Charges have been filed against Chad Daybell for conspiracy to conceal evidence, a day after his wife appeared in court for the same charges.
Daybell made a Wednesday appearance in Fremont County Courthouse via Zoom with his attorney John Prior. The charges were added to Daybell’s case for concealment of evidence after the bodies of his wife’s children Tylee Ryan, 17, and J.J. Vallow, 7, were discovered buried on his property.
Similar to his wife’s case, the new charges are based on the extent Daybell went to hide the deaths of the children, including his attempts to convince others to lie about their whereabouts.
Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins summarized the charges for Daybell, who has been in jail since June 9. Daybell’s bond remained unchanged at $1 million.
Prior and Special Prosecutor Rob Wood told Eddins they do not expect Daybell’s preliminary hearing, scheduled for Aug. 3-4, to be delayed.
Both Daybell and Vallow called Melanie Gibb in November in an attempt to convince her to lie to Rexburg Police Department officers and say J.J. was with her.
In his probable cause affidavit Lt. Ron Ball also noted that in early September Daybell had sent a text message to his then-wife Tammy Daybell claiming he had been burning tree limbs and had shot and buried a raccoon. The timing of the text message coincides with the last known sighting of Ryan. The report notes that Ryan’s remains were dismembered and burned.
When police questioned the couple in November, Daybell reportedly pretended he only passingly knew his wife. Vallow claimed J.J. was staying with a friend, Melanie Gibb in Arizona.
Gibb told police J.J. was not with her, and said Daybell and Vallow both called her and told her to lie and say she was seeing a movie with J.J.
When police returned to question the couple, they were not present. Police later learned the two had flown to Hawaii.
Vallow was arrested in March after she disobeyed a court order to produce the children, and was extradited to Idaho. Daybell also returned to Idaho.
Daybell was arrested June 9 after law enforcement discovered the children’s remains on Daybell’s property. According to court records, Daybell attempted to drive away but was stopped by police.
Conspiracy to conceal evidence is punishable with up to five years in prison.
Following the hearing, the Ryan, Vallow-Woodcock and Boudreaux families released a joint statement through Felicia Dewall, who has acted as the families’ spokesperson.
“We have utmost faith in the judicial process and are confident justice will prevail,” the statement said. “We want to express our immeasurable gratitude to the numerous law enforcement agencies and officers who tirelessly worked this case amongst all the others within this tangled web.”
The statement said funeral plans for the children are on hold until the bodies are released to them. Services are being planned in Rexburg, Phoenix and Lake Charles, Louisiana.