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Family of Charles Vallow speaks out over his death and former wife Lori Vallow

Two brothers of Charles Vallow speak out in a new 'Dateline NBC' special set to air Friday night.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — It's a case that's puzzled investigators and gripped the nation.

We’re talking about the Lori Vallow Daybell case, involving an alleged doomsday cult, dead spouses and missing kids.  

Lori and her husband Chad Daybell are accused of killing Lori’s kids, Tylee and JJ, who used to live in the Valley. The couple is also tied to other suspicious deaths in their families, including Lori's former husband Charles Vallow.

"He said she had chosen a different path, but maybe he didn’t know the extent of the path she chose," said Bobby Vallow, one of Charles' brothers.

Bobby and his brother Gerry Vallow sat down with Dateline NBC's Keith Morrison for an interview set to air Friday night on 12 News.

They spoke with Morrison about how Charles was worried over Lori's darkening religious beliefs.

Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed Charles back in July 2019, according to Chandler police.

"They said it was self-defense," Keith posed to the brothers.

"That was not self-defense," Bobby Vallow replied. "That was an ambush. There's a lot of inconsistencies about that story."

Twists and turns of the case

Court testimony and police interviews revealed that Lori met doomsday-author Chad Daybell in the fall of 2018 and started following his religious teachings. 

After Charles died, Lori moved their kids, JJ and Tylee, to Idaho in September 2019, where Chad Daybell lived.  Investigators said that the kids disappeared before the end of the month.

In October 2019, Chad's first wife, Tammy Daybell, died in Daybell's home.  It was originally ruled she died of natural causes but her body was later exhumed and the death was deemed suspicious.

In November 2019, Chad and Lori got married in Hawaii. Police didn't start searching for Tylee and JJ until one of Charles' relatives asked for a welfare check in November 2019.  The kids' bodies were eventually found buried in Chad Daybell's backyard in June 2020.

Both Chad and Lori are currently charged with murder in JJ and Tylee's deaths. Chad is also charged with murder in Tammy's death.

Digging into Lori's Inner Circle

Chandler police recently released its entire case file into the death of Charles Vallow, giving us new insight into Lori's state of mind.

The file included several hours of police interviews with Melanie Gibb, Lori's best friend in Arizona, who used to be tied up in the doomsday teachings with Lori and Chad.  The files are from separate interviews: one with Chandler police in August 2020 and another with Rexburg officers in April 2021.

Gibb has testified in Idaho against the couple and is the investigator's key to unlocking some of the dark religious beliefs.

"If you want to hear the truth, here it comes," she told investigators in one interview. "I’m not going to back away."

Melanie said it was January 2019 when Lori first started believing Charles was possessed, a belief Melanie said was planted by Chad Daybell.

"She was talking to everyone about Charles now had this evil spirit in him," Melanie told investigators.

Charles tried to ask Gilbert police for help after an incident with Lori at the end of that month.  But when Lori told police her side to that story, she said she caught Charles cheating, something Melanie now believes was a lie.

"She’s creating a monster," Melanie said. "To make him look like a monster, which he absolutely wasn’t."

In all, Melanie said Chad told Lori Charles had been possessed by three different dark spirits before he was killed.

"Now I look back and...my heart breaks for Charles. He was so caring."

Melanie later told Rexburg police that Lori thought she could cast evil spirits out of Charles and others in a prayer circle of sorts.

"Chad would help groom her into these ideas," Melanie explained. "'Wow, Lori you’re the most powerful woman.'"

Melanie admitted she took part in some of these castings, but never truly bought into it all. 

Chandler police now think Lori and her brother Alex plotted with Chad to kill Charles.

Lori is facing a conspiracy charge in Charles' murder, but the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office declined to charge Chad.

Alex Cox can’t face any charges because he died in December 2019, apparently of natural causes.  Investigators in Idaho said that it was pings from Cox's cell phone that ultimately led them to the children's bodies.

"I’m horrified that people died because of these crazies," Melanie said.

What's next in the case

Chad is currently awaiting trial in Idaho. His attorney recently won a motion that would move the proceedings to Boise in an effort to find an impartial jury.

Lori's case is currently on pause after she was deemed incompetent for trial. She's under a 6-month mental health review before her case can proceed.

Lori Vallow Daybell Case

The mystery behind the case involving Lori Vallow and her missing kids continues to grow. It's a complex story that spans several months across many states. Subscribe to 12 News on YouTube for updates.