BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The mother of two kids who were found dead last year in Idaho and her new husband have been charged with murder in a bizarre case involving doomsday religious beliefs.
Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell were each indicted by a grand jury Monday on charges of conspiracy, murder and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Lori Daybell’s two youngest children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.
Chad Daybell was also charged with one count of murder in connection with the death of his late wife, Tammy Daybell, just weeks before his marriage to the co-defendant.
FILE – This combination of undated file photos released by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children show missing children Joshua Vallow, left, and Tylee Ryan. Investigators returned Tuesday, June 9, 2020 to search the Idaho home of a man with ties to the mysterious disappearance of the two children who haven’t been seen since last year. It’s the second search of Chad Daybell’s home in a case that has vexed investigators for months and attracted worldwide attention. Seven-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Ryan, 17, haven’t been seen since September, and police say both Chad and Lori Daybell lied to investigators about the childrens’ whereabouts. (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children via AP, File)
Prosecutors say the pair endorsed specific religious beliefs in order to justify or encourage the killing of Lori Daybell’s two kids. The children were missing for several months starting in 2019 until authorities found their bodies buried on Chad Daybell’s property.
Both the Daybells have been in jail for months awaiting trial on charges including conspiracy or destruction of evidence after prosecutors said they conspired to hide the childrens’ remains. But the indictment released Tuesday marked the first time murder charges have been brought in the case.
Both Daybells pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges. They have not yet had the opportunity to enter a plea on the murder charges.