In January, an American man named Colby Ryan posted a seven-minute video to YouTube addressing his mother, Lori Vallow.
“I want you to end this. I want you to end it for everybody, for the kids, for yourself, for all of us,” he said.
“I know you know [what] the right thing to do is and I know you have a good heart… It’s time to do the right thing.”
Lori and her new husband, Chad Daybell, fled in November 2019, the day after being questioned over the disappearance of Lori’s two youngest children: Joshua “JJ” Vallow, seven, and Tylee Ryan, 17.
Watch: Colby Ryan’s plea to his mother.
The half-siblings were last seen in their Idaho town on September 23, but were never reported missing by the couple.
After three months on the run, Lori Vallow was arrested in Hawaii on February 20. Now, her husband Chad has been taken to jail after human remains were found in his Idaho home amid an investigation into the disappearance of his step-children.
Bizarre details of the case have gripped the US for months, from Lori and Chad’s doomsday beliefs to the deaths of their former partners and, most recently, Chad’s arrest.
This is what we know of the complicated case.
Lori’s strange beliefs.
In 2019, people close to Lori Vallow started to notice a change in her. She became infatuated with near-death experiences and spiritual visions and began spouting strange delusions about a second-coming of Christ. According to the Associated Press, she worked on a since-deleted podcast about the subject with Chad Daybell, who is the author of more than a dozen doomsday novels.
Lori’s then-husband, Charles Vallow, became suspicious of the pair’s relationship and increasingly concerned about her mental state. He explained his concerns in a petition for divorce, which was filed in court on February 15 2019.
“Mother [Lori Vallow] has told Father [Charles Vallow] that she is sealed [eternally married] to the ancient Book of Mormon prophet Moroni and that she has lived numerous lives on numerous planets prior to this current life,” the filing read, according to Utah network Fox-13.
“On January 29, 2019, during a phone conversation between the parties and after their physical separation, Mother informed Father that she was a God assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020 and that if Father got in her way [sic] of her mission she would murder him.”
Months later, before their divorce was completed, Charles was dead.
Mysterious deaths and a marriage.
Charles Vallow was fatally shot on July 11 by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox. The details of the killing are under investigation, but Fox-10 reported that Cox claimed to have acted in self-defence after he was attacked while intervening in an argument between the estranged couple.
The month following her husband’s death, Lori moved JJ (who has autism) and Tylee to Rexburg, Idaho — the town where Chad Daybell lived with his wife and five children.
But in October, another tragedy.