LOCAL NEWS

EXCLUSIVE: Friends of Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy, express concern over her death

Jun 12, 2020, 8:14 AM | Updated: Apr 3, 2023, 1:03 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Friends of Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, have come forward to say something wasn’t right in the days before she died.

“She smiled nonstop, she was out to do her very best and then some,” said Mandy Fowler, Tammy Daybell’s friend and coworker.

Friends and coworkers like Mandy Fowler said Tammy Daybell was loved by everyone at Central Elementary School where she worked as a librarian.

“She was the most amazing person ever,” Fowler said. “You only meet someone like her once in a lifetime.”

She said her 49-year-old friend was full of life, loved gardening, serving others and had somehow found the time to train for a marathon.

“I mean, she truly was so awesome,” said Fowler.

Fowler said Tammy most of all loved being a devoted mother.

“She talked about her kids nonstop,” Fowler said.

On a Saturday morning, Oct. 19, 2019, Fowler said she got an unexpected call from her supervisor.

“She said she had heartbreaking news for us, and I was in total disbelief,” she said. “I had just seen her.”

Tammy Daybell had allegedly died in her sleep the previous night at the Salem, Idaho, home she shared with her husband, Chad Daybell, and some of her adult children.

Fowler said Tammy Daybell was discovered in her bed, Fowler said, and no one knew the cause of death.

It left her in shock.

“I saw her the day before she died,” Fowler said.

She said she had noticed something different about Tammy Daybell during her last visit with her.

Fowler said Tammy Daybell would often suggest books for her to read. She had stopped by the library to talk about a book choice, but said Tammy Daybell felt distant.

“I was coming to ask her about another book recommendation, and she was just really busy and didn’t want to talk a lot,” Fowler explained. “ She seemed maybe kind of frustrated, and that wasn’t typical of her.”

The day after Tammy’s Daybell died, staff at the school gathered to comfort her daughter, Emma Murray, who teaches at the same school.

“Everyone was having a hard time because it was so sudden,” Fowler said. “Everyone shared a lot of good, happy memories about her. Emma wanted to hear everyone’s happy memories because she said that is what would get her through it.”

Fowler and multiple sources told KSL that Chad Daybell refused to have an autopsy performed on his wife. They expressed concerns about Tammy Daybell’s funeral, which they felt was rushed.

Tammy Daybell was buried in Springville, Utah, on Oct. 22, 2019 — three days after her death.

Chad Daybell, 51, married Lori Vallow, 46, a few weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death. There are now several allegations that the couple was having an affair before Tammy Daybell’s death.

With so many investigations involving Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow, Fowler said she hopes to find out what happened to Tammy Daybell.

“I just can’t help but think that I want to know what happened to Tammy, ” she said. “I want justice for Tammy.”

Tammy Daybell’s death has since been determined to be suspicious and is being investigated by the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. Her remains were exhumed in December 2019. Autopsy results are still pending, according to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.

KSL TV reached out to the Idaho Attorney General’s Office as well as the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office is assisting in the investigation as requested by the Fremont County District Attorney.

Tammy Daybell’s death investigation is still active, and authorities were not able to provide further information at this time.

Tammy Daybell’s family also provided the following statement Thursday in reference to the human remains discovered in Chad Daybell’s yard, which are believed to be his stepchildren, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan:

As the family of our beloved Tammy, we want to extend our deepest and heartfelt love and sympathy to the families of Tylee and JJ. We share the pain of the tremendous and shocking loss you are enduring. We still suffer and we will suffer with you for many years to come. Please know we will continue our prayers to strengthen your families, as you are finally able to properly lay to rest your precious Tylee and JJ.

As matters move through the judicial process, we pray that each of our families can be strengthened and trust that justice will be swiftly served.

We wish to thank the many members of Law Enforcement and the FBI who continue to work tirelessly as investigations continue, and the public who have shown such love and support for our families. We also ask that our privacy continue to be respected at this time as we continue to grieve for Tammy, and the Woodcock and the Ryan families grieve this unfathomable loss.

From Tammy’s Parents, Siblings and Extended Family

KSL 5 TV Live

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EXCLUSIVE: Friends of Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy, express concern over her death