BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Prosecutors charged an Idaho man Wednesday with destroying or concealing two sets of human remains after police said they uncovered bodies at his home while searching for evidence in the case of his wife's two missing children.
The remains, found at Chad Daybell's rural Idaho property Tuesday, have not yet been identified. But the finding marked a gruesome turn in an investigation that has drawn global attention for its ties to two other mysterious deaths and the couple's doomsday beliefs.
In court documents, Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood said he believes Daybell concealed the remains knowing that they were about to be used as evidence in a felony court proceeding.
Online court records do not show if Daybell has obtained an attorney for the case who could speak on his behalf.
Daybell married Lori Vallow Daybell a few weeks after authorities say her children were last seen in September. Police began searching for then-7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan in November after relatives alerted them to their concerns.
Police in the small town of Rexburg say Chad and Lori Daybell lied to investigators about the children’s whereabouts before quietly leaving Idaho. They were found in Hawaii months later.
Lori Daybell already has been charged with child abandonment and obstructing the investigation and is in jail on $1 million bond. Her attorney has indicated she intends to defend herself against the charges, and she is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next month.
Besides the missing children, the couple have been under scrutiny following the deaths of both of their former spouses.
The complex case spans several states and began with Lori Daybell’s brother shooting and killing her estranged husband, Charles Vallow, in Phoenix in what he asserted was self-defense. Vallow was seeking a divorce, saying Lori believed she had become a god-like figure who was responsible for ushering in the biblical end times. Her brother, Alex Cox, died in December of an apparent blood clot in his lung.
Shortly after Vallow’s death, Lori and the children moved to Idaho, where Chad Daybell lived. He ran a small publishing company, putting out many fiction books he wrote about apocalyptic scenarios loosely based on the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also recorded podcasts about preparing for biblical end times, and friends said he claimed to be able to receive visions from “beyond the veil.”
He was married to Tammy Daybell, who died in her sleep last October of what her obituary said were natural causes. Authorities grew suspicious when Chad Daybell married Lori just two weeks later, and they had Tammy Daybell’s body exhumed in December. The results of that autopsy have not been released.