Private school officials say Lori Vallow withdrew her son after lying about Charles Vallow's death

FOX 10 is getting its first look at documents that give a better idea of what happened before the disappearance of two kids with Arizona connections, specifically seven-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow.

The documents revealed where JJ went to school, and why police served a search warrant there just two months ago.

From the start of 2019 up until now, it has been known that Lori Vallow’s tracks span multiple states, but once she moved from Chandler to Rexburg, Idaho, staff members at L.I.F.E Academy in Gilbert say Lori sent an email regarding her son, saying JJ was not coming back.

JJ received special services for his autism at L.I.F.E Academy and last attended school there on August 30, 2019.


Joshua "JJ" Vallow

According to a high-ranking official at the school, Lori withdrew her son from school via phone and e-mail on September 5, saying she got a job promotion in California. Lori's e-mail reads, in part, "our lives have changed drastically since my husband passed away last month."

Lori's estranged husband, Charles Vallow, actually died two months before she took JJ out of the academy. Chandler Police say Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, shot Charles in the chest after a fight. Staff members say Lori told them her husband killed himself.

Five months before that, Charles voiced his concerns to the school and brought up an Order of Protection filed against Lori.

The initial petition claims she called herself a "God" and accused Charles of being a man named "Nick Schneider", threatening to murder him if he got in her way.

Charles' lawyers could never locate Lori to serve the order. Even her oldest son, Colby Ryan, had no idea where she was this time last year.

"All that stuff happened, I think, within a week, so I don't know exactly the timeline on that, but I know that she left," said Ryan.

By March 7, Charles pulled JJ from school and moved to Houston. A few months later, however, the Vallow family reconciled and moved to Chandler. The parents enrolled JJ back at L.I.F.E Academy.


Lori Vallow

FOX 10 also obtained a Chandler Police search warrant to recover all of JJ’s records at L.I.F.E Academy. The warrant was served on December 6, and the document says there's probable cause to believe the property is linked to a conspiracy to commit first-degree homicide on July 11.

Chandler Police officials say the case remains open. 

Officials with L.I.F.E Academy released a statement, which reads, in part, "Our hearts continue to ache during this time. We all want to know where JJ is and know that he's safe. JJ is a beautiful boy who has a smile that goes on for days. His joy of life was contagious. He started with us as a very quiet child, and soon blossomed into a child who loved coming to class, loved being with his friends and loved to talk about his family."

Officials with L.I.F.E Academy also say Lori never followed a formal process to withdraw JJ, and the school never got a records request from his next school. Kennedy Elementary in Rexburg, which staff says isn't normal.