New Charges Filed Against Chad Daybell

Jul 1, 2020, 7:46 PM | Updated: 9:04 pm

REXBURG, Idaho – New charges were filed against Chad Daybell in Idaho Wednesday in connection to the deaths of Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow.

The charges are the same crimes of conspiracy Daybell’s new wife Lori Vallow, aka Lori Daybell, was charged with Tuesday. 

They were two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence, in addition to the two counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence Daybell was already facing.

The meeting was held via ZOOM due to COVID-19 restrictions. Daybell was present from what appeared to be the Fremont County Jail, the judge was in the Fremont County Courtroom, and prosecutor Rob Wood appeared to be calling from his office in Madison County.

“Based upon that amendment, we are doing an initial appearance or redoing an initial appearance on the same case number,” Judge Faren Eddins said.

Chad Daybell sat next to his attorney wearing a crisp white shirt and blue tie as Eddins read out the new charges.

In addition to two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in reference to the body of JJ Vallow and remains of Ryan, prosecutors said Daybell conspired with at least one accomplice.

“It alleges the defendants Chad Guy Daybell, Lori Vallow and or another person(s),” Eddins said.

Updated probable cause statements for both Daybell and Vallow said that detectives suspect Alex Cox, Vallow’s brother, drove JJ Vallow’s body to Daybell’s property on the morning of Sept. 23.

Detectives also suspect Cox had help in burying JJ Vallow’s body.

“The GPS records indicate that Cox was at that location for a total of 17 minutes on September 23rd. Due to the depth and width of the “grave” the body was located in, and the rocks and paneling found in the grave, it would be impossible for one person to have dug that grave, placed a body in it, placed the rocks and paneling in the grave and covered it back up in 17 minutes,” court document alleged. 

Detectives said Daybell also sent a misleading text message to his wife, Tammy Daybell the morning after Tylee Ryan was last seen, Sept. 9, 2019. “For the purpose of disguising the destruction, alteration, and or concealment, of the human remains of Tylee Ryan on his property,” Eddins read from Daybell’s criminal complaint. 

Detectives said Daybell also lied to them about his relationship to Lori Vallow last November (during their first encounter with Daybell on Nov. 26) by pretending he didn’t know her very well, and saying he didn’t know her phone number, when he had married her just weeks prior.

On that same day, detectives said Daybell and Vallow both contacted Melanie Gibb and asked her to not cooperate with the investigation into JJ Vallow’s disappearance.

“It sounds like they have enough evidence that Mr. Daybell was involved in disposing of the bodies, but to prove they were involved in killing is a higher standard,” said Idaho State University College of Law professor Samuel Newton.

Newton isn’t involved with the case but given his background, he said the evidence presented so far may not be strong enough to support a murder charge.

“You’d have to have a witness that saw it or maybe forensic evidence that ties them to the crime such as DNA. There has to be some way to prove that he killed the children, so without that evidence, they are probably waiting or trying to create that case,” Newton said.

Last week the Ada County Coroner’s Office confirmed that they are assisting the Fremont County Coroner in pathology services related to the remains of Ryan and JJ Vallow.

“Outside and ancillary testing have been ordered and will take several weeks to return. Once all results are received, the Forensic Pathologist’s reports will be provided to the Fremont County Coroner, Brenda Dye,” Ada County Coroner Dr. Dotty Owens said in a statement.

Daybell is currently facing up to five years in prison and or a $10,000 fine for each charge. The judge kept his bond at $1 million, and his next hearing was scheduled for August 3 or 4.

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New Charges Filed Against Chad Daybell