New Details in Lori Vallow Case Reveal She Claimed Dead Son Was 'Safe and Happy'

A chilling new call being used as evidence in the case against Lori Vallow Daybell in the disappearance of her children, 7-year-old JJ Vallow and his 16-year-old sister, Tylee Ryan, is being made public. After news broke in December 2019 that the two children were missing from Rexburg, Idaho, suspicion instantly fell on Lori and her new husband, Chad Daybell, who left for Hawaii amid the nationwide search.

Details slowly emerged about the couple's alleged doomsday beliefs and concerns that JJ and Tylee had become "zombies," which seemed even more insidious when authorities found remains of both children buried in Chad's yard, and both Daybells are in jail awaiting trial for conspiracy to destroy, alter or conceal evidence for their alleged roles in disposing of the children's bodies.

In a new episode of 48 Hours titled "The Final Days of JJ and Tylee," a secret recording made by Lori's former best friend, Melanie Gibb, and played at Chad's preliminary hearing in August appears to show the couple taking part in a cover-up after police conducted a welfare check for JJ back in November 2019. After Lori told police he was with Gibb in Arizona, Gibb says she received a call from Chad telling her not to talk to police before Lori asked her to lie and say that JJ was with her and that the two had just gone to a movie. "I was not OK with it because she told something to the police that was not true," Gibb reportedly testified. "I had a really bad feeling in my stomach, and I felt very shooken (sic) up by it."

On Dec. 8, she secretly recorded a call to her two friends as she confronted them about the children, which has become a key piece of evidence. "Is JJ safe?" Gibb asks during the call, to which Lori replies, "He is safe and happy." When Melanie seems not to buy in, Lori tries to convince her to continue with her loyalty to her, telling her, "I love you with all my heart, and I have forever, and I will always love you." Melanie responds, "I appreciate those words, but if you really love me, you wouldn't have told the police that I had JJ with me. That's not what a friend does." Gibb then turned over the tape to police, who soon announced JJ and Tylee were missing and in danger.