Disturbing recordings played in trial of Lori Vallow Daybell as her sister testifies

Disturbing recordings played in trial of Lori Vallow Daybell as her sister testifies

CBS Mornings


By Jonathan Vigliotti

/ CBS News

Lori Vallow Daybell’s sister takes the stand

Summer Shiflet testifies against her sister, “doomsday mom” Lori Vallow Daybell


Lori Vallow Daybell, the Idaho mother accused of killing two of her children, was heard on a recording played in court Tuesday saying she deserved to find happiness. The tape was played by prosecutors in her trial in Boise, as her sister, Summer Shiflet, testified.

Shiflet was heard sobbing and screaming on a jailhouse call with Vallow Daybell after her children’s remains were found by police in June 2020.

“I would have taken Tylee and JJ in a heartbeat and everybody else would’ve too, you know that,” Shiflet said on the call. 

Vallow Daybell is on trial for her alleged role in the deaths of her 16-year-old daughter, Tylee Ryan; her 7-year-old adopted son, Joshua “JJ” Vallow; and her husband’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. She has pleaded not guilty.

On the stand, Shiflet said she had a close relationship with her sister and spoke to Vallow Daybell in February 2020, two months after Vallow Daybell’s children were reported missing. 

“She basically told me that she was aware of where they were and that they were safe,” Shiflet said.

But in the video call recorded in June 2020, Shiflet grilled her sister.

“You don’t think I’m in pain?” Lori said. 

“No, I don’t!” Shiflet said. “I think you were dancing on the beach having a great time, getting married, and you took pictures to prove it!”

Prosecutors say Vallow Daybell and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, used “doomsday” beliefs involving zombies to justify murdering the children, along with Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.  

“I know you’ve told me about a lot of your spiritual experiences,” Shiflet said on the call. “There is nothing okay about killing children.”

Vallow Daybell’s trial, which started earlier this month, is expected to last up to 10 weeks. Chad Daybell has also been charged in connection with the three deaths and will face a separate trial.

Allison Elyse Gualtieri contributed to this article.

Jonathan Vigliotti

Jonathan Vigliotti

Jonathan Vigliotti is a CBS News correspondent based in Los Angeles. He previously served as a foreign correspondent for the network’s London bureau.


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