Cousin describes seeing 'horrific' autopsy photos and explains why attending trial is like a funeral for Lori Daybell - East Idaho News
Daybell Case

Cousin describes seeing ‘horrific’ autopsy photos and explains why attending trial is like a funeral for Lori Daybell

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BOISE — Christie Lott says seeing the autopsy photos of Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan was “horrific” but brought her some closure.

Lott is Lori Vallow Daybell’s first cousin. She, her two sisters and their father have attended Daybell’s trial in Ada County every day this week. On Wednesday, jurors saw dozens of graphic photos showing the remains of JJ and Tylee but Judge Steven Boyce prohibited the public in the courtroom and overflow locations from seeing most of the images.

Ada County Forensic Pathologist Dr. Garth Warren described the grisly photos and after the trial was dismissed for the day, victims were permitted to meet with prosecutors to view them. Lott and one of her sisters did so.

“I’m really glad they didn’t show those pictures to the public. People shouldn’t have to see them,” Lott tells “I wanted to do it to see for sure that it was them and they’re gone. You would do that at a funeral. You want to say goodbye to a body and I don’t know if we will get that chance any time soon.”

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Lott says it’s been “terrible, horrible yet healing” to be in the courtroom and see her cousin. They grew up together and there are many happy memories but it’s surreal knowing Daybell is accused of murdering her children and Tammy Daybell, the former wife of her husband Chad Daybell.

“We are getting our own answers and we are getting to see that Lori is a totally different person,” Lott explains. “It’s hard because we love her but I feel like I’m saying goodbye to her. I don’t have to think about her anymore. It’s like a funeral for Lori.”

Rex Conner, Lott’s father, chose not to view the autopsy photos. Out of the three days he’s attended the trial, Wednesday was the hardest as most of the testimony focused on JJ and Tylee’s remains.

“For a while there, I was barely holding it together. For me to deal with it, I have to disassociate myself from what I’m seeing and that it’s Tylee or JJ,” he says.

DAY 16 | LIVE UPDATES: Pathologist reveals cause of death for JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan as autopsy photos are shown to jurors

Conner and Lott say they appreciate the concern and love they have felt from everyone around the world and for the constant efforts of those who have spent years seeking justice on behalf of the victims.

“I’m very grateful for all the people going through the process that have to see these things and are willing to talk about it in the trial,” Lott says. “I hope justice is served to the best of its ability. I don’t think Lori should be out on the street with normal people. It’s going to be up to God what happens to her and I think that will be more satisfying to us than anything that can happen here at the courthouse.”

Watch our entire interview with Lott and Conner in the video player above.