Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

FBI, local law enforcement officers searching Idaho home for evidence in missing kids case

By Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com | Updated - Jan. 3, 2020 at 5:31 p.m. | Posted - Jan. 3, 2020 at 12:27 p.m.


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SALEM — A large group of local and federal law enforcement officers are executing a search warrant at the Salem home owned by Chad Daybell and his deceased spouse, Tammy.

The group of law enforcement, including the Rexburg Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the Forensic Unit from the FBI’s Salt Lake City Office, arrived at the home early Friday. Marked and unmarked vehicles surround the rural property at 202 North 1900 East in Fremont County near Rexburg.

Officers spent time in the home and searched a shed on the property. At one point, they used metal detectors, probes and rakes to go over several portions of the yard.

Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries tells EastIdahoNews.com that law enforcement recently obtained sufficient probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the home. Officers are searching for forensic evidence such as blood or chemicals, which might shed some light on the Daybell case.

“This has been in the works for several days,” Humphries said. “When you are doing an investigation, you have to accumulate evidence, and the process takes time.”

Humphries would not say what the sufficient probable cause was that allowed them to get the warrant but mentioned investigators could be at the scene for most of the day.

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“It’s all related,” Humphries said.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Yi Barker confirmed to EastIdahoNews.com that the FBI is assisting with the case.

“We were contacted by Rexburg Police on Nov. 27,” Barker said. “I won’t get into details but we are offering investigative, forensic and technical assistance in Idaho and Utah. Today, members of our Evidence Response Team are in Rexburg assisting with evidence collection. Our victim specialist has also been made available to the families of Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan.”

Police are investigating the disappearance of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.

Joshua and Tylee have been missing since September, and their mother, Lori (Vallow) Daybell, and stepfather, Chad Daybell, are refusing to cooperate with police in their attempts to speak with the children to perform a welfare check.

Investigators are also looking into the suspicious death of Tammy Daybell. She was found dead in the Salem home Oct. 19. Authorities initially thought her death was from natural causes but have since deemed her death suspicious and exhumed her remains Dec. 11.

Humphries previously told EastIdahoNews.com investigators are awaiting results from the autopsy and it could take several weeks before the results are released.

Chad and Lori are thought to have been married several weeks after the death of Tammy Daybell. Although both Chad and Lori are people of interest in the missing children case, they have not been charged with any crime.

Information on missing children

Joshua "J.J." Vallow is a 7-year-old with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 4 feet tall and weighs 50 pounds. Tylee Ryan is a 17-year-old with blond hair and blue eyes. She is 5 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds.

Lori Vallow Daybell is 46 years old, and has blond hair and blue eyes. She weighs 125 pounds and is 5 feet, 6 inches tall. Chad Daybell is 51 years old, and has brown hair and blue eyes. He weighs 230 pounds and is 6 feet, 3 inches tall.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the children is asked to contact the Rexburg Police Department, at (208) 359-3000, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), at (800) THE-LOST.

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