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Here’s what you were reading on EastIdahoNews.com in 2021

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Say what you want about 2021, but most of us can resign ourselves to the fact that it was unforgettable.

From developments in the Daybell case to Gabby Petito’s disappearance and murder to (of course) COVID-19, there was hardly a dull moment.

Based on our analytics, here’s our list of the 10 most popular stories of 2021. We’ve condensed some of them, such as Daybell and Petito, as they spanned multiple articles.

10. Accused of hunting out of season

One Blackfoot man’s photo with a dead buck led to felony charge of unlawful possession of a trophy mule deer, as Fish and Game said he had shot it out of season.

9. When are you going to get your money?

You wanted to know when money from the IRS was coming to your bank account.

8. Man arrested in vigilante sex sting

A man who was inspired by the “To Catch a Predator” television show decided he could be like host Chris Hansen. His actions led to the arrest of a grown man who allegedly wanted sex with a teenage girl. Read the story here and here.

7. Father loses parental rights to son he didn’t know he had

A teenage father found out about his son too late — the child had already been adopted, and legally, there doesn’t seem to be anything he can do about it. Read more here.

6. Mountain lion cubs found in backyard euthanized

What began as a wildlife adventure for Sugar City residents took a sad turn after Idaho Department of Fish & Game officials were forced to euthanize a trio of mountain lion cubs. Officials said the cubs were “emaciated” and in “really poor body condition.”

5. Hummingbirds battle in backyard

hummingbird
Bill Schiess, EastIdahoNews.com

Here’s another wildlife-in-backyard story, but happier. Columnist Bill Schiess wrote about hummingbirds fighting for control of his backyard feeders and took stunning photos of the birds. People all over the country noticed. Check out the comments.

4. The disappearance and death of Gabby Petito

A young woman disappeared in our region in August, and the story quickly went viral. Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, were going on a cross-country trip, but only he returned to Florida. Petito’s remains were found in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, and Laundrie’s were found in a nature reserve in North Port, Florida. Authorities believe Laundrie killed Petito and later, himself.

3. More COVID-19 havoc

You probably don’t need the reminder, but COVID was still an issue in 2021. How it related to various religions was particularly a hot topic for many of you. And as usual, the controversy around face masks was something that interested you.

2. The Daybell case

Lori and Chad Daybell
Lori and Chad Daybell. | File photo

Chad and Lori Daybell now face murder charges in the deaths of her children Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, and Chad’s deceased wife, Tammy Daybell, and Lori is also charged in connection with the death of her previous husband, Charles Vallow. Court proceedings against Lori are on hold after a psychologist found Lori incompetent. But although these were major developments, they weren’t the most-clicked Daybell stories. Besides the ever-growing timeline, you were most interested in a steamy book-by-text Chad probably never meant to make public.

1. The DeOrr Kunz case

This surprised us most of all — not that people are still interested in the 2-year-old Idaho Falls boy who disappeared while visiting Timber Creek Campground in 2015, but that the most-clicked story on our site for 2021 was this update on the DeOrr case from 2020. (Here’s the update from 2021.) We tend to see a spike in interest in DeOrr when documentaries about him show on national television or he trends on social media, and last year’s update rose to the top, for some reason. At any rate, we hope questions about his fate can be answered in 2022.

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