Fremont Prosecutor taking over case involving Tammy Daybell's death

(Courtesy photo)

Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey A. Blake

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Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey A. Blake is taking over the case involving the death of Tammy Daybell.

Blake made the announcement via press release Thursday night.

Blake was elected to office in November and took the place of Marcia Murdoch who opted not to run for office again.

“(Blake) requested the case be transferred back to Fremont to be handled locally,” said the press release

Last year, Murdoch requested that the Idaho State Attorney General’s Office handle the case.

“The Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office thanks the Idaho Attorney General’s Office for their hard work, time and effort on this case,” it said.

It wasn’t known why Blake decided to take over the case.

Blake’s announcement came on the heels of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office announcing it had received Mrs. Daybell’s autopsy report Wednesday. The sheriff’s office declined to go into specifics on the results other than to say more information would be released eventually.

“The contents of this report will not be made public at this time as it is evidence in an open and ongoing investigation,” said Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries. “We will release additional information as it becomes available.”

Mrs. Daybell died unexpectedly Oct. 19, at her Salem home that she shared with her husband, Chad Daybell, and their five children. Chad didn’t request an autopsy, and the state didn’t require one.

Two weeks after Mrs. Daybell died, Chad went to Hawaii and married Lori Vallow. That coupled with Vallow’s children Tylee Ryan, 17 and J.J. Vallow, 7, reported missing as well as Tammy being threated with what she described as a paint ball gun two weeks before she died, raised concerns among law enforcement. It also caused the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office to request an autopsy. On Dec. 11, 2019, Tammy’s body was exhumed from a Utah cemetery, and an autopsy later held.

Chad received an estimated $340,000 in life insurance money following Tammy’s death. Police later tracked him and Lori to Hawaii. In February, Lori was arrested and returned to Rexburg.

In April, the State Attorney General’s office reported that Chad and Lori were being investigated for murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy regarding Tammy’s death.

In June, police found Tylee and J.J.’s remains on Chad’s Salem property. He was arrested shortly after the children’s bodies were located. Chad is being held in the Fremont County Jail while Lori is at the Madison County Jail. Each is being held on a $1 million bond.

As more information is made available, the Standard Journal will update this story.