Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow indicted on murder charges

Ruben Hill
May 26, 2021

Additionally, Vallow is facing a charge of grand theft and Daybell is facing two charges of insurance fraud, officials said on Tuesday.

Lori Daybell (identified as Lori Norene Vallow in court papers), 47, and her husband Chad Daybell, 52, have been indicted in the alleged murders of her children Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, and his late wife Tammy Daybell, 49.

The grand jury cites evidence that Daybell and Vallow spoke in text messages of Tammy Vallow "being possessed by a spirit", and say Chad Daybell changed the life insurance coverage on Tammy Daybell just over a month before she died, increasing the death benefit to the maximum allowed. Daybell was also indicted in the murder of his former wife, Tammy Daybell, while both Daybell and Vallow were indicted on the charge of facing conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in her death. The children were missing for several months starting in 2019 until authorities found their bodies buried on Chad Daybell's property.

At the time, Chad Daybell was married to Tammy Daybell, a fit 49-year-old school librarian who helped him run the publishing company.

"We have cause to believe that the Daybells willfully and knowingly conspired to commit murder of three innocent people", Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake said Tuesday.

Both Daybells pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges. They have not yet had the opportunity to enter a plea on the murder charges. Tammy was found dead in October 2019, but it was not initially considered suspicious, though investigators exhumed her body amid the disappearances of the kids. The results of that autopsy have not been released. Lori was previously brought up on charges, including for snubbing a court order to turn over the children. Lori is charged with theft for allegedly collecting social security benefits amid the disappearances and deaths of the children.

Two weeks before her death, Tammy Daybell told the Fremont County sheriff's office that someone dressed in black and wearing a ski mask shot at her with what she thought was a paintball gun.

The investigation took thousands of hours and the grand jury proceedings were hampered by the pandemic. Prosecutors say they were just recently given permission to present their case to a grand jury because of ongoing COVID-19 safety restrictions imposed by the courts.

"I want to assure everyone that despite the delays, we have been working diligently to pursue justice for the victims in this case, to ensure we have the evidence required to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law", Blake also said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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