Lori Vallow, an Idaho mother obsessed with the end of the world, was found “not competent” to stand trial in the killings of her two children, according to court records.
She and her husband, Chad Daybell, were indicted by a grand jury Monday on murder and conspiracy charges in the deaths of 8-year-old Joshua Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.
The charges came years after the children first went missing and the Daybells fled their home in Idaho. Police began to search for the children in November 2019 after relatives said they had been unable to speak to them for months. The couple told police at that time that Joshua had been staying with family friends in Arizona, and they then left the state before police were able to obtain a warrant for their arrest.
Vallow, who also uses her husband’s last name per court records, was arrested in February 2020 in Hawaii.
She was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation, and court records filed Thursday revealed she was not found to be competent to face trial. The licensed psychologist who conducted the evaluation has recommended the 47-year-old mother undergo treatment.
Prosecutors have already told the court they intend to argue against the findings.
Investigators found the remains of two children at the Daybells’ home in June 2020. The grand jury has also charged Chad Daybell with the murder of his first wife, Tammy Daybell, who was originally thought to have died of natural causes less than a month before he and Vallow were married.
Vallow’s former husband had tried to get full custody of Joshua during the couple’s divorce, citing her mental health and stating that she had become “obsessed about near-death experiences and spiritual visions,” CNN reported.
The Daybells had reportedly been connected to a group called “Preparing a People,” which relatives described as a cult centered on the belief that the second coming of Christ and the end of the world were imminent.
According to local reports citing court records, the couple was accused of using their religious beliefs to justify the killings.
At one point, KPNX reported, Daybell had texted Vallow claiming his then-wife was “being possessed by a spirit.”
A judge has ordered a hearing on the issue of Vallow’s competence, but it has not yet been scheduled.
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