Skip to main content
Local News

The Latest on the Daybell Case

The case of the two missing children out of Rexburg has been one of the most shocking and bizarre cases in the history of Rexburg, and Eastern Idaho as a whole.

Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 8, and Tylee Ryan, 17, have been missing since September 2019. In the nine months since their last sighting, there have been very few leads into where they might be.

Lori Vallow Daybell, the mother of the children, currently awaits her preliminary hearing for multiple charges, including two counts of desertion of a minor child, which could land her up to 30 years in prison if she’s convicted.

Chad Daybell, her husband, currently is not charged with any crime, but that could change pending the results of an autopsy of his late wife, Tammy Daybell. The Fremont County coroner originally said she died of natural causes, but her body was exhumed months ago and is currently undergoing an extensive autopsy.

The Idaho Attorney General’s Office sent a letter to the Fremont County Prosecutor in April, which East Idaho News obtained, agreeing to take over the investigation into the death of Tammy. Pending the results of the autopsy will determine whether or not Chad and/or Lori will face charges in the death.

The case has caught national attention due to the bizarre circumstances and connections of multiple deaths of people close to Lori and Chad, as well as Chad’s religious teachings and following. NBC’s Dateline has featured the story twice, and other national news industries have reported on the case.

After almost nine months of investigation and national coverage of the case, it’s still unclear where the children or if they’re alive.

Recently,, one of the lead reporting organizations of the case, interviewed Melanie Gibb, Lori Daybell’s best friend.

In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Nate Eaton, the news director of East Idaho News, said Gibb’s words were so critical for others to hear because of her unique connection with Lori.

“This is the woman that knows more about this case than anybody other than Chad and Lori,” Eaton said.

BYU-Idaho Radio · A Conversation with Nate Eaton with East Idaho News
Eaton said Gibb’s main goal in speaking to him was to “Be a voice for those who have died…and the children (JJ and Tylee).”

The full interview between Eaton and Melanie Gibb is available on, to watch that, click here.

Along with talking about the interview, Eaton talked about his unique experience covering the case. He said he may not get to cover a case like this one ever again.

“There are so many [parts] to this,” Eaton said. “Most stories you can [describe] in 10-15 seconds, this one you can’t.”

Lori Daybell’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month. There isn’t any timeline on when the autopsy results for Tammy Daybell will be available.