REXBURG — Chad and Lori Vallow Daybell have been indicted on first-degree murder charges for the deaths of Tammy Daybell, Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow.
Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood made the announcement during a news conference Tuesday, which happened to be the day JJ would have turned 9 years old. Wood, a special prosecutor in the case, was joined by local, state, federal law enforcement and other officials.
The news comes after a grand jury convened over the past week in Fremont County.
The following are charges Chad and Lori are facing, according to a news release sent after Wood and Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake met with the media Tuesday afternoon:
Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception for the death of Tylee Ryan.
Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of first-degree murder for the death of Tylee Ryan.
Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception for the death of JJ Vallow.
Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of first-degree murder for the death of JJ Vallow.
Lori and Chad Daybell were indicted on the charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.
Chad Daybell was indicted on the charge of first-degree murder in the death of his wife Tammy Daybell.
Lori Daybell was indicted on the charge of grand theft related to Social Security Survivor benefits over $1,000 allocated for the care of minors Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow that were appropriated after the children were missing and ultimately found deceased.
Chad Daybell was indicted on the charge of insurance fraud related to a life insurance policy he had on Tammy Daybell for which he was the beneficiary and received funds after her death.
Chad Daybell was indicted on the charge of insurance fraud related to another life insurance policy he had on Tammy Daybell for which he was the beneficiary and received funds after her death.
The penalty for the murder charges range from life in prison without the possibility of parole to the death penalty, Blake said. Prosecutors were not disclosing what penalty they will pursue, but if they decide on the death penalty, legally they have to notify Lori and Chad within 60 days of their plea.
Grand jury proceedings are held in strict confidence and are sealed from the public, so it’s unknown what evidence and information led the jury to indict.
Wood and Blake released few details about the indictments but expressed thanks to the public for being patient over the past year.
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The indictments come nearly one year after the bodies of 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, were found buried on Chad’s Fremont County property. He was arrested June 9 on two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, and two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
Tylee’s body was dismembered and burned, according to court documents. JJ’s body was wrapped in tight black plastic and secured with gray duct tape.
Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow
Chad pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been in the Fremont County Jail on a $1 million bail.
Lori was arrested on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kauai, Hawaii, and extradited to Rexburg. She was charged with two felony charges of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and has been in the Madison County Jail on a $1 million bail. Lori pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Chad and Lori married weeks after Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, suddenly died on Oct. 19, 2019. The couple fled to Hawaii as police began investigating the disappearance of JJ and Tylee. Tammy’s death has been under investigation for over a year and an autopsy was complete in February, but results and her cause of death have not been released to the public.
Lori’s former husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, in July 2019. Cox said the shooting was in self-defense, but the investigation is still open. Cox died of natural causes in December 2019, according to the Maricopa County, Arizona, medical examiner.
EastIdahoNews.com confronted Chad and Lori in Hawaii in January 2020, and they refused to say where the children were. The case was thrust into the national spotlight, but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed progress down as grand juries were unable to meet.
However, Wood said authorities have spent “thousands of hours … seeking the truth for these innocent victims,” and Blake said the case has been moving forward behind the scenes.
“I want to assure everyone that despite the delays, we have been working diligently to pursue justice for the victims in this case, to ensure we have the evidence required to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” she said.
Chad will have his initial court appearance on the new charges Wednesday at 11 a.m. Lori will appear at 11:30. The hearings will be held via Zoom, and we will carry the hearings live.
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