Jailhouse phone call: Daybells thought there was a ‘3% chance there would be trouble’

May 15, 2024, 9:03 PM

FILE: Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell...

FILE: Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell

BOISE — A jailhouse phone call that Lori Vallow Daybell made to Chad Daybell “stuck out” to a Rexburg Police Department detective.

After Lori Daybell was arrested on Feb. 20, 2020, detective Ray Hermosillo testified Wednesday that she talked to Chad Daybell 10 to 12 times each day, and police listened to the calls to get info about the missing children.

Click here for complete coverage of the Chad Daybell trial

“They’re doing all they can to destroy one of the key families, but they’re not going to,” Chad Daybell told Lori Daybell in audio played for the jury. Chad Daybell said he texted someone he called “Ray,” who according to Hermosillo was a known alias of Lori Daybell’s brother Alex Cox.

The conversation happened the day before the bodies of Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, were found on Chad Daybell’s property, and months after Cox died of what police determined were natural causes.

Hermosillo, who was involved with the search for JJ and Tylee, told the court he was listening to phone calls between Lori and Chad Daybell after Lori Daybell’s arrest and confinement in Madison County Jail.

“Through our investigation, interviews with multiple witnesses that were close to him (Chad Daybell), through the teachings in his books,” Hermosillo said, “he would often talk about how he had the ability to see and speak with people on the other side of the veil,” referring to heaven.

Hermosillo said in the couple’s phone conversations, they continued to reference a “project,” with Lori Daybell asking if “the blueprints are still intact? The timing?”

In the recorded audio of a call, Chad Daybell tells her Cox “misses you, but he’s not far from contact. We can text him whenever.”

“Can he just make us any guarantees?” Lori Daybell asks. “I mean, we did make our down payments. … I would like a guarantee, just an end date of our project.”

Lori Daybell says she could “text” anyone but tells Chad Daybell to remind Cox “that at the beginning of this project he said there’s only a 3% chance there would be trouble.” She also questions the “complications” that had occurred in the “project” and says there were “other things on the project, when I’m going back over it, that I could have easily done or been inspired to do, to avoid a lot of the issues that would have come up with that, that we were not made aware of.”

Chad Daybell reassures her, saying that “overall this was part of the blueprint” and that “(Cox) is in that contractor position for a reason.”

“My sweet, lovely Lola — things are going to work out not just because he says so, but because I know. It’s a marvelous plan,” Chad Daybell says.

Chad Daybell says his wife was in ‘limbo’

Nicholas Edwards, the lead investigator with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, also testified Wednesday. He walked the jury through text messages sent between Chad and then-Lori Vallow during their affair in 2019. His investigation focused on the dates when Lori Vallow’s former husband Charles Vallow was shot and killed by her brother, and when Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, died.

Chad and Lori Daybell used ‘castings’ to pray for spouses’ deaths, ex-friend testifies

“Tonight I figured out who I feel like. I’m a grown-up version of Harry Potter who has to live with the Dudleys in his little space under the stairs,” Chad Daybell texted to Lori Vallow on July 26, 2019, two weeks after Charles Vallow’s death. “Every few weeks I get to escape and have amazing adventures with my Goddess lover, but then I have to return to my place under the stairs, feeling trapped. But I sense permanent freedom is coming!”

Edwards said the phrase “permanent freedom” stood out to him during his investigation.

In August 2019, Edwards said Chad Daybell traveled to stay with Lori Vallow, who purchased wedding rings soon after. In early October 2019, Edwards told the court that Chad Daybell urged Tammy to visit her family in Springville, Utah, texting Lori Vallow that he was “trying to hasten (Tammy’s) departure.”

Doctor testifies that Tammy Daybell’s bruising was inflicted just before or after death

After Tammy Daybell returned from her trip, Chad Daybell texted Lori Vallow: “Hello sweet angel. Big news about Tammy. … The short version is that she has been switched. Tammy is in limbo, and a level three demonic named Viola is in her body.”

In another text, Chad Daybell said he has connected with Tammy in limbo and she “wants Viola removed as soon as possible.”

Days later, the attempted shooting of Tammy Daybell occurred.

Edwards showed timelines of numerous texts between Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow and Alex Cox before and after the attempted shooting incident and on the night of Tammy’s death.

‘Something wasn’t sitting well’: Funeral director expressed concerns about Tammy Daybell’s death

Chad Daybell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of JJ and Tylee, along with the death Tammy Daybell. He is also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder of each of the victims, grand theft and two counts of insurance fraud.

Idaho Attorney General’s Office only have one more witness to call in their case Thursday morning, which will be a shorter trial day. After that witness, he said the schedule for the rest of the trial will be outlined for the 17 jurors hearing the case — 12 of whom will be tasked with determining whether Chad Daybell is guilty. is streaming the trial each day. on its YouTube channel, the KSL+ app, and on its Facebook page. Testimony is expected to resume Thursday at 8:30 a.m. MDT.

KSL 5 TV Live

Chad Daybell trial

John Prior speaks with Chad Daybell during a hearing in August 2020. Chad Daybell is returning to c...

Daniel Woodruff

Chad Daybell’s defense prepares to make case to jurors

Prosecutors have rested their case in the Chad Daybell murder trial. They did so Thursday morning following weeks of testimony and dozens of witnesses.

2 days ago

Chad Daybell and his attorney, John Prior, appear in a hearing on Oct. 29, 2020...

Eliza Pace

Defense says no evidence Daybell killed Tylee and JJ; Judge finds indictment error

Chad Daybell's attorney, John Prior, asked for a "directed verdict" on the murder charges of Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow, indicating that there was not enough evidence to show that Daybell was involved in their deaths.

2 days ago

Chad Daybell stands next to his attorney, John Prior, during his murder trial in Boise on Apr. 18....

Emily Ashcraft,

Doctor testifies that Tammy Daybell’s bruising was inflicted just before or after death

Dr. Lily Marsden and the former Utah chief medical examiner took the stand in the Chad Daybell trial on Tuesday.

4 days ago

Tylee Ryan, right, is pictured here with her brother, JJ Vallow. Chad Daybell, their mother's new h...

Emily Ashcraft,

Tylee’s best friend, people who examined her body testify in Chad Daybell murder trial

Jurors in the Chad Daybell murder trial heard testimony Monday from victim Tylee Ryan's best friend and from investigators who testified about marks found on Tylee's bones.

5 days ago

Tammy Daybell's sister, Samantha Gwilliam, testifies during the murder trial for Chad Daybell on Fr...

Emily Ashcraft,

Chad Daybell’s family members describe his changing demeanor, end times fixation before wife’s death

Jurors heard testimony from Tammy Daybell's relatives and the deputy coroner during Chad Daybell's trial on Friday.

8 days ago

John Prior speaks with Chad Daybell during a hearing in August 2020. Testimony in the murder trial ...

Emily Ashcraft,

Police found missing children’s debit card, iPad with Daybells in Hawaii, sergeant says

Jurors in the Chad Daybell murder trial heard from former co-workers of Chad's wife, Tammy Daybell, on Thursday.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Jailhouse phone call: Daybells thought there was a ‘3% chance there would be trouble’