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Chad Daybell enters not guilty plea after children’s remains found buried on his property

SHARE Chad Daybell enters not guilty plea after children’s remains found buried on his property

Chad Daybell, 51, of Salem, Idaho, was arrested and booked into Idaho’s Fremont County Jail Tuesday. Authorities said they recovered human remains at his home as they served search warrants in the case of his wife Lori Daybell’s missing children.

Fremont County Sheriff’s Office

SALT LAKE CITY — Chad Daybell entered not guilty pleas to two felony counts of concealment of evidence after the bodies of his wife’s two children were found buried in his backyard, according to court documents filed Friday by his attorney.

Police serving a search warrant June 9 uncovered human remains later confirmed to be his wife Lori Vallow Daybell’s two children in Daybell’s backyard in Salem, Idaho, a tragic end to a case that has garnered national attention. Daybell was arrested that day following the grim discovery.

Joshua “JJ” Vallow, who was 7 at the time of his disappearance, and his sister, Tylee Ryan, 17, had been missing since September 2019. Lori Vallow Daybell was arrested in February after failing to notify authorities on the whereabouts of her children, and has since been charged with child abandonment.

Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan

This combination photo of undated photos released by National Center for Missing & Exploited Children show missing children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, left, and Tylee Ryan. Their relatives are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to their recovery.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children via Associated Press

According to documents filed by Daybell’s attorney, John Prior, Daybell has requested a jury trial.

Although Prior requested a bail of no more than $100,000, arguing that Daybell is not charged with a crime more serious than evidence tampering, the judge set bail at $1 million on Wednesday.

“It’s not simply a document, drugs, a gun,” said prosecutor Rob Wood, who argued for the $1 million bail amount, pointing out the evidence Daybell is accused of concealing are the remains of his wife’s children.

Daybell could face up to five years in jail and a $1,000 fine for the charges of destroying or concealing evidence. However, on Monday the East Idaho News reported that authorities are “meticulously” building charges against the Daybells. As more information surfaces, they will likely face additional charges.

The husband and wife are also being investigated by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office in the death of Chad Daybell’s former wife, who died just weeks before Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell married. The case has looked at the couple’s rumored apocalyptic religious beliefs, as investigators have noted they have both been involved in an Idaho-based group that promotes preparing for the biblical end of times.


Investigators in Idaho said Tuesday June 9, 2020, they recovered human remains in the backyard of Chad Daybell’s home in Salem. It’s not known yet, if the remains are those of missing children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and his sister, Tylee Ryan, 17, who haven’t been seen since last September.

John Wilson, Deseret News