Tammy Daybell autopsy complete: Chad Daybell’s previous wife died suddenly weeks before Chad married ‘Cult Mom’ Lori Vallow

A medical examiner in Utah has turned over the autopsy results for Chad Daybell’s former wife Tammy Daybell, who died suddenly just weeks before Chad married Lori Vallow. Less than a year later, Vallow’s missing children were found dead in Daybell’s backyard.

As KUTV reports, the Fremont County Sheriff’s office announced on Thursday that they had obtained the autopsy and toxicology reports for Tammy Daybell, more than a year after authorities exhumed her body in December 2019. Tammy Daybell died in her sleep in mid-October 2019, and her family had authorized her burial without an autopsy. At the time of her death, authorities in Idaho were not aware that Vallow’s two children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow, had both been missing since September 2019. Investigators discovered the children were missing during a requested welfare check at Vallow’s home in late November.  Vallow and Daybell are both accused of lying to police on the day of the welfare check: Vallow about her children’s whereabouts, and Daybell about his relationship with Vallow.

Arrest affidavits released by the Fremont County Sheriff’s office suggest both children died on separate dates in September. Using cell phone data, investigators traced Vallow’s brother Alex Cox to Daybell’s Salem, Idaho, property shortly after each child was last seen alive, and where investigators later found the children’s buried bodies. Cox died suddenly in December 2019; the day after Tammy Daybell’s body was exhumed. A medical examiner ruled that Cox died of natural causes, from a sudden cardiac event with a contributing heart condition.

As noted in the statement, the Fremont County Sheriff will not be releasing the autopsy findings to the public, as the results are included among evidence in the ongoing criminal investigation. Authorities have not confirmed publicly if they suspect foul play in Tammy’s death, or formally named any suspects. In the case of Cox’s death and the death of Vallow’s third husband Joseph Ryan, authorities confirmed publicly that both were the result of natural causes. 

Neither Vallow or Daybell have been charged with murder in connection to the deaths of Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow. Daybell is charged with obstructing or concealing evidence and conspiracy, and Vallow is charged with conspiracy to obstruct evidence.

Click here to read all of CrimeOnline’s coverage of the Vallow-Daybell case. 

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast