Chad Daybell discussed finances with daughter after his arrest: ‘I’m not coming back’

Apr 15, 2024, 7:01 PM | Updated: Apr 16, 2024, 11:28 am

BOISE, Idaho — On the third day of testimony in the Chad Daybell triple murder trial, law enforcement officers took the stand to explain their observations surrounding Daybell’s arrest on June 9, 2020. While in police custody that day, Daybell was allowed to speak with his daughter and, while making long-term financial plans, told her, “I’m not coming back.”

The conversation between Daybell and one of his daughters was taken from 90 minutes of camera footage recorded while he was detained in the back of a squad vehicle.

That morning investigators started excavations on Daybell’s property in Salem, Idaho. Law enforcement witnesses testified that Daybell watched investigators from his driveway and other locations as they searched the ground in the area where the children’s bodies were later found. After watching, Daybell went indoors for 90 minutes, then came back out and drove away from his home in a way witnesses said was “in a hurry.”

Click here for complete coverage of the Chad Daybell trial

Officers allowed her to talk to him while he was in custody. She asked them if she could take his car and where she might later be able to recover his wallet.

Some of the exchange was played for the jury, including portions where Daybell was explaining where cash and other financial documents and accounts were located. The daughter stated she was going to move into Daybell’s house.

daybell property

A 3D model overview of the Daybell property created by Visual Law Group in partnership with KSL TV.

He told her she shouldn’t have any bills to worry about.

“Yeah, I’m not coming back,” Daybell said. “We’re going to make it through. I’m glad we could talk.”

Daybell, 55, once a resident of Springville, Utah, moved to Idaho in the Rexburg area with his family in 2015, the area where police say he later killed three people. He is on trial for the death of his late wife, Tammy Daybell, and two of the children of his current wife, Lori Vallow DaybellJoshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan.

Chad Daybell also told his daughter he had spoken to Lori Daybell for about two minutes. She was already in police custody.

“She’s aware they’re searching,” he said.


“It’s all in the Lord’s hands,” Daybell later told his daughter, who broke down in tears. In the courtroom Monday, Daybell, wearing a light blue plaid shirt and a yellow tie, watched the video intently.

The footage from the June 9, 2020, stop was made after Rexburg Det. Eric Wheeler had stopped Daybell as he drove away. Wheeler said he asked Daybell to step out of his vehicle.

“He didn’t ask questions; he wasn’t way shocked or surprised that he had been stopped,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler put Daybell in handcuffs when he learned that JJ’s body had been found on the property, an event that happened very close to the time of the stop.

Much of the early testimony focused on what Daybell did before his arrest and how he was watching police work on his property. Defense attorneys presented other possibilities of where Daybell could have been looking and asked Wheeler if he knew Daybell had an appointment with his lawyer that morning. Wheeler said he had no knowledge about that.

Testimony continues in Chad Daybell trial: detective describes moment they discovered JJ and Tylee’s remains

After Daybell was arrested, Wheeler was assigned to the recovery of more remains on the property. He was part of the team that found a portion of a skull while they were using care to preserve evidence. He said they also found flesh and bones in a melted bucket.

Tammy Daybell’s remains exhumed

Also questioned were former Fremont County deputy Vince Kaaiakamanu and Fremont County Lt. Joseph Powell, who was present for the exhumation of Tammy Daybell’s remains and followed the casket and hearse to the medical examiner. He said there was no tampering with the casket or body. Pictures of a backhoe and the process of the casket being lifted from the ground were shown to the jury.

“You (could see) all the roses and stuff still on top of the casket,” Powell said.

Powell also monitored Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow, 12 days after Tammy Daybell’s death, on Oct. 19, 2019. On Nov. 1, 2019, he and other officers observed the pair go to Idaho Falls, where they went to a credit union, Hobby Lobby and Cafe Rio. Photographs of two people said to be Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow holding hands the craft store were shown in court.

Defense attorneys questioned investigators about the decision to exhume Tammy Daybell without speaking to her children first and went over family medical records, and underlined her health conditions which were not in the health records detectives examined prior to getting a warrant for the exhumation.

Monday’s witnesses could be called to testify again and were cautioned not to read media reports of the trial.

Phone records

Nicole Heideman, an FBI tactical specialist, was called late in the trial day as a witness and testified about digital records of phones and accounts she said belonged to Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell. She said Lori Vallow had six phone numbers, three of interest to the trial. Her late brother, Alex Cox, had six phone numbers, three of interest.

Heideman said Chad Daybell had nine phone numbers between Oct. 2018 and Jan. 2020, three of interest.

Court was adjourned before Heideman finished testimony or could be cross examined. The trial is anticipated to continue Tuesday at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise.

KSL TV’s Garna Mejia was in the courtroom for the testimony and contributed to this report. Follow her on Twitter for more.

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Chad Daybell discussed finances with daughter after his arrest: ‘I’m not coming back’