New details contained in thousands of Daybell case documents just released by police
CHANDLER, Arizona — Over 2,500 pages of information — primarily emails — released from Arizona investigators share new details into the investigation of Chad and Lori Daybell.
The couple was indicted by a Fremont County grand jury in May on charges including first-degree murder for Tammy Daybell, Chad’s previous wife, and Lori’s two kids, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan. The couple is also facing charges concerning the destruction, alteration and concealment of the children’s bodies.
In Arizona, Lori is facing a felony conspiracy to commit a murder charge in connection to the death of her husband, Charles Vallow. Lori’s now dead brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed Charles in July 2019. Cox called the shooting self-defense, but investigators say evidence tells a different story.
Chad has pleaded not guilty to all his charges and is scheduled for a jury trial in November. Lori’s case is on pause after a judge committed her to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare as a mental health professional deemed her incompetent for trial.
Since the shooting and killing of Charles Vallow, Lori’s fourth husband, Arizona authorities sent and received thousands of emails as the investigation unfolded in multiple states. The Chandler Police Department released documents following records requests submitted by media organizations over the past 18 months.
Here are major details contained in the files obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.
- An audio recording on Lori’s phone is titled “Lori’s testimony.” Investigators say in the recording Lori “is self-prophesying and everything she does is because her Heavenly Father tells her.”
- In March 2019, Charles emails Lori after she vanishes for a period of time and leaves JJ behind. In the message, Charles wants to “try and establish a family connection with you and our son.” It had been 38 days since Charles had heard from Lori.
- Summaries of interviews with Alex, Lori and Tylee on July 11, 2019, the day Charles was killed, were released. Redacted search warrant applications tied to the investigation were also released.
- Investigators say that between July 14, 2019, and July 19, 2019, Alex took a trip from Arizona to Colombia. He shot and killed Charles just three days before and details of the trip are not publicly known. It is known that between 2015 and 2018, Alex wired money to people in Colombia three times.
- On Aug. 8, 2019, Lori’s sister-in-law emails detectives outlining her beliefs and theories of Alex and Lori killing Charles. She also claimed Alex left two of Lori’s dogs in the desert because she didn’t want them. Alex is then reported to have shot and killed another family member’s dog when they didn’t want it.
- On Aug. 9, Kay Woodcock, JJ’s grandmother, sent a detective an email worried about the boy’s wellbeing and asked for a welfare check. She says Lori won’t respond to texts or calls after discovering Kay received a life insurance payout following the death of Charles.
- In an email dated Sept. 5, 2019, Lori emailed JJ’s school, Life Academy, in Arizona, just days after moving to Rexburg. Lori says she was offered a job out of state and had to move quickly as JJ would not be returning to the school. Police released heavily redacted school records for JJ from Life Acadamey.
- A photo from Lori’s phone shows JJ Vallow sitting on a ride at Yellowstone Bear World just south of Rexburg on Sept. 14, 2019.
- A photo from Lori’s iCloud account shows JJ dressed in red pajamas around noon on Sept. 22, 2019, the last day investigators say he was seen alive. During Chad’s preliminary hearing in Idaho, investigators who uncovered JJ’s body said they found him wearing red pajamas.
- On Sept. 23, 2019, Lori’s phone shows multiple pictures of rifle ammunition at The Gun Shop in Idaho Falls.
- Lori sends a message to JJ’s nanny on Sept. 24, 2019 saying JJ’s grandparents came and took him for a few weeks. She said she wishes she had other work for the nanny, but her son won’t be back for about a month.
- A CAST (Cellular Analysis Survey Team) from the FBI sends investigators a document with cellphone data on Sept. 26, 2019. The phone number is redacted, but it shows a person at a Walmart in Rexburg just minutes from Chad’s Salem home.
- On Oct. 6, 2019, photos show Alex taking pictures at Mesa Falls north of Rexburg
- Lori booked a flight from Idaho Falls to Arizona on Oct. 8, 2019, the day before investigators say Tammy reported being shot at outside her Salem home. Investigators presume Cox was the masked gunman Tammy wrote about in a Facebook post regarding the encounter.
- The day after Tammy died, investigators say Lori booked a flight from Phoenix to Idaho.
- Law enforcement officers witness Chad and Lori holding hands just days after Tammy died on Oct. 19, 2019.
- An investigative timeline shows Chad and Lori stayed at the Kauai Beach resort from Nov. 3, 2019, to Nov. 6, 2019. The couple married on Nov. 5, 2019, and were confronted at the same resort in January 2020 by EastIdahoNews.com reporter Nate Eaton.
- A Nov. 25, 2019, email indicates the FBI in both Phoenix and Houston received tips that Charles’ homicide could be attributed to Lori and Alex. Two days later, investigators searched the siblings’ townhomes in Rexburg.
- Lori and Chad flew to Hawaii on Dec. 1, 2019, and Kauai Police officers get involved. According to an email, a live streaming camera is set up outside their rented condo, but as of Dec. 21, 2019, investigators had yet to get any images of the pair. Eventually, surveillance captures photos of the couple, which were released by police.
- A witness in the case contacts the FBI on Dec. 14, 2019, saying Chad and Lori called a relative. In the call, Chad and Lori say police contacted two of Chad’s kids and “threatened them” that they would exhume Tammy’s body. The couple reportedly thought the threat was a lie, a “scare tactic,” and did not think the FBI was involved. They also felt they were being bullied by Rexburg Police. Authorities had already exhumed Tammy’s body on Dec. 11, 2019.
- On Jan. 30, 2020, a detective emails the FBI detailing what they have discovered on Lori’s iCloud account. Many discoveries were screenshots showing booking confirmations for rental cars, hotels and airline fares. Investigators also say Lori does not communicate with others through text and is careful, asking people to call her.
- The files released include hundreds of screenshots from the online forum, Another Voice of Warning (AVOW). Many of the discussions on the site regard emergency preparedness and prophecies, dreams and visions. Chad was a contributor to the site and after news of the story broke, users began to talk about the case and Chad. Christopher Parrett, an AVOW leader, adamantly defends Chad and repeatedly attacks the media for reporting on the story.
- Police released dozens of emails showing media requests and investigators responding to questions.
- Six redacted lines of phone numbers associated with Lori are included in an investigator’s email. It has been reported she and Chad used “burner phones” to communicate.