Lori Vallow, mom of missing Idaho kids, appeared in court Friday; New husband could be called to testify

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Saturday, May 2, 2020
Lori Vallow, mom of missing Idaho kids, due in court Friday; New husband could be called to testify
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"Good Morning America" reports on Lori Vallow's court appearance on Friday, May 1.

Lori Vallow, the mother of two missing children, appeared in an Idaho courtroom Friday, and her new husband may be called as a witness to testify against her.

Vallow asked for a reduction on her $1 million bond, but a judge denied her request, saying there was no good cause.

The mystery of her children's disappearances and the deaths of three people close to the couple, including their spouses, has sparked investigations in several states and worldwide headlines.

Lori Vallow came under police scrutiny in November after authorities learned that her two children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow, had not been seen since September. Rexburg, Idaho, police say both Lori and husband Chad Daybell lied about the children's whereabouts.

RELATED: 'Doomsday cult' changed mom of missing Idaho children, grandfather says

The grandfather of one of the two Idaho children who went missing in September is speaking out days after the siblings' mother was found in Hawaii with her new husband.

Authorities tracked the couple to Hawaii months after the disappearances, and in March, Lori Vallow was extradited back to Idaho.

She is currently being held in jail on charges that she deserted or abandoned the kids, asked a friend to lie for her and obstructed the officers investigating the case. She's pleaded not guilty.

Lori Vallow's court appearence was delayed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic, and everyone in court was wearing masks and physically distancing.

Defense Attorney, Mark Means, said he's unable to privately communicate with her while in jail during COVID19 stay-at-home order, claiming some private calls with Lori Vallow were accidentally recorded by Madison County Jail. The prosecution, in turn, said this claim was a lie.

ABC News has learned that prosecutors may call as many as 48 witnesses in the case, including Chad Daybell.

Investigators say the tangled case also includes three other mysterious deaths.

Chad Daybell's ex-wife Tammy died on Oct. 19, 2019, and her death was described in her obituary as being from natural causes, and Chad Daybell reportedly told authorities that she died in her sleep. But law enforcement became suspicious when he married Lori Vallow about two weeks later, and in December authorities had Daybell's body exhumed. Autopsy and toxicology tests have not been released.

Lori Daybell's estranged late husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed by her brother, Alex Cox, in Phoenix last July. Cox, who said the shooting was in self-defense, then died of unknown causes several months later.

Loved ones are gravely worried about the kids' safety. JJ's grandfather Larry Woodcock said the Lori he knew kept the children's best interests at heart. But he said her relationship with Chad Daybell, an author of several religious-themed fiction books about prophecies and the end of the world, changed that.

According to court documents, Charles Vallow said Lori started to believe she was a "translated being" and "a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020."

"Those children would be with her, and ever since she's been involved in his doomsday cult, that is not the same Lori that we knew for 13 years, and the last year has been not understandable," Larry Woodcock said. "We just don't understand how any mother could walk away from her children for months now."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.