Missing Idaho Kids Case: Lori Vallow Daybell's Husband Among 48 People Who May Testify at Her Trial
Lori Vallow Daybell's preliminary hearing has been set for May 7 and May 8, although previous hearings have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The prosecutor handling the case against Lori Vallow Daybell may call 48 witnesses, including her husband, Chad, whom she married shortly after her children were last seen. In a document filed in response to Lori's attorney's discovery request, Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood lists 48 people whom the state may call "at a trial, preliminary hearing, grand jury hearing, or any other hearing in this matter," adding that "the state reserves the right to disclose other witnesses in the future."
Perhaps most crucially, Chad Daybell is among the witnesses who could be called to testify in the case involving Lori's two missing children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17. Tylee was last seen Sept. 8 at Yellowstone National Park, and JJ was last seen Sept. 23 at Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg, Idaho.
Under Idaho law, confidential communication between spouses is not considered legally privileged if it is related to a criminal action or "a communication relevant to an issue concerning the physical, mental or emotional condition of or injury to a child, or concerning the welfare of a child." Both apply in the case surrounding JJ and Tylee, according to prosecutors.
Separately, Chad and Lori 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.
Tammy Daybell, 49, was found dead at her home on Oct. 19. Chad and Lori married weeks later in Hawaii. Neither Chad nor Lori have been charged with a crime in connection with Tammy's death, and both deny all allegations of wrongdoing.
In the case of her missing children, Lori is currently being held on $1 million bond at the Rexburg jail and faces two counts of felony desertion of a child, as well as misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt, according to the prosecutor's office. She has pleaded not guilty.
Lori is next due to appear in court for a bond reduction hearing May 1, after two prior bond hearings were rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Her preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 7 and May 8 before Magistrate Judge Michelle Radford Mallard, according to court records.
Lori's attorney, Mark Means, did not immediately respond to InsideEdition.com's request for comment.
Among the other potential witnesses on the prosecutor's list are members of the Rexburg Police Department, the Kauai Police Department, the FBI, the National Park Service and teachers and administrators from JJ's school district.
The prosecutor's list also includes Lori's friend Melanie Gibb, who was thrust into the spotlight after the affidavit of probable cause in the case revealed she was the Arizona woman Lori told police in Idaho JJ was staying with when they came to perform a welfare check at Lori's home on Nov. 26.
But when Gilbert, Arizona, police questioned Gibb, she told them JJ "was not staying at her Arizona house and had not been there for several months."
Then, on Dec. 6, Gibb told police in Rexburg that both Chad and Lori had called her at separate times on Nov. 26 and "asked her to tell the police that she had [JJ] even though [JJ] was not with her," according to the affidavit.
In a document first obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, Ian describes Lori's alleged religious beliefs, including the existence of "zombies," "teleportation" and people who have been "possessed by a demon."
Melani's attorneys say the document was written by Ian after he met with law enforcement officers and contains "extremist" beliefs that Melani does not hold.
Among those beliefs are the existence of "translated beings" who "may, with the Lord's permission, teleport" and zombies who "have had their original spirits forced from them and have been possessed" by a "demon," "disembodied spirit" or a "worm/slug."
In the document, Ian also wrote that Melani told him she was concerned that Lori's brother, Alex Cox, might have had something to do with the disappearance of JJ and Tylee. Alex himself died on Dec. 12 and his death is currently under investigation.
Also listed as a witness is Colby Ryan, Lori's oldest son who has openly pleaded with her to tell authorities where his siblings are. A Hawaiian minister, Rev. Colin Moore, also known as Kahu Coco, is also among the potential witnesses. Chad and Lori wed on the beach in Hawaii on Nov. 5.
JJ's biological grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, are also on the prosecutor's list. They are the ones who first asked police to perform a welfare check at Lori's Idaho home after not speaking with JJ for weeks.
Kay is also the sister of Lori's late husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot and killed by Lori's brother, Alex, in July. Alex told police he fired in self-defense, and was not charged in the incident. Charles' death is also now under investigation.
"We were worried about JJ that minute we found out Charles had died," Kay told InsideEdition.com. "I knew last January, Lori, she didn't want JJ, she was already talking about being done with Charles and being done with JJ. It's like she was done being a mother all together."
JJ used to speak with his grandparents all the time, Kay said, but the last time they FaceTimed with JJ in August, it seemed like someone else was holding the device and the call lasted less than a minute. The couple never heard from their grandson again.
Since then, Kay and Larry have been outspoken in their search for the children, offering a $20,000 reward. Kay said the couple intends to attend every court hearing they can.
"Any time there is a court hearing, we're going to be there," Kay said. "I want to haunt her if I can. I want her to see me in her sleep. She's going to have to talk at some point."
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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