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Data expert: No device data links Chad Daybell to Tylee’s burial site

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - Testimony continued in the Chad Daybell Trial Wednesday

Defense attorney John Prior called two expert witnesses to the stand, a data forensics expert and a DNA expert.

Patrick Eller, the CEO of Metadata Forensics, testified about the cell phone devices that were around the Daybell’s property on the morning investigators believe Tylee Ryan's body was burned and buried. 

Eller said the data he reviewed from September 9, 2019, did not show Chad Daybell's device on his property.

Prior: “So, if I understand your testimony, is it on 9-9 at approximately 9:19 through 12:10 there is no identification data showing that any device owned by Chad Daybell is on his property. Is that correct?

Eller: “Yes, nothing in the evidence showed that.”

Eller also testified about data from other devices. He said on October 19, 2019, the day Tammy died, there was no indication that Alex Cox's device was within 1.4 miles of Chad Daybell's property.

DNA evidence expert, Dr. Greg Hampikian was on the stand next.  He is the director of the Forensic Justice Project at Boise State University, and the co-director of the Idaho Innocence Project. He also worked to help exonerate Christopher Tapp. 

Hampikian testified about the large amount of DNA evidence in the case and that he had no problem with the evidence identifying Tylee and JJ's remains or the blood and tissue evidence found on the pick-ax and shovel found in Chad Daybell's shed.

Prior: “If I understand correctly, you don't have any questions about the procedures that they followed. Is that correct?

Hampikian: “Not in this case, no.

Prior: “What your question is maybe the range of what they decided to test.”

Hampikian: “I don't know who makes those decisions about what's being tested. I just know what ultimately gets tested. And in this case, four hairs were sent to Astria. The very short, dark hair was gold and then the rest of them were brown hairs, three other brown hairs.

Prior: “ Ad then the hairs that weren't sent included blonde hairs.”

Hampikian: “That's correct.”

Prior: “He did say that there was more evidence that could have been tested. Specifically, the hairs found on the duct tape around JJs body.”

Hampikian: “They determined from the four hairs that shallow sequencing that two of the hairs came from possibly the same person. So they had three different people. Out of four hairs. And they they compared it to the three references they had, and all of the reference samples were excluded from each of those four hairs that represent three people. So neither Chad Daybell nor Lori Vallow nor JJ contributed those hairs.”

The judge closed the courtroom to discuss scheduling with the jurors and then they were sent home for the day while the judge talked to the attorneys about possible rebuttal witnesses that could be returning in the case. 

So looking at what is left, closing arguments in the case will likely be next week.

You can view a timeline of events and all our past stories on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell HERE.

Article Topic Follows: Vallow-Daybell Coverage

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Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8.


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