Made-for-TV movie based on Daybell story set to air this summer

Lori Vallow appears in court in Lihue, Hawaii on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. A judge ruled that bail will remain at $5 million for Vallow, also known as Lori Daybell, who was arrested in Hawaii over the disappearance of her two Idaho children. Vallow requested a hearing so the judge would consider a reduced bail. After the judge denied the request, her defense attorney, Craig De Costa, left, said she is waiving an extradition hearing, which had been scheduled for March 2. Kauai Prosecutor Justin Kollar said he will work with Idaho authorities on logistics for her departure. (Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island via AP, Pool) [Feb-26-2020]

(Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island via AP, Pool, File)

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REXBURG, Idaho — A&E Networks' Lifetime plans to air its dramatization of the Daybell story this summer.

"Doomsday Mom" will be a scripted made for TV film based on the story of Lori Vallow Daybell and her fifth husband Chad Daybell, according to a Lifetime news release. The network plans to air the show on June 26, with Lauren Lee Smith playing Lori and Marc Blucas playing Chad.

"As investigators learned of Lori and her husband Chad Daybell's involvement in a doomsday-prepper group, a trail of mystery was revealed spanning five states and numerous questionable deaths," the tease reads.

Linda Purl and Patrick Duffy also star in the show, but their roles were not specified. Lighthouse Pictures is producing the film for Lifetime with Sony Pictures Television distributing. Karen Glass and Tom Mazza of Everywhere Studios and Judith Verno of Peace Out Productions serve as executive producers. Stephen Tolkin wrote the script and Bradley Walsh serves as director.

The film is set to undergo filming and production this spring, confirmed.

The story of Chad and Lori Daybell unfolded in Rexburg in Fall 2019 when Lori's two children — 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan — disappeared. The couple were married on the beaches of Kauai, Hawaii, shortly afterward.

Investigators caught up to Daybells in Hawaii, where they arrested Lori and brought her back to an Idaho jail in February 2020. The bodies of JJ and Tylee were found buried in Chad's backyard in June 2020, leading to his arrest.

Lauren Lee Smith, left, Marc Blucas, right.
Lauren Lee Smith, left, Marc Blucas, right. (Photo: Courtesy A&E Networks)

Detectives are also investigating the deaths of Lori's former husband Charles Vallow — shot and killed by her brother Alex Cox in July 2019 — and the October 2019 death of Chad's wife Tammy Daybell. No one has been arrested or charged in connection to those deaths and Cox died in December 2019.

The couple have pleaded not guilty to felonies related to the destruction, alteration and concealment of the children's bodies. Their jury trial was scheduled for this summer, but it was decided last week it will now be held at a later date.


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Eric Grossarth


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