Daybell Prosecutors Seek ‘Consumptive’ DNA Testing on Some Evidence

Consumptive testing can only be done once because it obliterates the material tested.

Attorneys prosecuting Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell for murder have asked the judge in the case to allow exhaustive DNA testing on several key pieces of evidence.

The Daybells are scheduled to go on trial in January for the deaths of two of Vallow Daybell’s children and Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, were found dead on Daybell’s property in Idaho in June 2020, nine months after they went missing, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Tammy Daybell died in October, shortly after the children disappeared, and Chad and Lori married just weeks afterward.

East Idaho News said that prosecutors Lindsey Blake and Rob Wood filed a motion on Monday asking Judge Steven Boyce to allow consumptive DNA testing — meaning the material tested would be destroyed — hairs found on duct tape inside a body bag that was used to transport JJ Vallow’s body; fingerprint details on the adhesive side of tape connected with the boy’s body; small dark spots on the handles of a shovel and pickax recovered from Daybell’s property; swabs of tape areas; and swabs from the fingernails of JJ’s right hand that were obtained during his autopsy.

Court documents say Wood asked for consumptive testing in April 2021, but the Daybells’ attorneys objected. The issued was put on hold when Vallow Daybell was declared incompetent and placed in a state facility for treatment. She was declared competent a year later.

Along with the request, the lab manager of the Idaho State Police Forensic Services Laboratory submitted an affidavit asking that if Boyce approves the request, he has the testing done in another lab. Because defense attorneys usually have an observer watch consumptive testing, Rylene Nowlin said the procedure would place a “risk of contamination and disruption of work” at her lab.

“Due to the contamination risk, the risk of distraction that could lead to errors caused by having someone video the laboratory analysis, and the necessary shutdown of all other work in the laboratory during filming, the laboratory requests to have samples analyzed by an independent accredited DNA laboratory instead of requiring ISPFS to video analysis,” she wrote.

Prosecutors have asked for a hearing on the issue, but a date has not been set.

The Daybells have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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[Featured image: Chad Daybell, left, and Lori Vallow Daybell with her attorneys in separate hearings held on April 19, 2022. (Tony Blakeslee/ via AP, Pool)]