Lori and Chad Daybell Under Investigation For Murder, Attempted Murder and Conspiracy by Attorney General
The Idaho Attorney General has taken over the investigation at the county prosecutor's request, according to an April 9 letter.
Lori and Chad Daybell are 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.
Tammy Daybell, 49, was found dead in her home on Oct. 19. While her death was initially ruled to be from natural causes, it is now under investigation. Tammy's body was exhumed and the results of an autopsy are still pending, according to authorities. Chad and Lori wed in Hawaii on Nov. 5, weeks after Tammy's death.
The attorney general's office confirmed in an April 9 letter that it would be taking over the investigation from Fremont County Prosecutor Marcia Murdoch at her request. The letter was first obtained and published by EastIdahoNews.com. Neither Chad nor Lori have been charged with any crime in connection to Tammy's death.
The attorney general's investigation is separate from the charges that have been filed against Lori, including two counts of felony desertion of a child, in the disappearance of her children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, who were last seen in September.
Lori also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt in that case, according to the Madison County, Idaho, prosecutor's office. Lori's preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 7 and May 8. Lori and Chad have both denied all allegations of wrongdoing. Chad Daybell has not been charged with a crime.
Lori is currently being held on $1 million bond, and is due in court Friday for a bond reduction hearing before Magistrate Judge Michelle Radford Mallard, according to court records.
Mallard is now presiding over the case after Lori's attorney, Mark Means, filed a motion to remove the previous judge, Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins, from the case.
If Lori's bond were to be reduced and she were able to post it, Means has also filed a motion to seal the address of her residence upon release.
Meanwhile, JJ's biological grandparents are still fighting for guardianship of him even as he remains missing. Kay and Larry Woodcock filed a petition for guardianship and conservatorship of JJ. Lori is due in court for a status conference on that petition on Thursday, over which Magistrate Judge Eddins is still presiding.
New details have emerged about the weeks leading up to Tammy's death.
A ring that appears to be the one Lori wore in her wedding pictures with Chad on Nov. 5 was ordered from Amazon.com on Oct. 2, 17 days before Tammy Daybell's death, according to a screenshot from the Amazon.com account obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.
The ring was shipped to a Rexburg address where Lori was living at the time and billed to her late fourth husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot and killed by Lori's brother in July.
A former friend and colleague of Chad Daybell has also said he spoke to her about Tammy's death in a phone call weeks before it happened. Julie Rowe is an author who published multiple books with Chad between May 2014 and March 2019.
"Three weeks before Tammy dies, he said to me, and he was in this frustrated voice, 'My plan can't move forward until Tammy's dead,' or 'until Tammy dies,'" Rowe told InsideEdition.com, explaining she believes Chad was referring to his "life plan," or the plan that God had for him.
"I felt darkness in it, I felt his frustration and his anger, and it was a big caution for me. It was enough of one that I talked to my husband about it, and I was very concerned," she added.
Neither Sean Bartholick, Chad's attorney, nor Mark Means, Lori's attorney, responded to InsideEdition.com's request for comment.
The search continues for Lori's missing children, JJ and Tylee, who have now been missing for more than six months. JJ was last seen at his school in Rexburg, Idaho, on Sept. 23 and Tylee was last seen at Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 8, according to authorities.
Tammy Daybell's death is one of three suspicious deaths surrounding the children's disappearance, including the death of Lori's brother, Alex Cox, on Dec. 12, and the shooting of Charles Vallow on July 11. All three deaths are now under investigation.
The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding JJ and Tylee's whereabouts or welfare to contact the department at 1-208-359-3000 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST.
JJ has brown hair and brown eyes, is 4 feet tall and weighs 50 pounds. He has autism and "may be in need of medical attention," according to authorities. Tylee has blonde hair and blue eyes, is 5 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds.
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