Three FBI agents and a forensic expert have been subpoenaed to testify in the case against Chad Daybell, who will appear in court today on felony charges related to the disappearance and deaths of his wife's two children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
JJ and Tylee were last seen in September, and the siblings' disappearance sparked a nationwide search involving multiple law enforcement agencies and the FBI. JJ and Tylee's remains were found buried outside of Chad's house in Idaho in June, according to authorities. Seven-year-old JJ's remains were discovered wrapped in plastic and duct tape near a pond on Chad's property, according to investigators, and "bones, charred tissue and charred bones" found near Chad's fire pit and pet cemetery were confirmed to be those of Tylee, 16.
Three FBI agents from the bureau's Salt Lake City division—Special Agent Benjamin Dean, Special Agent Steven Daniels and Agent Gary Lyu—have been called to testify during Chad's preliminary hearing Monday and Tuesday, according to court documents. A member of the Idaho State Police Forensic Services team, Rylene Nowlin, has also been subpoenaed.
Authorities believe the children were killed shortly after they were last seen and buried in Chad's yard by their uncle, Alex Cox. Cox himself died on Dec. 12. An Arizona medical examiner ruled that he died of natural causes, but Cox's death remains under investigation.
Chad has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, as well as two felony charges of willfully destroying, concealing or altering evidence related to the children's remains. Chad has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of wrongdoing. His attorney, John Prior, has not responded to Inside Edition Digital's requests for comment.
Chad will appear in court in person amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 cases have recently surged in Idaho, but Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins ruled last month that both Chad and his wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, have the right to appear in person for their preliminary hearings.
Attendees will be limited in order to practice social distancing, Eddins wrote, and Plexiglas will be used to separate people along the bench and witness stand. The hearings will be live-streamed after several media organizations and Chad and Lori's attorneys objected to the prosecutor's request to ban cameras in the courtroom in order to not influence potential jurors.
Prosecutor Rob Wood had filed a motion arguing cameras would violate Chad and Lori's right to a fair trial and that "allowing broadcasting/live-streaming of the preliminary hearing will make it more difficult to pick an un-biased jury in Fremont County," as well as nearby Madison County, where Lori faces additional misdemeanor charges.
Lori has been charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in Fremont County. She is also facing misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt in Madison County. She has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of wrongdoing. She is due to appear in court in Fremont County on Aug. 10 and Aug. 11.
Separately, Lori and Chad are currently under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's office for "conspiracy, attempted murder and/or murder" in the death of Chad's first wife, Tammy, who died weeks before the couple married.
The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding the case to contact them at 208-359-3000.