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Police release body camera footage from the day Alex Cox died

Daybell Case

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Gilbert Police Department

GILBERT, Arizona — Police in Arizona have released blurred body camera footage from the day Lori Vallow Daybell’s brother, 51-year-old Alex Cox, was pronounced dead.

The footage released Wednesday comes from multiple Gilbert Police Department officers called to Cox’s home on Dec. 12, 2019. You can’t see much since the video is blurred, but you can hear what is said among first responders.

“Our detectives are coming out,” an officer is heard saying in the video. “If you guys are not transporting him, just leave him be because we have other stuff we have to do at the house.”

Police in Gilbert have already released dozens of pages of heavily redacted reports giving insight into Cox’s death. Investigators believe Cox is tied to the death of Daybell’s two children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan. Their bodies were found buried on the Fremont County property of Chad Daybell, Lori’s husband, in June 2020.

EMTs and police were called to Cox’s house where he lived with his new wife Zulema Pastenes by a 19-year-old stepson. He found Cox lying on the floor of the bathroom gasping for air as vomit came from his mouth. Cox was taken to Banner Gateway Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

When officers first got to the scene, they were not sure why detectives were coming to the house. Paramedics were trying to revive Cox as people in the room speculated about what happened.

“Just from walking around the house, my assumption would be it’s probably drug-related because of little blowtorches down there,” an officer says. “Usually, people don’t have the blowtorches for anything other than (drugs).”

However, autopsy and toxicology reports obtained by EastIdahoNews.com in May 2020 show Cox did not have illicit drugs in his system. A medical examiner determined Cox died of natural causes. The report indicates Cox died from blood clots wedged into the arteries of his lungs. High blood pressure also contributed to his death.

One video shows Pastenes telling investigators what happened. The day Cox died, Pastenes said Cox called a friend and received a “blessing” over the phone. EastIdahoNews.com confirmed from multiple sources this friend was Chad Daybell, who had married Lori a month earlier.

Two body camera videos show Zulema Pastenes, the widow of Alex Cox talk about the moments leading up to his death. | Gilbert Police Department

“My friend texted me saying, ‘You better get home now,'” Pastenes told police.

Pastenes then had the stepson check on Cox. He found Cox on the floor and made the 911 call shortly after this call with Daybell.

According to Pastenes, Cox began having shortness of breath Dec. 6, 2019. The following day, Cox drove to Algodones, Mexico, to buy prescriptions because they were cheaper. When he arrived home, he reportedly felt winded but refused to get medical treatment.

Cox and Pastenes had only been married two weeks at the time of his death. They eloped in Las Vegas, and the couple moved in together.

Before and after Cox’s death, his name was connected to several criminal investigations across Arizona and Idaho. Cox shot and killed Lori Daybell’s fourth husband, Charles Vallow, in July 2019. Cox claimed self-defense, but police were still investigating the death when Cox died.

Idaho court documents show Cox’s phone placed him at the location where the remains of JJ and Tylee were found around the time they disappeared. No one has been charged in the kids’ deaths, but Chad and Lori Daybell are charged with felonies related to the concealment, alteration and destruction of their bodies.

EastIdahoNews.com is combing through hours of additional body camera footage released Wednesday. We will post additional reports as we discover newsworthy elements.

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