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A forensic pathologist on Wednesday revealed the causes of death for “cult mom” Lori Vallow’s 7-year-old son, J.J. Vallow, and 17-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan, according to local reports.
Vallow is charged with killing her two children, J.J. and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, around September 2019, and her husband’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, in October 2019.
The 7-year-old boy, who had autism, died of asphyxia by a plastic bag over his head, and the 17-year-old girl died of homicide by unspecified means, Ada County coroner Dr. Garth Warren testified, according to East Idaho News reporter Nate Eaton.
In June 2020, months after the children went missing in 2019, investigators found Tylee’s remains dismembered and burned while J.J.’s body was wrapped in plastic and tied with duct tape.
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Kay and Larry Woodcock are eagerly awaiting access to J.J. Vallow’s remains following the April trial so they can give him a proper service and burial. (Kay Woodcock)
Warren “did not see any trauma to the internal organs or evidence of overt natural disease to any of” J.J.’s organs, he testified, as Eaton reported.
J.J. did have an abrasion on his neck, bruising on his arm and a hemorrhage on his right thumbnail, Eaton reported, citing Warren’s testimony.
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“There were also other areas that were concerning or suspicious — bruising on the ankles that may have been associated with the duct tape,” Warren said.
Meanwhile, the coroner received Tylee’s burned remains in “three separate bags,” making her autopsy “different” from the majority, he said.
Lori and Chad Daybell are accused of killing 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, right, and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow, left, in 2019. (Rexberg Police Department)
Her “organs had severe decomposition, significant burning artifacts, they were charred and shrunken. Presumably the rest of hte organs burned away or were never found,” Warren said.
J.J. and Tylee went missing in September 2019 – around the time investigators believe they were murdered on Chad Daybell’s Idaho property.
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Authorities eventually found J.J. and Tylee’s bodies buried on Daybell’s property in rural Idaho in June 2020.
In this aerial photo, investigators search for human remains at Chad Daybell’s residence in Salem, Idaho, on June 9, 2020. A mother charged with murder in the deaths of her two children is set to stand trial in Idaho. The proceedings against Lori Vallow Daybell, the wife of Chad Daybell, beginning Monday, April 3, 2023, could reveal new details in the strange, doomsday-focused case. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register )
Authorities arrested Vallow in February 2020 and Daybell in June 2020.
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The couple was indicted in late May 2021 on multiple counts each of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception, and first-degree murder related to the deaths of Tylee, J.J. and Tammy Daybell, officials announced at the time. Arizona officials in June 2021 also indicted Vallow in the July 2019 murder of her ex-husband, Charles Vallow.
Prosecutors revealed on April 10 that Tammy Daybell also died of asphyxiation.