New court papers released on Friday reveal that "cult mom" Lori Vallow believed her two children - JJ Vallow, a 7-year-old autistic boy, and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan - were “zombies", as the investigation into their deaths develops.
The investigation has now turned from a missing person case to uncover the motive and means behind their deaths. The revelation that the 46-year old mother believed JJ and Tylee to be "zombies" was included in a probable cause affidavit unsealed in Idaho.
The term was used to describe "an individual whose mortal spirit has left their body and that their body is now the host of another spirit", according to Rexburg police Lt. Ron Ball.
“The new spirit in ‘zombie’ is always considered ‘dark spirit.’ While the ‘dark spirit’ inhabits the host body, the person’s true spirit goes into ‘limbo’ and is stuck there until the host body is physically killed".
Melanie Gibb told Rexburg Police Detective Ron Ball that Lori Vallow called Tylee Ryan a zombie, overheard on the phone because TR did not want to babysit JJ. LV also told Gibb JJ was a zombie when she moved to Rexburg. #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/DsqQdKU9Cp— Justin Lum (@jlumfox10) June 19, 2020
Lt Ball cited Melani Gibb, a friend of Vallow’s, who said that Daybell and Vallow believed they were part of the “Church of the Firstborn” and had been tasked to lead the “144,000” mentioned in the Book of Revelation - the final book of the New Testament and the Biblical description of the apocalypse.
He said that they believed their mission was to "rid the world of Zombies".
"(Lori) pointed out behaviors such as sitting still and watching TV, claiming JJ said he loved Satan, and an increased vocabulary as evidence that JJ was now a zombie", the investigator said.
According to Gibb, she overheard Vallow call Tylee a "zombie" over the phone and Tylee allegedly respond with "not me, mom" in spring 2019.
The remains of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan were found on 9 June in the back garden of Chad Daybell, a 51-year old author of doomsday novels, the ex-husband of Lori.
Daybell was previously charged back in September of disposing of the bodies, the same month that relatives had reported the children as missing.
The FBI tracked the phone of Lori Vallow's brother - Alex Cox - to Daybell’s backyard on 9 September, the day after Tylee was last seen, and on 23 September, a day after JJ was seen.
The cellular tracing team led them to discover the bound and buried remains of the children - including a plastic wrap containing the head of what turned out to be JJ.
*Graphic details*— Justin Lum (@jlumfox10) June 19, 2020
FBI ERT smelled strong odor from object in the plastic. They discovered what appeared to be human remains, crown of head with light brown hair. Investigators then found body wrapped in plastic, secured w/ duct tape. #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/SMvPEaVWkc
Daybell was taken to jail that day with bail set to $1 million and has pleaded not guilty.
Vallow has been jailed on child abandonment charges.