Chad, Lori Daybell indicted on murder charges related to deaths of JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan
May 25, 2021, 2:00 PM | Updated: Jul 31, 2023, 12:54 pm
REXBURG, Idaho — Prosecutors announced Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow have been indicted on first-degree murder charges related to the deaths of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
Daybell was also indicted on a count of first-degree murder related to the death of Tammy Daybell.
Special prosecutor Rob Wood said a grand jury indicted both Vallow and Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow on two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception for the deaths of JJ Vallow and Ryan, along with two counts of first-degree murder in connection to those deaths.
#BREAKING: Lori & Chad Daybell now facing murder charges for deaths of #TyleeRyan & #JJVallow. #ChadDaybell also charged w/ murder of his wife #TammyDaybell. Couple also faces a “conspiracy to commit murder” charge in Tammy’s death. Death penalty is on the table. @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/2Cv9mxuVim
— Garna Mejia (@GarnaMejiaKSL) May 25, 2021
Both were also indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell, while Chad Daybell was also charged with one count of first-degree in connection to Tammy Daybell’s death.
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow were served warrants early Tuesday afternoon; Daybell’s first hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday while Vallow’s will be at 11:30 a.m.
“We know many members of the community may feel that progress on this case has been slow,” said Fremont County prosecutor Lindsey Blake. “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. 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.”
Penalties for the charges range from life in prison to the death penalty.
Prosecutors did not say which penalties they will seek, but they have to inform the defendants of their decision within 60 days of the defendants entering a plea.
Lori Vallow was also indicted on a charge of grand theft related to Social Security benefits that were allocated for the care of the two children, and Chad Daybell was indicted on two counts of insurance fraud related to policies from which he received funds after Tammy Daybell’s death.
MORE: See KSL TV’s full coverage of the case here.
The children were reported missing in December 2019. By early January 2020, the search caught nationwide attention as disturbing details came to light about the children’s mother, Lori Vallow, and her new husband, Chad Daybell.
According to the indictment, which was posted Tuesday afternoon, the couple endorsed and espoused “religious beliefs for the purpose of encouraging and/or justifying the homicide of Tylee Ryan,” “JJ Vallow” and “Tamara ‘Tammy’ Daybell,” which included radical beliefs about the end of times and allegations they considered the children to be “zombies.”
Prosecutors said Lori Vallow’s brother Alex Cox and Chad Daybell obtained burner phones, and text messages between Daybell and Vallow revealed discussions about Tammy Daybell being “in Limbo” and possessed by a “spirit named Viola.”
In the indictment, prosecutors allege Chad Daybell increased his ex-wife’s life insurance to the maximum allowed by the policy, and Cox attempted to shoot her on Oct. 9, 2019.
The prosecution said between Oct. 8 and 12, 2019, Cox “conducted multiple internet searches including searches related to Grendel drop and shooting through Dodge Dakota.”
They also said Cox went to a gun range in the months leading up to the attempted shooting on Oct. 9, 2019.