Prosecutors seek death penalty for Lori Vallow Daybell, accused of killing her two children

Idaho prosecutors indicated with court filings this week that they intend to seek the death penalty in the case against a mother accused of killing her children.

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Lori Vallow Daybell has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges she’s facing, NBC News reported.

Both Lori and her husband, Chad Daybell, are charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of two of Lori’s children, KSL reported. The couple is also facing charges in the death of Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, according to the station. Prosecutors told KPNX they are hoping to have a joint trial for the couple.

Lori moved to Idaho with her children in September 2019, KPNX reported.

Tylee was last seen on Sept. 8 2019, in a photo taken of the teenager on a trip to Yellowstone National Park, authorities told NBC News. Joshua, who had special needs, was last seen alive Sept. 23, 2019 at his elementary school, NBC News reported.

After the kids disappeared, Daybell’s first wife, Tammy, died in October. Investigators ruled her death as suspicious, and later charged both Chad and Lori in her death, KPNX reported.

When authorities found Lori and Chad Daybell in Hawaii in January 2020, they gave the couple until the end of the month to “physically produce her children,” NBC News reported. She did not, and Chad was arrested in June 2020 when the remains of Lori’s children were found on his property, NBC News reported.

In explaining why they are seeking the death penalty, prosecutors said that the alleged murders were “committed for renumeration” and were “especially heinous, atrocious, cruel or manifesting exceptional depravity,” KSL reported.

The felony indictment in the case says that in October of 2018, Lori and Chad began discussing their religious beliefs to justify killing Tammy, Joshua and Tylee, East Idaho News reported.

Lori Vallow Daybell is also facing charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for the 2019 death of her ex-husband. The charges relate to a 2019 shooting incident where Lori’s brother, Alexander Cox, reportedly fatally shot Lori’s husband, as we previously reported.