At a preliminary hearing for Chad Daybell, the Idaho man who may have been involved in the disappearance and death of his wife’s two children, a police detective gave detailed testimony about the missing persons investigation and the discovery of buried remains in Daybell’s backyard.
Daybell appeared on Monday morning for an in-person hearing at the Fremont County courthouse. The husband of Lori Vallow is facing multiple felony counts of concealing evidence and conspiracy to conceal evidence. Vallow, who he married in November after her children went missing and just weeks after Daybell’s wife died suddenly, is in custody in neighboring Madison County on felony conspiracy charges. Neither Vallow or Daybell have been charged with murder in the deaths of 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow.
At Monday’s hearing, Rexburg Police Detective Ray Hermosillo described the day in late November 2019 when he and another police officer went to Vallow’s home in Rexburg to perform a welfare check for JJ Vallow. He said from the witness stand that Daybell, who was at the apartment complex when the officers arrived, initially tried to claim that he did not know Vallow well and did not have her phone number. He later admitted that he did have Vallow’s phone number and gave it to police. The detective said that Vallow never answered her phone or returned calls from Rexburg police. Both she and Daybell soon secured attorneys and refused to speak with investigators, Hermosillo said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Daybell and Vallow later fled Idaho for Hawaii, where they both remained until February when Vallow was arrested on felony child desertion charges.
Detective Hermosillo was present at Daybell’s residence on June 9, when investigators discovered human remains later identified as JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. At the hearing, Hermosillo gave a detailed account of the condition of the bodies. According to his testimony, investigators dug below a trio of white rocks found in Daybell’s backyard. After removing wood paneling underneath the rocks, Hermosillo said he could detect the distinct scent of decomposition. The investigators soon discovered what appeared to be a small human body wrapped tightly in multiple layers of plastic and duct tape.
The body was later identified as JJ Vallow, who had not been seen alive since September 22. Hermosillo said that he attended JJ’s autopsy, and noted the excessive amount of duct tape used to wrap the boy’s body, including his mouth and his head. The detective said that JJ was wearing pajamas and socks, and that his hands were bound in front of his body, wrapped in multiple layers of duct tape.
Authorities have not yet released the autopsy reports for the two children.
Hermosillo also described the discovery of Tylee Ryan’s remains in a pet cemetery at the Daybell residence. As previously reported, Tylee’s body appeared to have been burned and dismembered. The detective shared new details about the condition of the remains, revealing that a melted green bucket was found with the body parts, which reportedly contained burned flesh. Investigators found a partial human skull under the body parts, the detective said.
Following Hermosillo’s testimony, the judge ordered a recess for lunch. CrimeOnline will provide further updates as the hearing continues. You can follow along at the livestream below:
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