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Lori Vallow’s Son JJ’s Grisly Cause of Death Revealed

The mortal remains of Lori Vallow Daybell’s two children were discovered interred on a property owned by Lori’s fifth husband, Chad Daybell, in June 2020.

Nearly three years after the revelation of the remains of Lori Vallow Daybell’s offspring, namely 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, the cause of J.J.’s demise has been disclosed.

During Lori’s trial, Dr. Garth Warren, a forensic pathologist, testified on Wednesday that J.J. was asphyxiated using a plastic bag and duct tape placed over his mouth, as reported by East Idaho News, KTVB reporter Alexandra Duggan, and Fox 10. J.J.’s autopsy was conducted two days after the discovery of the children’s buried remains on Chad Daybell’s property in Idaho.

Warren also identified scratch marks on J.J.’s neck, along with bruises on his wrists and ankles where he was restrained with duct tape, as per KTVB reports.

“Could these scratch marks on J.J.’s neck be a sign of his struggle to remove the bag from his head?” Warren speculated, according to the outlet.

As for Tylee’s demise, Warren stated that it was undetermined due to the condition of her remains, as reported by East Idaho News, KTVB, and CBS2 Boise reporter Angela Kerndl.

Warren explained that Tylee’s autopsy took several days due to the fragmented state of her remains.

“This particular autopsy was unlike any other,” he remarked, as cited by East Idaho News. “Typically, when I conduct an autopsy, I receive an intact body and follow a standard procedure. However, Tylee’s case presented differently. Her remains arrived in three separate sealed bags.”

Despite efforts to locate bullet or knife fragments that might explain her cause of death, nothing substantial was found, leading Warren to determine her demise as “homicide by unspecified means,” according to the outlet.

Lori faces charges of murder in connection with the deaths of J.J. and Tylee, as well as conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the case of her fifth husband Chad’s late wife, Tammy Daybell.

During the opening statements, Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake revealed that Tammy’s demise was also due to asphyxiation. Chad is also charged in relation to the deaths of Tylee, J.J., and Tammy, but his trial will be conducted separately.

Earlier in the protracted trial, Ray Hermosillo, a detective from Rexburg, Idaho, took the stand and provided chilling details about the discovery of J.J.’s remains on June 9, 2020, nearly nine months after the children went missing.

“I observed a young boy wearing red pajamas,” testified Hermosillo. “His head was enveloped in a white plastic bag, with multiple layers of duct tape securing it from his chin to his forehead. Both of his arms were bound with numerous layers of duct tape, folded across his chest. His feet were also taped and restrained.” Hermosillo added that a white and blue child’s blanket was placed over J.J., while he wore black Skechers socks on his feet. During the autopsy, the coroner removed the bag that covered J.J.’s head.

“Beneath the white plastic bag, there was an additional layer of duct tape across his mouth, extending from one jawline to the other,” Hermosillo disclosed.

Hermosillo noted visible bruising on J.J.’s arm, and his pajamas were soaked in decomposition.

Tylee’s remains were discovered in a separate location on Chad’s property on the same day.

“Only fragments of Tylee were found—a charred mass of bones and tissues. That was all that remained of this exquisite young woman,” Blake stated during the trial’s first week. “Her DNA was detected on a pickaxe and shovel, later found in Daybell’s shed.”

Hermosillo also described the recovery of Tylee’s dismembered remains.

“A few of us knelt down and began excavating this moist section of soil,” he recounted, noting that investigators detected a decomposing body odor. “Eventually, we unearthed fragments of Tylee—presumed to be Tylee—burned pieces of bone, charred flesh, and disintegrating flesh.”

Authorities found J.J. and Tylee’s remains after tracing the cell phone records of Lori’s deceased brother, Alex Cox, who was present on Chad’s property during two occasions that coincided with the last sightings of the children.

Law enforcement has alleged that the so-called “doomsday” couple, who embraced apocalyptic prophecies, employed their “religious beliefs” as justification for the killings. Following the children’s disappearance, Lori and Chad—where Chad, an author, wrote about doomsday scenarios tied to religion—came under police scrutiny, which exposed a history of mysterious deaths, including that of Chad’s late wife Tammy, who passed away in October 2019—weeks after Lori’s children vanished and weeks before Chad and Lori’s marriage.

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About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.

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