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Rexburg Missing Children

Summary into Daybell’s probable cause report

Chad Daybell booking photo
Chad Daybell's booking photo from June 9, 2020.

FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The last verifiable sighting of Tylee was September 8, 2019. The last sighting of JJ was September 24, 2019.

According to Lori Vallow’s close friend, Melani Gibb, Vallow claimed that JJ had become a "zombie". Vallow told Gibb this information during her visit to Rexburg between September 19th-23rd. Vallow claimed JJ said he loved Satan and was speaking and acting in ways that Daybell believed proved him to be a zombie. Gibb noted that JJ’s behavior seemed the same as she had always seen.

Daybell taught the idea of zombies to Vallow in reference to Charles Vallow. According to Daybell’s ideology, a zombie refers to a person who’s spirit has left their body and the body has been inhabited by another spirit. This new inhabitant is considered to be a dark spirit. The body’s original spirit, according to Daybell, is then stuck in limbo until the host body is physically killed. Daybell believes that killing the body is the only way to release it’s spirit from limbo. Gibb also says Vallow began calling Tylee a zombie when she was 12 or 13.

Daybell and Vallow believed they were part of the “Church of the Firstborn.” They claim part of their church mission is to rid the world of zombies.

Vallow called into the Madison County School District where JJ was enrolled for school on October 29th. She informed them JJ was going to be homeschooled, though no homeschooling material was found during the police search.

Tylee moved in with Vallow on September 1st or 2nd, 2019. Vallow told Gibb that Tylee was attending BYU-I. There are no such records of Tylee being a student there.

Chad’s ex wife, Tammy Daybell, died October 19, 2019. Chad and Lori were married two weeks later, on November 5th, in Hawaii. Taylee and JJ are not seen in the wedding photos.

A text conversation between Chad and Tammy took place on September 9, 2019, one day after the last known sighting of Taylee. Daybell claims he shot a raccoon on his property while burning limb debris. The fire pit on the Daybell property was rarely used but neighbors say they noticed the first bonfire of the year shortly after Tammy’s death. He told Tammy he buried the raccoon in the "pet cemetery" on his property.

During the search of the property, the pet cemetery was dug up, revealing a dead dog and cat. Bricks were located about one foot underground. Two bones were located underneath the bricks. Court documents say charred tissue and charred bones were also unearthed.

The location near the north side of the Daybell property appeared to be disturbed. The FBI removed the top layer of sod and found several large, flat rocks. There were two pieces of flat paneling underneath the rocks. A strong odor emitted underneath the paneling. Removal of the paneling revealed a body tightly wrapped in plastic and secured with duct tape.

Chad Daybell was watching where the police were searching from his vehicle parked in his driveway. He also sat in his vehicle outside of his daughter’s house across the street. Once the body wrapped in plastic was unearthed, Daybell was seen leaving his daughter’s residence. Police conducted a traffic stop and detained Daybell due to the remains found on his property.

JJ’s grandmother called for a welfare check from Arizona on November 25, 2019. Investigation into the children’s whereabouts began on November 26, 2019. A press release asking for the public’s help locating the children was released on December 20, 2019. Daybell told police he didn’t know his wife’s phone number. Vallow’s brother claimed JJ was with his grandmother in Louisiana. The grandmother initiated the welfare check from Arizona. Daybell later told police he last saw JJ in October.

Vallow told police JJ was in Arizona with her close friend, Melani Gibb. Gibb informed police JJ was not with her and she hadn’t been home for several months. Gibb told police Daybell and Vallow called her on November 26th, instructing her to tell police that JJ was with her, though Vallow knew this was not true. Daybell and Vallow left Rexburg that same night.

They flew to Hawaii on December 1st. They did not return to the mainland and the children were not with them.

Vallow, her brother and niece all live in the same apartment complex. Vallow was under investigation in Arizona for an attempted murder of her niece’s ex-husband, Brandon Bourdeaux. A vehicle registered to Charles Vallow was identified in a drive-by shooting at Bordeaux’s house. Tylee drove this same vehicle regularly. It was still in Rexburg nearly two months after her last known sighting.

Lori and Charles were in the process of getting a divorce when Charles Vallow died. Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, shot him on July 11, 2019.

Alex’s cell phone was pinged on the Daybell property by the fire pit one day after Tylee’s last known sighting. Cell phone analysis shows he was near the fire pit 14 minutes before Daybell sent the text about shooting a raccoon and burning debris to his wife, Tammy.

Alex’s phone was also pinged on the north end of the property where JJ’s remains were found on September 23, 2019…one day after JJ’s last known sighting.

Vallow had not been filling JJ’s autism medication since January 2019. Vallow requested Dog Training Elite pick up JJ’s service dog on July 22nd, stating the dog’s services were no longer needed due to a change in life circumstances. Daybell and Vallow told Daybell’s parents that Vallow was an “empty-nester” in November. Daybell told Tammy’s sister that Vallow had no juvenile children. Vallow hired a babysitter for JJ. She informed the babysitter on September 24th that JJ had gone to stay with his grandmother and the sitter’s services were no longer needed.

She was using Tylee’s card after her last known sighting. Tylee’s biological father, Joseph Ryan, is also deceased. Her brother, Colby Ryan, last spoke to Tylee via FaceTime on August 30, 2019. Vallow then made excuses as to why Tylee could not talk to Colby.

Local News / News / Top Stories
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Chelsea Briar

Chelsea is a reporter and producer for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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