Alleged 'doomsday mom' Lori Vallow stands trial for triple murder as new witnesses take the stand

ByMola Lenghi ABCNews logo
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
'Doomsday' mom, Lori Vallow Daybell on trial for murdering her 2 kids
'Doomsday' mom, Lori Vallow Daybell on trial for murdering her 2 kidsGibb said Vallow believed her kids were zombies and that her son, JJ, was possessed by an evil spirit.

BOISE, Idaho -- The Lori Vallow Daybell murder trial heard testimony from the detective who found the remains of Daybell's two children.

The so-called "doomsday mom" Lori Vallow Daybell was back in court Wednesday after a tense day of testimony Tuesday, so gruesome she asked if she could leave.

"My client wishes to waive her presence at the testimony for the remainder of the day. It was emotional this morning," Jim Archibald, Vallow's defense attorney.

The judge denied her request.

"The court does have the authority to order the appearance of the defendant in facing trial and proceedings," said Judge Steven Boyce.

Vallow Daybell was forced to listen to lead detective with the Rexburg Police Department, Ray Hermosillo, describe in painstaking detail how her two children - who she's accused of murdering - were found buried in shallow graves in her husband Chad Daybell's backyard in June 2020.

"Were you physically aiding in the excavation," Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood asked.

"Not that, I was not, no," Hermosillo responded.

"Were you watching the evidence or the FBI team do that," Wood asked.

"Yes," Hermosillo replied.

Hermosillo testified to the last images showing proof of life. One photo was of Tylee in Yellowstone Park on September 8 2019 and the other of JJ taken on September 22.

The detective testified that authorities grew increasingly suspicious of the couple in November 2019 when they caught chad in a lie during a welfare check for JJ.

"I asked him [Chad] how he knew Lori Vallow, and he stated that he hardly met her, hardly knew her. That he had only met her a couple of times," Hermosillo testified. "We knew that Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell had been married two weeks prior to my contact with him."

The next day, investigators said they obtained a search warrant for Vallow Daybell's apartment and found evidence it was lived in, but no sign of her.

"Everything that looked like someone had lived there, except for there were no clothes on the hangers, there were just empty hangers in all the closets," Hermosillo said.

They said they also found guns, ammunition and hazmat-style suits.

Police said the couple fled to Hawaii, where they were tracked down in January 2020.

East Idaho Mews captured the moment police served Vallow Daybell with a court order to return the children to Idaho.

"Where are your kids," the station reporter asked.

"No comment," Vallow Daybell replied.