Neighbors of Chad Daybell testify he told them Lori Vallow’s daughter had died

May 1, 2024, 9:59 PM | Updated: May 2, 2024, 8:53 am

NOTE: The trial streams from Boise on each day the court is in session and can be watched on the KSL+ app, on KSL News YouTube channel and on the KSL TV Facebook page.

BOISE — As Chad Daybell‘s triple murder trial continued Wednesday, a close friend and neighbor of his late wife Tammy Daybell said she was stunned when Chad Daybell told her just days after her friend’s death that he was getting married again. Alice Gilbert also testified Chad Daybell told her Lori Vallow — later his second wife — had a daughter who had died. Tylee Ryan was missing at the time.

She said he later denied ever saying that.

Click here for complete coverage of the Chad Daybell trial

Also testifying Wednesday was Gilbert’s husband, Todd Gilbert, who was friendly with Chad Daybell before Tammy Daybell’s death, as well as Utah’s recently retired medical examiner, Dr. Erik Chistensen, and insurance agent, Janice Olsen.

Chad Daybell is on trial for the murder of Tammy Daybell and the children of his current wife Lori Vallow Daybell. The remains of her son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, were found on his property.

He is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in each of those deaths, along with two counts of insurance fraud and grand theft. Lori Vallow Daybell was found guilty of the murders and is charged with killing one of her ex husbands, Charles Vallow.

Medical examiner: Tammy Daybell died of asphyxia in a homicide

Christensen was Utah’s medical examiner when Tammy Daybell’s body was exhumed. He testified he was present during that process and also performed the autopsy, where he determined the cause of death was asphyxia, and he ruled the manner of death was homicide.

Tammy Daybell died Oct. 19, 2019 after the couple moved with their children to Salem, Idaho, just outside of Rexburg.

When she died, no autopsy was performed, consistent with Idaho laws. Her funeral in Utah was three days after her death.

Christensen testified Wednesday he was present when her body was exhumed on Dec. 11, 2019 and performed her autopsy the same day, less than two months after her death. He said she died of asphyxiation.

He testified there were bruises on Tammy Daybell’s arms and chest that “would have occurred sometime in the minutes or hours prior to her death.” Bruising was present on her left chest, biceps, triceps and right forearm.

Certainly, (the bruising) could have happened right around the time of death,” Christensen said. He said there were a number of things that could explain Tammy Daybell’s death but believed it was primarily from some form of strangulation.

A court sketch from the Lori Vallow Daybell Trial, May 2, 2023, when Alice and Todd Gilbert testified. (Idaho)

In cross-examination from Chad Daybell’s attorney, John Prior, Christensen was firm that Tammy Daybell died from asphyxiation. He said a lot of time was spent searching for toxins that might have caused her death because fluid was found in her lungs. He said they did not find anything to support that possibility.

He also testified that he found no signs of seizures, as Chad Daybell was recorded telling the coroner in Idaho records. He said it is “very unlikely” that Tammy Daybell had a seizure.

He also testified that it was possible that someone could have been restraining her while someone else was suffocating her.

Alice Gilbert was visited by Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell

Alice Gilbert said Tammy Daybell’s daughter called her to report Tammy Daybell’s death but Chad Daybell took the phone and asked not to tell anybody about the death for approximately an hour. After calling and telling her bishop, Alice and Todd Gilbert went to the Daybell home and said that the children were upset but Chad Daybell did not seem as upset.

Chad Daybell introduced Lori to neighbors as future wife days after Tammy’s death

She attended the Utah funeral for Tammy Daybell three days later and said Chad Daybell didn’t seem to be mourning much then either. Seven days later, she was “absolutely stunned” when Chad Daybell said he was going to marry someone else and later, introduced her to Lori Vallow. Weeks later, on Nov. 5, 2019, Chad and Lori Daybell were married in Hawaii.

When meeting Lori Vallow, Alice Gilbert testified the dating couple was more affectionate than she had ever seen Chad Daybell act with Tammy Daybell.

“They were giggling and laughing … my husband and I were embarrassed,” Alice Gilbert said. Not long after returning from Hawaii, Chad Daybell was said to be excited to show them wedding photos.

When asking about Lori Vallow Daybell’s daughters, Chad Daybell told her she had a daughter who had died. She said he later denied ever saying that.

She also testified that later, she asked Chad Daybell specifically about the missing teen.

“Where’s Tylee? She’s a teenager; doesn’t she want a life?”

Chad Daybell reportedly responded in the past tense, “She didn’t like people, and she didn’t like me.”

Todd Gilbert testifies Chad ‘didn’t seem real sad’

Todd Gilbert testified he knew the Daybells but knew Chad Daybell better. He said in February of 2019, Chad Daybell told him Tammy Daybell’s life mission was going to come to an end. In October of 2019 when Tammy Daybell died he said he went to the Daybell home at approximately 8:15 a.m.

“Chad seemed, he didn’t seem real sad,” Todd Gilbert said Wednesday. “He seemed kind of business-like, that seems kind of strange.”

He also said the funeral for Tammy Daybell seemed to happen soon after the death.

“That seemed real fast to have a funeral for your spouse that you’re in love with,” he said.

He also thought it was strange when Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell visited him, that the new couple was very touchy and Chad Daybell was rubbing Lori Vallow’s leg. He also said when he asked Lori Vallow about her children Chad Daybell chimed in and “said she had a daughter that had just died … Lori didn’t say anything different.”

After the new marriage, Chad Daybell visited and asked the Gilberts to put their home up for bond to get Lori Vallow Daybell out of jail.

Other testimony from Janice Olsen and Taylor Ballard

Olsen was a teacher who worked with Tammy Daybell and saw her three or four times a week.

“She always went the extra mile to get books into kids’ hands,” Olsen said. “She was active and healthy.”

She testified that Tammy Daybell didn’t complain about any health problems.

Taylor Ballard, an insurance broker in Rexburg, testified that Chad Daybell asked her hypothetical questions about adding a new wife to his life insurance policy but said his new wife was incarcerated.

Ballard said she worried that Tammy Daybell’s death might not have been an accident, and “it made me think we may have a fraudulent payout.”

NOTE: The YouTube stream for Day 14 of the trial had technical difficulties and was separated into four parts. All are available below.

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Neighbors of Chad Daybell testify he told them Lori Vallow’s daughter had died