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Dateline NBC to air ‘Mommy Doomsday’ with exclusive new interviews

Daybell Case

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Courtesy Dateline NBC

REXBURG — For the first time, the family of Tammy Daybell is speaking on camera about her unexpected death in October 2019.

The new interview will air as part of Dateline NBC’s two-hour special “Mommy Doomsday,” which airs this Friday at 7 p.m. MT. The special episode continues to explore the evolving case of Chad and Lori Daybell, the deaths of Lori’s children 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and the deaths of Chad and Lori’s former spouses.

The special will feature an exclusive interview with Samantha Gwilliam, the sister of Chad’s first wife Tammy. Gwilliam shares her first-hand experience learning about her sister’s death in a phone call with Chad.

Gwilliam told Dateline’s Keith Morrison that Chad said Tammy had “been sick and had a coughing fit and passed away.” The thought of her sister’s death left Gwilliam sick and devastated.

“He sounded upset and devastated,” Gwilliam said. “I mean, I was crying and he was crying. It was a really hard moment.”

You can watch the exchange here.

Eventually, Gwilliam learned of her brother-in-law’s quick marriage to Lori and said, “I felt like that was too soon for anybody to get over my sister.”

Tammy’s death remains under investigation as the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office received her autopsy results in February. The contents of the autopsy and her cause of death have not been publically released.

The show also shares recorded audio of Lori discussing the death of her third husband Joseph Ryan. A medical examiner and investigators have said that Ryan died of natural causes. The show will also touch on new information about insurance money Lori received after Ryan’s death.


Other new interviews are with mental health experts who say the deaths of Joshua and Tylee could have been avoided if a court had listened to them more than a decade ago. Additionally, the show will feature reporter Nate Eaton.

The TV special follows a six-part chart-topping podcast also called “Mommy Doomsday.” This episode will be the fourth Dateline Special covering the Daybell case.

The Daybells have pleaded not guilty to felonies related to the alterations, destruction and concealment of the bodies of Joshua and Tylee. Investigators found their remains buried in the backyard of Chad’s Salem home in June 2020.