Lori Vallow Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are set to stand trial next week for the murder, conspiracy, and grand theft charges in the deaths of her two children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan. The trial is expected to last up to 12 weeks, and it will be held in Boise, Idaho.
The children’s grandparents became concerned after Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed Lori’s husband, Charles Vallow, outside their home in Arizona in July 2019. Lori moved with her children to Idaho, and police became suspicious after performing a welfare check and finding that the couple lied about the children’s whereabouts. Tylee was last seen in September, headed into Yellowstone National Park with her mother, and JJ was last seen by school officials several days later.
In June 2020, the children’s remains were found buried in Chad Daybell’s backyard in eastern Idaho. Tammy Daybell, Chad’s previous wife, died in October 2019 of what was initially reported as “natural causes,” and the family had declined an autopsy. Chad and Lori got married just two weeks after Tammy’s death. Authorities exhumed Tammy Daybell’s body and expanded their investigation.
Prosecutors allege that the Daybells had strange doomsday-focused beliefs that motivated them to kill the children and Tammy Daybell so that they could collect life insurance money, the kids’ social security, and survivor benefits. Lori Vallow Daybell’s defense attorneys, however, argue that she was in her own apartment in Rexburg, Idaho, when the children died at a nearby apartment where her brother lived. They also claim that Vallow Daybell was in Hawaii with friends when Daybell’s previous wife died the next month.
The trial has garnered significant media attention, and the judge has banned cameras from the courtroom. The trial was moved to Boise to increase the likelihood of finding jurors that aren’t deeply familiar with the case. Jury selection is set to begin on Monday, and prosecutors have announced that they will seek the death penalty against both defendants.
This trial is expected to be a long and complicated affair due to the numerous charges and the high profile of the case. It will be closely watched by many across the country who have been following the events leading up to it. The trial will likely bring closure to the friends and family of JJ and Tylee, who have been devastated by their loss.
As the trial proceeds, we will continue to follow the case and provide updates on any significant developments.