After more than a year since his death and the disappearance of his niece and nephew Tylee Ryan and Joshua "JJ" Vallow, police in Gilbert, Arizona have closed the investigation into Alex Cox's mysterious passing. An autopsy revealed Cox's death was due to "Bilateral Pulmonary Thromboemboli" with "Atherosclerotic and Hypertensive Cardiovascular failure" or in layman's terms: blood clots and heart failure.
The full autopsy report went on to say there were "no obvious signs of trauma to his person or outstanding evidence discovered during the exam," nor were there any "suspicious compounds discovered or noted on the lab report. Cox abruptly dropped dead in December 2019. As the brother of Lori Vallow Daybell — whose children's bodies were discovered later based on information found on Cox's phone, the sudden passing earned some suspicion of foul play from authorities. Lori Vallow Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are currently in jail on charges related to the children's remains found on Chad Daybell's property.
In the police report obtained by Fox13, on Dec. 12, 2019, local authorities received a call from 25-year-old Joseph Lopez, claiming that Cox had passed out on the bathroom floor of his home. Cox was in a relationship with Lopez's mother, Zulema Pastenes. The two married on a whim in Vegas, just two weeks prior to his collapse.
"Zulema said Alexander has not been feeling very well over the past few days," one officer said in the report. "She also said Alexander has been suffering shortness of breath with the slightest of movements."
Officers wrote Pastenes told them that Alex had gone to Mexico to pick up medication for himself and Zulema. "Alex had a friend [name redacted] give him a blessing over the phone," another officer wrote, of what Pastenes recounted happening shortly before Cox died. "[Name redacted] then texted Zulema and told her Alex was not doing well and she should leave work and go home. She called Alex and he was having a hard time talking to her."
Zulema's daughter Cara gave police more insight into Cox's relationship with her mother. According to the daughter, her mother and Lori Vallow were good friends and it was through their relationship that Zulema was introduced to Cox. In the report, Cara described her mother and Lori as doomsday "Preppers."
"It was the relationship between her mother and Laurie (sic) is how her mother met Alex," the report continues. "Cara's mother and Alex knew each other before Alex moved to Idaho. Her mother planned on moving to Idaho to be with Alex, but it was ultimately Alex who decided to move back to Arizona to be with Zulema."
It's unclear from court documents what role Cox played in the deaths of his niece and nephew, but Lori Vallow's friend also told police that the last time she saw Joshua Vallow alive was when the teenager was asleep on Cox's shoulder the day before he went missing.