Chad and Tammy Daybell pictured before she was murdered in October, 2019
Cox, who died of natural causes in December, 2019, shot dead Vallow’s estranged husband Charles in Arizona that August. He claimed self-defense but Vallow has since been charged over the shooting. She is yet to face trial in that case.
Ten days before Tammy’s death, a masked man approached and shot at her several times with what she believed was a paintball gun before running off. Jurors heard earlier how Cox had visited a local store and bought a ski mask and fingerless gloves.
The Ada County Courthouse in Boise heard today how on October 8, Cox searched for bullet drop from 100 yards, 200 yards and 300 yards. The following day he looked up several different AR-15 uppers and muzzle energy.
On October 10, he searched for using an AR-15 in cold weather and also a YouTube video for firing the rifle at -30 degrees. It was 26 degrees that day.
He performed further searches for guns and ammunition on October 12. He also looked up a Dodge Dakota – the type of car which Tammy Daybell drove. He Googled what would be required to shoot through a car.
Cox visited the Fremont County Sportsman’s Club, a shooting range, on October 7, 9, 12, 13 and 15.
An AR-15 that was seized from Vallow’s garage can resemble a paintball gun because of its scope, Kaaiakamanu told jurors. The firearm was shown to jurors and the detective indicated how the scope could be mistaken for the hopper – which holds paintballs – on a paintball gun.
Kaaiakamanu testified: ‘When Tammy Daybell called in the attempted shooting, she described the rifle as a paintball gun. After looking at all the firearms, this one stuck out because it has a larger scope on it which could be mistaken for a hopper, which Tammy described. A hopper is on a paintball gun.’
The State says that Cox was involved in killing Vallow’s two kids in September, 2019. He was part of the couple’s doomsday cult which believed the children were ‘zombies’ that had been possessed by Satan. The same deranged theory was espoused about Tammy Daybell and Charles Vallow before their deaths.
Jurors were earlier played a bizarre ‘blessing’ in which Daybell thanked Cox for assisting the couple following the killings.
In the 15-minute recording, made on November 24, 2019, Daybell says: ‘You have already assisted us in ways that can never be repaid, but you will continue to do so as you move forward in this life.’
Tammy died at the Daybells’ home in Rexburg in the early hours of October 19, 2019. She was initially determined to have died of natural causes but when cops started searching for Vallow’s missing children her body was exhumed. An autopsy – which had earlier been refused by Daybell – found she was suffocated.
Tylee, 16, and JJ, seven, are shown with their uncle, Alex Cox, in what is believed to be the final photo of them, taken during a family trip to Yellowstone National Park on September 8, 2019
Vallow (in an undated photo shared by Tylee before her death) and her husband Chad Daybell are accused of killing Tylee and her seven-year-old adopted brother JJ in Rexburg, Idaho, in September 2019. The State says the couple believed the children were Satanic ‘zombies’
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow in Hawaii after they were married. At the time cops were still searching for the kids in Idaho
Vallow’s children, Tylee and JJ disappeared in September 2019, but their remains were not discovered until the following June
Vallow and Daybell tied the knot on a beach in Kauai on November 5, 2019. Receipts show she purchased her own wedding ring on Amazon almost three weeks before Tammy’s death.
The children were missing for almost a year before their corpses were found buried in Daybell’s yard on June 9, 2020.
During the opening, prosecutor Lindsey Blake described how charred remains were all that was left of Tylee.
She told jurors: ‘You will hear it explained as a mass of bone and tissue. That’s what was left of this beautiful young woman.’
Tylee’s DNA was later found on a pickaxe and shovel in a shed on the property.
JJ’s body was wrapped in trash bags and duct tape – the tape binding his arms in front of him and wrapping around his head. He had been suffocated inside a plastic bag.
The two children and Daybell’s previous wife Tammy were all killed because they stood in the way of the couple’s relationship, the State says.
‘Remember, the defendant will remove any obstacle in her way to get what she wants, and she wanted Chad Daybell,’ Blake told jurors.
The key individuals in Lori Vallow’s tangled family tree, including her five husbands, two dead children and killer brother
‘The defendant used money, power and sex to get what she wanted.’
Jurors have heard from friends and relatives of Vallow that she and Daybell believed the children were ‘dark’ and referred to them as ‘zombies’ before they disappeared.
‘The common theme was the body has to be destroyed,’ Blake said. ‘The defendant and Chad used their self-proclaimed religious teachings to justify their actions to others — their actions from affair to murder.’
Prosecutors say the couple planned to use life insurance money from Tammy’s death, and that Vallow kept collecting and spending the children’s social security and benefits after they died.
The trial opened on April 10 and the State is still laying out its case.
Vallow denies two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of conspiracy in the deaths of her two children and Tammy Daybell.
She further denies grand theft for allegedly collecting government benefits on behalf of her children after they were killed.
Daybell is being tried separately.