Law enforcement authorities used pings from the cellphone of Lori Vallow's brother to determine where to search for the remains of her missing children, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.
Earlier this month, law enforcement officials found the human remains of Tylee Ryan, 17, and JJ Vallow, 7, on the property of Lori's husband, Chad Daybell. The couple was married for less than a year. Lori and Daybell are now both in the custody of Idaho authorities as their cases move through the courts.
Both have pleaded not guilty to charges in connection to the death of the missing children. While Daybell was charged with concealing evidence Vallow is accused of desertion and non-support of children. Authorities have not yet revealed how the children died.
Tracing of Cellphone Pings
According to the affidavit, Lori's brother Alex Cox visited Daybell's property four times in September, including two visits that came days after each of the kids was last seen. Cox, who died in December, went to Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 8 with Lori and the kids.
Police say they tracked the phone's location to place Cox at Lori's apartment three times immediately after the trip to Yellowstone, with the final visit taking place at 2.42. a.m. on Sept. 9. That was the last time Tylee was seen. The phone is then traced back to Cox's apartment, in the same complex, before showing up in Daybell's backyard at 9.21 a.m.
The location history suggests Cox was there for more than two hours, except for a time it pings in a city five minutes away, according to court documents.
Raccoons are Nocturnal in Nature
About 14 minutes after Cox's phone last registers being on the property, Daybell texts his former wife Tammy Daybell to tell her he shot a raccoon that morning and buried it in their pet cemetery. The message raised suspicion after investigators realized that raccoons are nocturnal animals and are mostly active at night. They had also tracked Cox's phone to the pet cemetery.
Lori told Friends her Children were Zombies
According to a friend, who stayed with Lori in the days leading up to his disappearance, she told them JJ was a zombie. Zombies have dark spirits and a person is in limbo until the body dies, the friend says Vallow told her, according to the affidavit.
The friend also told authorities that Vallow claimed she and Chad were in a church that was supposed to lead the "144,000" mentioned in the Bible's Book of Revelation and their mission was to "rid the world of zombies."
Lori had also referred to Tylee as a zombie last year, the friend said. JJ was last seen on the night of Sept. 22, and on Sept. 23, Cox's phone was once again traced to Chad's backyard, where the human remains were later found.