A once-close friend of Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow will take the stand again on Tuesday at the preliminary hearing for Daybell, who is in custody in Fremont County on felony charges of concealing evidence and conspiracy to conceal evidence.
Daybell was arrested on June 9, the same day the remains of his wife Lori Vallow’s two children were found in his backyard. Vallow is also in custody in neighboring Madison County on two felony conspiracy counts and multiple misdemeanors. Neither Vallow or Daybell have been charged with murder, though authorities believe both children died in September 2019. On Monday, the court in Fremont County saw police bodycam footage showing Lori Vallow appear to lie repeatedly to officers about her 7-year-old son JJ’s whereabouts in November 2019, two months after the boy had last been seen.
The court also heard a recorded phone call between Vallow, Daybell, and Melanie Gibb, who was among the last people to see JJ Vallow alive. Gibb reportedly recorded the call herself after she became suspicious of Vallow and Daybell, who allegedly asked Gibb to lie to police in late November and tell them that JJ had been with her in Arizona when he was not.
“Is JJ safe?” Melanie asked Vallow in the phone conversation.
“He is safe and happy,” Vallow said.
At the time, JJ was almost certainly dead.
Gibb also admitted to lying to a police officer in Gilbert who asked about JJ’s whereabouts; leading the officer to believe that JJ had been with her very recently and was headed back to Rexburg, Idaho, where Vallow had recently moved with JJ and his 16-year-old sister Tylee.
Vallow had reportedly told police and friends, including Gibb, that Tylee had gone to BYU-Idaho during the fall 2019 semester. But the dean of students at the university testified in court on Monday that there was no record of Tylee’s registration.
On Tuesday, Daybell’s attorney John Prior is set to cross-examine Melanie Gibbs. It is unclear at this time what other witnesses may testify.
CrimeOnline will continue to share updates about Daybell’s preliminary hearing, which begins at 11 a.m. ET; 9 a.m. MDT. You can watch a live stream here:
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Click here to read all of CrimeOnline’s coverage of the Vallow case.
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