Was ‘cult mom’ husband Chad Daybell trying to cover his tracks? FBI agent testifies about unusual text messages

An FBI intelligence analyst described messages on Tammy Daybell’s phone on the day after Lori Vallow’s 16-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan was last seen alive.

At a preliminary hearing for Chad Daybell in Fremont County, Idaho, on Tuesday, agent Benjamin Dean testified that he had analyzed messages sent and received from Chad’s wife Tammy Daybell’s phone on September 9, 2019.

Dean said on the stand that he had extensively analyzed data found on a computer seized from the Daybell home in January 2020 and was very confident that messages found there were sent or received from Tammy Daybell’s number. He said the pattern of communication between that phone number and a phone number belonging to Chad Daybell indicated that the pair were married and lived together.

The analyst said that a review of the phone data showed a message exchange between Chad and Tammy Daybell on September 9 that caught his attention. Dean said by that time, he was aware the Tylee Ryan was last seen alive on September 8 during a family visit to Yellowstone National Park. Dean also said that a message Chad sent to Tammy that morning was unusual in its detail and scope, compared to their typical message exchanges.

On that morning, as CrimeOnline previously reported, Daybell sent a message to Tammy that he had decided to burn some “limbs” (apparently meaning tree limbs) and that while doing so he noticed a raccoon in the backyard, which he promptly shot and buried in their pet cemetery, Chad told her.

An arrest affidavit shows that investigators traced Vallow’s brother Alex Cox’s cell phone to Daybell’s backyard in the early morning hours of September 9, and again later in the month, just after JJ Vallow was last seen alive.

As detectives detailed at the preliminary hearing, JJ’s body was found tightly bound with duct tape and plastic bags, while Tylee’s remains were dismembered and burned. Authorities have not yet released the results of autopsy reports.