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‘With heavy hearts’ police identify remains found on Daybell property

Daybell Case

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A memorial set up at Porter Park to honor Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan. | Silas Wright, EastIdahoNews.com

REXBURG — Human remains found on Chad Daybell’s Salem property have been officially identified as 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.

The Rexburg Police Department announced the findings Saturday following autopsies that were performed on both bodies in Boise.

“The remains were taken to the medical examiner’s office where an autopsy and positive identification was performed. It is with heavy hearts that we now confirm that those remains have now been officially identified as those of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan,” Rexburg Police Assistant Chief Gary Hagen said in a news release.

The remains were found as a search warrant was executed at Daybell’s home Tuesday. Rexburg Police officers, Fremont County Sheriff deputies and the FBI made the discovery in the yard behind the house. Daybell was arrested and charged with two felony counts of concealment or destruction of evidence.

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The first felony count alleges Daybell hid, altered, or destroyed human remains on his property between Sept. 8, 2019 and June 9, 2020. The second count says Daybell hid, altered, or destroyed human remains on his property between Sept. 22, 2019 and June 9, 2020.

Authorities have not released details about the conditions of the remains but during a court hearing Wednesday, Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood noted the concealment of one of the bodies was “particularly egregious.”

“We would like to thank all of the law enforcement officers involved, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, family, friends and everyone throughout this community and across the country for their diligent and tireless efforts to find JJ and Tylee,” Hagen said. “It is not the outcome we had hoped; to be able to find the children safe. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of JJ and Tylee.”

Annie Cushing, the aunt of Tylee, issued the following statement Saturday. Read the full statement here.

“Today marks the conclusion of a long and arduous search for my niece, Tylee Ryan, and her little brother, JJ Vallow. Rexburg Police Department has confirmed the remains found on Chad Daybell’s property belong to them. The outcome comes as no surprise, but it still packs a devastating punch as the finality of it all sinks in.”

The affidavit of probable cause has been sealed in the case. Daybell is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 1.

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