Police Release New Details Related To Alex Cox’s Death In Vallow/Daybell Case
GILBERT, Ariz. — New details in the deaths of one of the key suspects in the murders of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, their uncle Alex Cox, have been released.
In addition to the children’s deaths, Alex Cox has been linked to the deaths of Charles Vallow and Tammy Daybell, as well as an attempted murder. But on Saturday, police were able to get a better idea of what happened in Dec. 2019 — the day he died, three months after Tylee and JJ’s murders.
“Okay, I was fortunate enough to do a little jail time last year,” said Cox in a stand-up comedy skit that was recorded and posted to YouTube in 2010. “I’ll confess to you guys — you ever had something that you knew was the right thing to do, but later on, it turns out it’s a felony?”
Alex Cox racked up criminal charges long before his involvement in the deaths of his niece and nephew.
“I’m not that mean, I’m a felon,” he said in the skit. “While I was in jail, I also had a religious experience. I found Jesus. I found Jesus Jimenez and Jesus Garcia.”
Religion came up again the day Cox died.
“Alex! He’s not breathing,” said Joseph Lopez, son of Zulema Pastenes who married Cox shortly before his death, in a 9-1-1 call on Dec. 12, 2019.
Cox was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of his new wife’s home, Zulema Pastenes.
According to recently released police reports from the Gilbert Arizona Police Department, Cox got a “blessing over the phone,” by a “friend” earlier that day.
East Idaho News reports the “friend” was really Chad Daybell.
It was the friend who alerted his new wife to check on him.
Pastenes told detectives she left work early and called her 25-year-old son Joseph Lopez to check on Cox.
Lopez told detectives he was in his room with the door closed and headphones on when his mother called.
When Lopez found Cox, he called 9-1-1. His mother arrived minutes later and could be heard rushing into the home.
“It’s really bad! Come upstairs in the bathroom,” said Lopez.
But then, things changed — Pastenes wanted officers to leave her home. She asked detectives if she was considered a suspect in Cox’s death, which they denied.
“I assured her she was not a suspect, but I needed information from her regarding what happened at her house when Alex was discovered,” Officer Jason Biggs wrote in his report.
Pastenes then told detectives Cox had been struggling with “shortness of breath” for about a week and had gone to Algodones, Mexico to pick up some prescriptions because they were cheaper. But his breathing didn’t improve, and the night before he died, he refused to go to the doctor.
Pastenes told detectives she had only been married to Cox for two weeks and had known him for “about a year.”
However, Cox’s new wife seemed to downplay her connection to Daybell and Lori Vallow, previously describing Daybell as a “friend.”
“She did not know where Lori lives. I asked her if she had a phone number for Lori and she said the last time she tried texting Lori, the number was disconnected. She had met Lori a few times before when Lori lived locally. She had not seen Lori since she moved a few months ago. She did not think Lori was married,” Biggs wrote in his report. “As I continued to ask questions about Alex’s family, Zulema said she would text [name redacted] to ask him because, ‘He’s the one who knows more about that family than I do.’ She had asked [name redacted] for any contact numbers for Alex’s family. [Name redacted] texted her back and told her he did not have any numbers. She knew [name redacted] lived out of state, but she did not know where.”
However, Zulema’s daughter gave detectives additional details. The daughter described Cox as “very religious,” saying Pastenes met him through his sister, Lori Vallow.
“Cara stated Alex’s sister (Laurie) and her mother had been good friends and attended the same LDS church. Cara called her mother and Laurie “Preppers” and explained Preppers were preparing for the end of the world,” Officer David Frerer said in his report. “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.”
A medical examiner’s report ruled Cox’s death as natural causes, but that investigation isn’t over.
Meanwhile, Daybell and Vallow remain behind bars in lesser charges, but prosecutors warn murder charges are coming.