REXBURG — Enhanced, higher-quality surveillance footage appears to answer questions about who visited Lori Vallow Daybell’s storage unit in Rexburg last year.
The video may provide insights into the disappearance of her children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan, who have been missing since September. She is in the Madison County Jail on $1 million bail and charged with two counts of felony child desertion and nonsupport of children, along with several misdemeanors.
She rented the unit at Self Storage Plus in Rexburg on Oct. 1. Over the next two months, she and sometimes one or two men visited the locker 10 times. Personal belongings were put into storage, including children’s items, a photo album, blankets featuring pictures of the children and bikes and scooters.
The big question is who was with her when she visited the facility Oct. 2.
Meanwhile, in Arizona …
That morning, in Gilbert, Arizona, Brandon Boudreaux was shot at while driving home from the gym. At the time, he was married to Lori’s niece, Melani Pawlowski, and court documents show he had a large life insurance policy and assets totaling more than a million dollars.
The bullet missed Boudreaux’s head by inches, and police say the person who shot at him was driving a Jeep registered to Charles Vallow, Lori’s former husband. At this point, Vallow had been dead for nearly three months, and Tylee routinely drove the Jeep, but she had been missing for about a month.
Rich Robertson, a private investigator from Arizona, said police have strong evidence Alex Cox, Daybell’s brother, was the driver and may have been the one who took the shot. Arizona police have not confirmed who they believe was driving the Jeep when the shooting occurred.
Pawlowski has denied she had anything to do with the attempt on Boudreaux’s life, and her lawyers said Cox could not have been in Arizona and Idaho at the same time.
Here’s what we see on the video of the Rexburg storage unit that day.
Surveillance video shows Daybell driving into the business in her blue Nissan Rogue with a man EastIdahoNews.com originally thought was Alex Cox, her brother.
A closer look at enhanced video recently obtained by EastIdahoNews.com shows it likely wasn’t Cox but Chad Daybell, her now-husband, based on the man’s walk, looks and mannerisms.
Timestamps on the video show a blue Rogue arriving at 1:25 p.m. but the owner of the storage facility says clocks were off by one hour, so Lori actually pulled in at 2:25 p.m. She made her way to the door of the building where her unit was, and two minutes later, at 2:27 p.m., got out of the vehicle with the man we believe is Chad.
At 2:29 p.m., he pulled a tire out of the back of the Rogue and rolled it into the storage unit. One minute later, he and Lori carried in what appears to be a removable rear car seat together. They put it in the locker, shut the door and left the facility at 2:32 p.m. The entire visit was seven minutes.
The next day
The next day, surveillance footage shows a second man visiting the storage unit back in Idaho with Lori around 2:11 p.m. This man, likely Cox, walks differently than Chad and carries the tire out rather than rolling it. He also carries the car seat by himself, rather than working with her like the day before.
Originally it was thought the vehicle seat could be a tote with something hanging over the end but the enhanced footage appears to clear up the confusion. It’s unknown where Lori and Cox took the seat and tire after leaving the storage facility.
The tire and the seat are noteworthy because many Jeeps have spare tires on their back doors and the rear window will not open if the tire is attached. When the tire is off, the window opens. It’s possible the tire and seat put into the storage unit the day of the shooting were from the Jeep, and Cox could have been the driver when Boudreaux was shot at.
Cox’s other appearances
That wasn’t the only time Cox appeared at Self Storage Plus. On Oct. 6, he returned by himself in his silver pickup truck, and went back five other times that month, including a visit on Oct. 28 with a man who appears to be Chad. Chad’s former wife, Tammy, had died nine days earlier, and her funeral was held Oct. 22. Cox and Daybell stayed six minutes and dropped off bikes and other items.
Cox can’t comment on his visits to the unit, because he died suddenly in December. His death is still under investigation.
The last time anyone visited the storage locker was Nov. 24. Lori and Chad Daybell, who had returned to Idaho from their honeymoon, came for four minutes and left the personal belongings of JJ and Tylee. They never returned, and Rexburg Police have seized all of the items from that unit.