A Rexburg police detective and an FBI agent testified Monday in the trial of Lori Vallow Daybell, providing information on her and Chad Daybell’s search histories around the times of the murders they allegedly committed.
Among Vallow Daybell’s searches were inquiries about wedding dresses in Hawaii made on the same day as Tammy Daybell’s funeral.
Vallow Daybell, along with her husband, Chad Daybell, are accused of first-degree murder in the September 2019 deaths of two of her children: 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. They are also charged with murder for the October 2019 death of Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy. Vallow Daybell lived in Rexburg, Idaho from August 2019 until November 2019.
In explaining individual search warrants related to electronic devices and online accounts belonging to Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell, Det. David Stubbs of the Rexburg Police Department and FBI agent Nicole Heideman revealed online searches that the two made throughout 2019 which caught the attention of law enforcement.
Stubbs has over ten years of experience in digital forensics. He said that since 2010 he has participated in several trainings and received several certifications for acquiring and analyzing data from electronic devices.
Law enforcement attributed an email account called firstname.lastname@example.org to Vallow Daybell. With that email address on May 7, 2019, Vallow Daybell searched for ‘malachite’, a mineral believed by some to offer healing and protection. Chad Daybell also made a search for ‘malachite jewelry’ on May 5, 2019. Vallow Daybell made this query two months before her fourth husband Charles Vallow was killed by her brother, Alex Cox.
Vallow Daybell is currently facing a conspiracy charge for Cox’s murder in Arizona. The month after Vallow was killed, Vallow Daybell searched for ‘wedding bands made of malachite.’
Other wedding-related searches from Vallow Daybell include an Oct. 22, 2019 search for ‘wedding dress’ and ‘wedding dresses in hawaii’ made three days after Tammy Daybell’s death and the same day as her funeral.
On July 21, 2019, 10 days after Charles Vallow’s death, Vallow Daybell searched ‘gerber life policy’, ‘life insurance for children’ and “The Grow Up Plan”, a Gerber life insurance policy for children under 14.
Last week, a Social Security Administration agent testified that Tylee and JJ each received nearly $2,000 per month in benefits due to their respective fathers’ deaths. Vallow Daybell had Tylee’s payments transferred to her own bank account in the month prior to Tylee’s death.
Searches Vallow Daybell made on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2 stuck out to law enforcement, according to Heideman, because of the connection it drew between her and the shooting attack on Brandon Boudreaux, the ex-husband of her niece, Melanie.
On Oct. 2, Boudreaux was shot at by someone inside a Jeep Wrangler with a rifle outside his home in Gilbert, Arizona. Two days prior, Vallow Daybell searched ‘how to get back seat out of my Jeep Wrangler.’ The day of the shooting she searched ‘gilbert az news’.
Searches made by Chad Daybell for ‘ned schneider 1996 louisiana’ were notable to law enforcement because of the connection to Charles Vallow. Prior witnesses, including Melanie Gibb and David Warwick, testified that the Daybells claimed that Vallow’s body was possessed by a ‘dark spirit’ named Ned Schneider. Daybell’s searches for ‘ned’ were made in January 2019. He also searched for ‘hiplos’, another name for the spirit purportedly possessing Charles, on June 1 — the month before Cox killed Vallow.
Vallow Daybell, according to Gibb, also believed that her children were possessed. The day she un-enrolled JJ from Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg, Vallow Daybell made a search for the definition of the word “possess.”
On Sept. 8, 2019, Chad Daybell made a search for the wind direction for the following day. Sept. 9 is the day police believe Tylee was killed. That same day, Chad sent his wife Tammy a text saying he burnt debris in their firepit and had also shot and killed a raccoon. Agent Heideman said Daybell that his search for wind direction on Sept. 8 was the only time he had ever made an online search like that.
The Vallow Daybell trial is in its third week and is expected to last another five weeks.
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