Chad and Lori Vallow Daybell have been indicted on first-degree murder and several other charges in the deaths of Chad’s former wife, Tammy Daybell, and Lori’s children, Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow.
Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood made the announcement during a news conference Tuesday, which happened to be the day JJ would have turned 9 years old. Wood, a special prosecutor in the case, was joined by local, state, federal law enforcement and other officials.
They took no questions after remarking on the new charges, which came after a grand jury convened over the past week in Fremont County. A news release sent out after Wood and Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake met with the media detailed the indictments.
The Daybells were charged with counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception in the deaths of Tylee and JJ, and both were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.
Chad Daybell also was charged with first-degree murder and insurance fraud, related to life insurance policies, in the death of Tammy Daybell.
Lori Daybell was charged with grand theft related to Social Security survivor benefits over $1,000 allocated for the care of Tylee and JJ — funds that were appropriated after the children were missing.
Grand jury proceedings are held in strict confidence and are sealed from the public, so it’s unknown what evidence and information led the jury to indict. Wood and Blake released few details, while thanking the public for being patient over the past year.
The indictments come nearly one year after the bodies of 16-year-old Tylee and 7-year-old JJ were found buried on Chad’s Fremont County property. He was arrested June 9 on two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, and two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
Tylee’s body was dismembered and burned, according to court documents. JJ’s body was wrapped in tight black plastic and secured with gray duct tape.
Chad pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been in the Fremont County Jail on a $1 million bail.
Lori was arrested on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kauai, Hawaii, and extradited to Rexburg. She was charged with two felony charges of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and has been in the Madison County Jail on a $1 million bail. Lori pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Chad and Lori married weeks after Tammy Daybell died on Oct. 19, 2019. The couple fled to Hawaii as police began investigating the disappearance of JJ and Tylee. Tammy’s death has been under investigation for more than a year and an autopsy was completed in February, but results and her cause of death have not been released to the public.
Lori’s former husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, in July 2019. Cox said the shooting was in self-defense, but the investigation is still open. Cox died of natural causes in December 2019, according to the Maricopa County, Arizona, medical examiner.
EastIdahoNews.com confronted Chad and Lori in Hawaii in January 2020, and they refused to say where the children were. The case was thrust into the national spotlight, but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed progress s grand juries were unable to meet.