Alex Cox, the brother of the Idaho mother arrested over the disappearance of her two children, died of natural causes, a medical examiner said.
According to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office in Arizona, Cox died in December from a pulmonary embolism, which is a clot that blocks one or more arteries in the lungs.
"With a degree of vindication, the family hopes that the confirmation of this truth will help all to step back, take a breath, and allow the truth to unfold through the process," an attorney for Vallow's niece, Robert P. Jarvis said.
Cox was involved in the fatal shooting of Vallow's former husband, Charles Vallow, in July 2019 following a confrontation. Both Lori and Alex were questioned for Charles' death, but neither person was charged.
"Rampant rumors of evil plots and conspiracy robbed the family of their time to grieve the loss of their husband, son, brother, and uncle," Jarvis said. "Even so, the family finds comfort in the medical examiner’s finding that Alex Cox died of natural causes."
Lori Vallow was arrested earlier this year and is currently being held in jail in Idaho in connection with the disappearance of her two children, Joshua Vallow, 7, and her daughter, Tylee Ryan, 17. Police have been investigating the children's disappearance, after stating they believe they are in danger.
Police have stated that Vallow, and her husband, a self-published author of apocalyptic fiction, have not cooperated with the investigation.
Vallow and her new husband, Chad Daybell, who she married shortly after the death of Daybell's former spouse, have denied any wrongdoing in connection with the missing children. Her lawyer in Hawaii said she did not produce her children to the court because she didn't want them to go to foster care.
The investigation into the children's disappearance is only the beginning to this strange and complex case. Authorities say Tylee was last seen alive in security camera footage at the entrance of Yellowstone National Park. A photo on Lori Vallow's iCloud account also showed the 17-year-old with her brother, mother and uncle, Alex Cox at the park that same day.
Vallow's 7-year-old, JJ, was last seen attending an elementary school in Rexburg, Idaho before she withdrew him from the school, telling school officials that JJ would be homeschooled.
At some point, Lori became involved with Chad Daybell, the author of several religious-themed self-published fiction books, some of which that focus on near-death experiences. According to court documents obtained by The Arizona Republic, Lori Vallow once claimed that she was a "god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020" and that Lori didn't want anything more to do with her family so she could better focus on her "more important mission."
Authorities initially questioned Vallow and Daybell about the two children's whereabouts in November. However, when investigators returned the next day to follow-up, they discovered the couple had fled their home in Idaho. It wasn't until January that detectives were able to track them down in Kauai.
The case also involves the investigation into three separate deaths - including the death of Chad Daybell's former wife, Tammy, who died unexpectedly in their Idaho home a few weeks before Daybell and Vallow got married. Her death is now being treated as suspicious. Authorities exhumed Tammy's body to perform an autopsy, but those results are still pending.
A second death, Vallow's estranged former husband, Charles Vallow, is also being investigated. Charles was shot and killed by Lori Vallow's brother, Alex Cox in Chandler, Arizona, on July 11, 2019. Cox told authorities that he'd killed Charles in self-defense after an argument got out of hand between Lori and Charles.
The third death involves Cox, who was found dead in Gilbert, Arizona from from unknown causes in December. A 911 call from the son of Cox's wife, said Cox was discovered in the bathroom, breathing heavily and unconscious.
Photos: Rexburg Police Department, Kauai Police Department