The bodies of Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow were found on the property of Chad Daybell, leading to the charges filed against the husband of Lori Vallow. Court documents revealed some of the details in the case, and disturbing facts about the deaths of the children.
Joshua “JJ” Vallow was a 7-year-old boy with autism. He was found buried in a plastic bag on Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. Ryan, age 16, was found nearby, and her remains were burned and dismembered, law enforcement wrote in charging documents.
Read the court documents in full here.
Here’s what you need to know:
Months After Tylee & JJ Went Missing, Their Remains Were Found on Chad Daybell’s Property & a Friend Remembered Tylee as a Protective Sister to Her Younger Brother
Vallow told her friend, Melanie Gibb, that she believed her children had become “zombies,” according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. Vallow believed that being a “zombie” meant their spirits had left their bodies, and they had become “dark spirits.” The “death of the physical body is seen as the mechanism by which the body’s original spirit can be released,” the affidavit said, citing Vallow’s beliefs.
FBI agents used text message exchanges between Daybell and Vallow to determine locations on his property to search, and executed search warrants June 9, 2020, according to court documents. While they were searching the property, they found a round object covered in black plastic and noticed a strong odor. Beneath the black plastic was a layer of white plastic.
“An incision was made into the white layer of plastic exposing what appeared to be human remains, the crown of a head covered in light brown hair,” agents wrote.
The remains were later determined to be the body of JJ Vallow, court documents said.
In another part of the property, in a pet cemetery, investigators found charred, human remains, that were later determined to be the dismembered body of Tylee, investigators wrote.
A friend of Vallow, April Raymond, testified in a hearing in the case that she had believed Vallow was a patient mother to JJ, according to CBS News.
“JJ was very difficult to take care of … So … I really admired how patient she was with him and how much care she took of him,” Raymond testified, according to CBS.
Another friend, Vaisia Itaaehau, testified Tylee had a protective bond with JJ, CBS reported.
“I loved being around JJ and Tylee. Tylee was really protective over JJ. … and she was kind of like another mama to him,” Itaaehau testified, according to CBS. “I just kind of loved how — she would — just play with him and just always have, like, a really good time with him. … and I really love JJ. He’s the sweetest soul I’ve ever met.”
Vallow Sent a Text to Chad Saying She Shot a Raccoon on Their Property & Buried It in the Pet Cemetery the Day After Tylee Was Last Seen
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow exchanged text messages September 9, 2019, which law enforcement quoted in the affidavit of probable cause filed in Daybell’s case. That was the day after Ryan was last seen alive, police said. Read the court document in full here.
The texts said:
Chad to Tammy at 11:53 a.m.: Well, I’ve had an interesting morning! I felt I should burn all of the limb debris by the fire pit before it got too soaked by the coming storms. While I did so, I spotted a big raccoon along the fence. I hurried and got my gun, and he was still walking along. I got close enough that one shot did the trick. He is now in our pet cemetery. Fun times!
Chad to Tammy at 11:56 a.m.: Gonna shower now and then go write for a while at BYU. Love you!
Tammy to Chad at 2:47 p.m.: Good for you!
FBI agents elaborated on why those text seemed suspicious. The affidavit said:
I found the text suspicious because raccoons are normally nocturnal animals and are not regularly out during the day. It should be noted that from interviewing neighbors of Chad Daybell, we are aware that in mid-July of 2019, Garth Daybell, Chad’s son, told their neighbors that Chad had shot a raccoon out of a tree on their property during the day. Garth told (a neighbor) about the raccoon in response to a question from (a neighbor) about hearing a gunshot. (Neighbors) informed me that the fire pit in the back of the Daybell property was hardly ever used until the last few months.
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