Updated, March 10, 1:45 p.m.
Nancy Grace and East Idaho News reporter discuss an incident that authorities said in retrospect was a “red flag”: Ten days before her sudden, unexplained death, Tammy Daybell said a masked man pulled into her driveway and aimed what she thought was a paintball gun at her.
But on newest episode of Crime Stories with Nancy Grace, Nancy asks reporter Nate Eaton how Tammy could be so sure it was a paintball gun and not a more violent weapon. Listen here:
In February, investigators from multiple agencies searched Tammy and Chad Daybell’s home in Salem, Idaho, to look for evidence in connection with Tammy’s death and the disappearance of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, the children of Chad Daybell’s current wife Lori Vallow.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the children have not been seen since September and were never reported missing, Rexburg Police said in a news release last week that Lori Vallow was refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell were reportedly married just weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death, which was initially ruled to have been the result of natural causes. As East Idaho News reports, Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries said that authorities made the decision to exhume Tammy’s body and further investigate her death after hearing from detectives in Arizona about other deaths in the family.
Lori Vallow’s husband Charles Vallow was killed in July, allegedly shot by Lori’s brother Alex Cox, who reportedly claimed self-defense. Cox died in December of unknown causes, and authorities are still investigating. Vallow’s previous husband Joseph Ryan died in 2018 of a heart attack.
Humphries described to East Idaho News the police response Tammy Daybell’s death at her home on October 19.
“My deputies responded and, as we do with most unattended deaths, they took pictures, they looked it over and contacted our detectives,” Humphries said. “The detectives had a few questions, they satisfied those, got the information they needed and didn’t see anything that alarmed them.”
Asked if Chad Daybell was acting suspiciously, Humphries said responding deputies didn’t notice anything alarming.
“To my knowledge, he was responding like anybody would whose spouse had just passed away. That’s why the deputies didn’t suspect anything suspicious,” Humphries said.
Ten days prior to Daybell’s death, she called police to report that a masked man had fired an “empty paintball” gun at her as she pulled into her driveway, according to the report. The man reportedly ran away after she called for her husband.
“There wasn’t anything there at the time we could do and everybody kind of summed it up as a prank,” Humphries told the East Idaho News, acknowledging that he now sees the incident as “a red flag.”
Anyone with information about the disappearance of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan is urged to call (208) 359-3000 or 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).
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[Feature image: Chad and Tammy Daybell/Facebook]