A closer look at two pivotal months in the Daybell investigation - East Idaho News
Daybell Case

A closer look at two pivotal months in the Daybell investigation

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REXBURG — A lot happened in the Daybell investigation over the course of eight weeks last fall.

Events occurred in eastern Idaho during September and October that are key points in the investigation against Chad and Lori Daybell. Chad was arrested June 9 on two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. Lori is charged with desertion of children and three misdemeanors.

Based on court documents, interviews, previous reports and other sources, here’s a closer look at what led up to where we are today.

SEPT. 1 OR 2 — Lori Vallow moves into a townhouse on Pioneer Road in Rexburg with her brother, Alex Cox, and children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Neighbors told police they helped the family move in, and over the next few weeks, their son played with JJ multiple times.

Alex eventually moved into his own unit at the same complex.

SEPT. 8 — Lori, Alex, JJ and Tylee go to Yellowstone National Park. Photos taken at the park are the last piece of evidence police can find showing Tylee with Lori.

Court documents show Alex drove everyone in his silver pickup. His phone exits the west entrance of Yellowstone at 6:40 p.m. and is tracked at Buckaroo’s BBQ Grill in West Yellowstone from 6:45 p.m. to 7:02 p.m. Alex returns to Rexburg at 8:37 p.m., and his phone is at Lori’s townhouse until 9:35 p.m. He goes to Maverik and returns to Lori’s house from 10:44 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. At 11:44 p.m., he is located at his house.

SEPT. 9Court documents state Alex’s phone was at Lori’s apartment, where the kids were staying, from 2:42 a.m. until 3:37 a.m. Detectives indicate this is significant because it’s the middle of the night and the only time in September he appears to go to Lori’s house between midnight and 6 a.m.

Alex goes home at 4:37 a.m. and stays there until 8:59 a.m. Twenty-two minutes later, he is located at Chad Daybell’s property. At 9:21 a.m., a GPS data point places him at the east end of the barn on Chad’s land.

Alex appears to stay at the home for over two hours. Then, at 11:52 a.m., he is located at Del Taco in Rexburg.

One minute later, Chad texts his wife, Tammy, who is at work. He says he’s shot a raccoon and buried it in their pet cemetery. He tells his wife he’s going to write at BYU. Tammy responds at 2:47 p.m., “Good for you.” To which Chad replies, “I’m back home now.”

SEPT. 18 — A babysitter meets Lori and JJ. She tells police she understood her employment would be ongoing.

SEPT. 19 — The babysitter watches JJ. Lori’s friends, Melanie Gibb and David Warwick, arrive from Arizona. Lori immediately tells Melanie that JJ has become a zombie.

SEPT. 22 — Melanie and David tell police they saw JJ late that night as Alex was carrying him to his apartment. Alex later returned and JJ appeared to be asleep on his shoulder.

SEPT. 23 — David wakes up and asks Lori where JJ is between 8 and 9 a.m. Lori tells David and Melanie that JJ had been acting like a zombie, and Alex came to take him.

During their weekend stay, Lori and Melanie discuss how Lori will be taking JJ to stay with Kay Woodcock, his grandmother, so Lori and Chad can complete their “mission.”

David and Melanie leave Rexburg, and that day, JJ has an unexcused absence from Kennedy Elementary School.

At 9:55 a.m., the GPS on Alex’s cell phone shows him at the pond on Chad Daybell’s property. He’s there until 10:12 a.m.

This is one of four visits Alex makes to Chad’s house in September – he stays for 12 minutes on Sept 6, 2.5 hours on Sept. 9, 17 minutes on Sept 23 and around 17 minutes on Sept. 25.

SEPT. 24 — Lori contacts the babysitter and says JJ has gone to stay with his grandmother for several weeks, and her services are no longer needed. Lori also calls Kennedy Elementary and says she would now be homeschooling JJ.

OCT. 1 — Lori visits Self Storage Plus in Rexburg and signs an agreement to rent a unit using the name Lori Ryan. She, Alex and a man believed to be Chad Daybell visit the storage locker eight more times in October and once in November.

OCT. 2 — Lori and a man who is likely Chad drop off a tire and what appears to be a removable car seat at the storage unit.

In Arizona, Brandon Boudreaux, the ex-husband of Lori’s niece, Melani Pawlowski, is shot at while driving home from the gym. A private investigator believes the shooter was Alex, and he was driving a Jeep registered to Charles Vallow, Lori’s deceased husband.

Also on this day, a size 4 Sterling Silver Southwestern Style Malachite Gemstone is ordered on Charles Vallow’s Amazon account and shipped to Lori’s Rexburg home. It’s the same ring spotted in her wedding photos weeks later.

OCT. 3 — Lori returns to the storage facility with a different man, likely Alex, and they remove the tire and car seat from the locker.

That same day, family members tell EastIdahoNews.com that Chad was working outside and he came in to tell Tammy that her deceased grandmother Cooper had visited him. He claims Grandma Cooper told him that Tammy needed to go see her parents in Springville, Utah. Tammy had mentioned to Chad earlier in the week that she wanted to see her family, but she was hesitant to go. Tammy always traveled with Chad or the children, but after her husband told her about his vision, she got in the car the next day and drove to Springville by herself.

OCT. 4 — Tammy arrives in Springville in the evening and has dinner with her parents. She spends the night at her sister’s house.

OCT. 5 — Tammy wakes up around 9 a.m. and drives back to Rexburg.

OCT. 9 — According to a Facebook post, Tammy pulled into her driveway, got out of the car and a man in a ski mask came up and shot at her several times with a paintball gun. He took off, and she called police. Authorities believed it was a prank, and the man was never found.

OCT. 19 — Tammy suddenly dies in her sleep at age 49. Chad insists an autopsy is not needed, and Fremont County Coroner Brenda Dye declares Tammy has died from natural causes.

OCT. 22 — Tammy’s funeral is held in Springville, Utah. Chad quickly leaves after the services and returns to Rexburg, where a memorial is held for Tammy the next day.

OCT. 25 — A friend of Tylee reportedly received a text message from her phone that said, “hi. miss you guys too …luv ya.”

Ten days after that text message, Lori married Chad on the beaches of Hawaii, and a whole new phase of the investigation began.

A comprehensive timeline of the entire investigation can be found here.