REXBURG, Idaho — On Tuesday, prosecutors in Idaho announced first-degree murder charges for both Chad Daybell and his wife Lori Vallow Daybell relating to the deaths of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
Prosecutors also announced an additional first-degree murder charge relating to the death of Chad Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell.
Fremont County prosecutor Lindsey Blake and Madison County prosecutor Rob Wood announced the new charges.
Missing children likely murdered in 2019
JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan were last seen on September 23, 2019.
In February 2020, authorities took Lori Vallows into custody after finding her in contempt of court for failing to “physically produce” JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. A judge initially set bail at $5 million, before reducing it to $1 million.
On June 6, the Rexburg Police Department along with the Fremont County Sheriff and the FBI served their second search warrant at the home of Chad Daybell. During the course of their search, they found the remains of both JJ and Tylee buried in the yard. Police arrested Chad Daybell.
Initially, however, neither Daybell faced charges of murder. Legal analysts speculated that prosecutors needed to build a stronger case.
Chad and Lori Daybell face multiple charges
“On Monday, May 24, 2021, a Fremont County Grand Jury delivered the following new indictments. Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception for the deaths of Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow,” Wood announced on Tuesday.
“Lori and Chad Daybell were also indicted on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow. Lori and Chad Daybell were also indicted on the charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.
“Chad Daybell was also indicted on one count of first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.”
Wood also announced a number of charges against Chad and Lori Daybell, accusing them of wrongfully collecting social security money and committing life insurance fraud.
Chad Daybell’s court appearance is scheduled for 11:00 am on Wednesday
Lori Vallow Daybell’s court appearance is scheduled for 11:30 am on Wednesday
“Working diligently to pursue justice”
Blake said she understands the feelings of many who have followed the case that progress seemed slow. But she said they have been diligently working on this case.
“Due to the ongoing safety restrictions imposed by the courts during the pandemic, we just recently were given permission to present information to the grand jury for their review,” Blake said. “I want to assure everyone that despite the delays, we have been working diligently to pursue justice for the victims in this case and to ensure we have the evidence required to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
“Members of the grand jury deliberated and determined there is probable cause to believe the Daybells willfully and knowingly conspired to commit several crimes that led to the death of three innocent people. We believe the crimes occurred on or about October 26 of 2018 to January 15 of 2020.”
Death penalty on the table
Blake said the penalty for the most serious of these new charges ranges from life in prison to the death penalty. She did not elaborate on whether they would seek the death penalty, however, stating that if they make that decision, by law they must inform the defendants within 60 days of their first plea entry.
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