"The Secrets of Chad Daybell's Backyard" a "48 Hours" special airs Wednesday, Sept. 1, on CBS 5 at 9 p.m.
REXBURG, IDAHO -- (3TV/CBS 5) – The children of Chad Daybell, the man accused of murdering their mother so he could marry the now-infamous Lori Vallow, are speaking out about their mother's death in a "48 Hours" special called "The Secrets of Chad Daybell's Backyard."
The five Daybell children say investigators told them their mother had been asphyxiated, but nothing more. The Daybells say they do not believe asphyxiation necessarily means murder. "According to my understanding, it just means the breath was interrupted," Mark Daybell told "48 Hours" contributor Jonathan Vigliotti. "And in the end, she wasn't able to breathe. And according to that, there's more facts we need."
In the "48 Hours" special, the Daybell children recall the night their mother died – Oct. 19, 2019 – and their father's reaction. Tammy's death was attributed to natural causes – she reportedly had not been well -- and the family did not want an autopsy performed. While it's been said it was Chad who decided against the autopsy, Daybell's daughter, Emma Murray, said she and her siblings made the call.
Daybell married Vallow two weeks later. By then, Vallow's children, 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, had already been missing for about two months. They were last seen alive in September 2019. Vallow and Daybell refused to say anything about them.
In December 2019, not long after Daybell and Vallow got married, investigators started calling Tammy's death suspicious. She was exhumed and an autopsy was performed, but the results were never made public.
The Daybell children say investigators shared their theory that Chad killed Tammy so he could collect insurance money and marry Vallow. Garth Daybell said authorities had given them wrong information on other occasions. "They've told us things before that turned out to not be true," he told Vigliotti.
In May 2021, about 18 months after Tammy's death, Daybell was charged with first-degree murder. He's also charged in connection with the deaths of JJ and Tylee. Their bodies were found on Daybell's Rexburg, Idaho property in early June 2020. The Daybell children unanimously agree that he was not involved. They believe he was framed and his story needs to be told.
Daybell has pleaded not guilty and is in jail awaiting trial. He could face the death penalty if convicted. Vallow, who lived with her children in Chandler for a time, has been charged with murdering her children but has been found incompetent to stand trial so far.
Vallow also faces one charge of conspiracy to commit first degree murder in the death of her former husband, Charles. Vallow's brother, Alex Cox, admitted to shooting Charles in July of 2019 during a family fight in Chandler. But Cox told investigators he acted in self defense.
Cox, himself, died under unusual circumstances in December of 2019, when he collapsed in his wife's Gilbert home. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner concluded the death was due to natural causes.
Chandler Police now believe Vallow conspired with her brother to kill Charles, so she could later marry Daybell.
- September 2019 – JJ Vallow and Tyle Ryan are last seen alive
- October 2019 – Tammy Daybell's death
- November 2019 – Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow marry
- December 2019 – Investigators call Tammy Daybell's death suspicious
- June 2020 – Bodies of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan found on Chad Daybell's property in Rexburg, Idaho
- May 2021 – Chad Daybell charged in connection with deaths of Tammy Daybell, JJ Vallow, and Tylee Ryan
"The Secrets of Chad Daybell's Backyard" airs Wednesday, Sept. 1, on CBS and Paramount+.