VALLOW DAYBELL CASE

Tylee’s best friend, investigators who examined her remains testify in Chad Daybell murder trial

May 13, 2024, 7:00 AM | Updated: 6:58 pm

Jurors in the Chad Daybell murder trial heard testimony Monday from victim Tylee Ryan's best friend...

Jurors in the Chad Daybell murder trial heard testimony Monday from victim Tylee Ryan's best friend and from investigators who testified about marks found on Tylee's bones. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

BOISE — When Ashlyn Rynd’s best friend Tylee Ryan temporarily moved to Texas in 2017, they stayed in contact. But about two weeks after Tylee moved to Idaho, she said they “tried for two weeks” but then fell out of contact.

Rynd testified Tuesday during the murder trial of Chad Daybell, who is accused of killing 16-year-old Tylee and her younger brother, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, before marrying their mother Lori Vallow Daybell.

Rynd said Tylee’s relationship with JJ was “almost maternal.”

“She was there for him. … Tylee would always be the one to show up,” Rynd said.

Police began searching for the two siblings in November 2019 before their bodies were eventually found buried in Daybell’s Salem, Idaho, backyard in June 2020.

Trauma to Tylee’s body

Rexburg police detective Chuck Kunsaitis, who testified earlier in the trial, was called back to the stand Monday to testify about satellite images of Daybell’s property from shortly before Tylee is believed to have been killed and before her body was found months later.

He pointed out discoloration in the images marking the spot where he later would uncover her remains.

Read more coverage of the Chad Daybell murder trial: Police found missing children’s debit card, iPad with Daybells in Hawaii, sergeant says

Dr. Angi Christensen, a forensic anthropologist, talked about her analysis of Tylee’s bones and said trauma was inflicted on the bones while they were still “biomechanically fresh.” She said the trauma could have happened either before Tylee’s death or shortly afterward, and she could tell because of the way the bones were bent and broken.

She said there was evidence that some of the bones had been burned and they had marks from sharp trauma. She also said there were signs of “carnivore scavenging” on some of the bones.

Christensen said over 100 bones were sent to her for analysis, but she was not able to determine whether all of them were human bones.

Photos of the bones she examined were shown to the jury and the people in the courtroom but not to the public on the livestream.

Chad Daybell, right, shows a note to his attorney, John Prior, during his jury trial on Monday.
Chad Daybell, right, shows a note to his attorney, John Prior, during his jury trial on Monday. (Photo: Judge Steven W. Boyce via YouTube)

Douglas Halepaska, a forensic examiner with the FBI, also testified Monday about his examination of Tylee’s remains. He said there were markings on her bones consistent with a “stabbing action,” but most were consistent with a “chopping action.”

He did not have specific tools to test, but some of the tools he said could have been used were a single-bladed knife, a hatchet or blade, and an ice pick.

Halepaska said a stabbing action with one of the tools caused Tylee’s hip bone to fracture and shatter.

Communications around Tammy Daybell’s death

FBI agent Nickolas Ballance testified that although investigators believe Tylee was killed around Sept. 9, 2019, her phone continued to be used, each time in a location near Lori Daybell. He said Tylee’s phone was used in northeast Kansas, eastern Idaho, outside of Phoenix, and Hawaii connecting to towers near her mother’s phone in the months after her disappearance.

Read the full story at KSL.com. 

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Tylee’s best friend, investigators who examined her remains testify in Chad Daybell murder trial