The body of alleged cult mom Lori Vallow’s third ex-husband and father of her dead teen daughter was found on his bed in Arizona after a neighbor smelt it decomposing, a newly emerged police report says.
Joseph Ryan, 59, was found dead in his Phoenix apartment back on April 3, 2018.
The details of his death were included in a police report from the time that was only just obtained by Fox 10.
Ryan, who shared his daughter Tylee Ryan with Vallow, had been fighting for custody of the child up until his death.
The police report into his death showed that his neighbor alerted authorities after his dog started scratching at Ryan’s apartment door on the evening of April 3.
The neighbor reported smelling a strong odor and noticed flies inside Ryan’s apartment.
Police later found Ryan’s decomposed body on his bed.
Authorities contacted Vallow, who was listed on the report as his next of kin, 10 days later.
The report states that Vallow told officers she hadn’t seen Ryan in two years and that she shared a daughter, then aged 15, with him.
Vallow asked what had happened to Ryan and told officers she would inform her daughter of his death, according to the report.
The Maricopa County Medical Examiner official ruled that Ryan’s cause of death was from arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which can cause heart attacks or strokes.
Vallow and Ryan had been embroiled in a bitter custody battle over their daughter from 2006 until his death.
Vallow had previously been sued by Ryan after he accused her of hiding their daughter for violating conditions of their court-approved custody agreement.
Four months after filing that motion, Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, threatened Ryan and fired a stun gun at him. Cox pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was jailed for three months over that incident.
Ryan’s cousin Austine Murphy told Fox 10 that Vallow had been making her ex-husband suffer by not allowing him to see their daughter.
Murphy initially thought Ryan may have committed suicide when he was found dead because of the custody battle.
‘My fear was that he committed suicide. Not that I ever thought he was suicidal but I knew Lori was making him suffer with not being able to see Tylee,’ Murphy said.
‘He spent so much money fighting for Tylee so I knew money was tight.’
Phonenix Police have said the case concerning Ryan’s death remains closed. The FBI would not confirm or deny if they were investigating his death.
The emergence of the police report into Ryan’s death comes as the bizarre case involving his ex-wife Vallow continues to play out with doomsday beliefs and the deaths of several people linked to her attracting national headlines.
Vallow has been in prison for the past five months on charges related to the disappearance of her 17-year-old daughter Tylee and her 7-year-old son from another marriage, Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow.
The children’s bodies were found buried on the Idaho property of Vallow’s latest husband, Chad Daybell, in June – months after they were last seen in September last year.
Daybell has since pleaded not guilty to charges related to hiding the remains and Vallow has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to help him keep the bodies of her children hidden.
Authorities are yet to file charges related to the deaths of the two children.
Tylee vanished on September 8 last year just days before her 17th birthday. Investigators said her body was burned and dismembered before being buried sometime the following day.
JJ was last seen two weeks later on September 23. His body was wrapped in duct tape and plastic and buried the same day, investigators said.
Authorities believe Lori’s now-deceased brother, Alex Cox, brought the children’s bodies to Daybell’s home to bury them.
Prosecutors have said cellphone location records indicated that the day after JJ was last seen alive, Cox showed up at Daybell’s property just as he had shown up at Tylee’s grave site the day after she disappeared.
The strange case also includes the shooting death of Vallow’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, in suburban Phoenix by Cox. He claimed the shooting was in self-defense.
Charles had been seeking a divorce, saying his wife believed she had become a god-like figure who was responsible for ushering in the biblical end times.
A short time later, she and the children moved to Idaho.
Cox died in December of an apparent blood clot in his lung at his Arizona home.
Daybell ran a small publishing company in Idaho and had written many books about apocalyptic scenarios loosely based on the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Friends said he claimed to be able to receive visions from ‘beyond the veil’.
At the time, Daybell was married to Tammy Daybell. She died in October of what her obituary said were natural causes.
Authorities grew suspicious when he married Vallow just two weeks later. Police had Tammy’s body exhumed last December in Utah for further investigation but the results of that autopsy have not been released.