Aunt of slain Idaho child: Daybells' indictment is 'day we've been waiting for'

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SALT LAKE CITY — The aunt of Tylee Ryan said hearing Chad and Lori Daybell had been indicted on murder charges was the moment a lot of people have been waiting for.

Annie Cushing tried to keep up as the news poured in.

"It was surreal," she said. "Refresh, refresh, refresh."

However, when she saw the words "Chad and Lori Daybell indicted on murder charges" on her phone, she tried not to cheer out loud.

"It was better than I thought it would be," said Cushing. "This the day we've been waiting for."

Cushing lives in New York City but has been following the case since Day 1.

Ryan and her 7-year-old brother, JJ Vallow, were reported missing in 2019, and their remains were found on Chad Daybell's property in June 2020.

In court paperwork filed Tuesday, their parents Chad and Lori Daybell were indicted on murder charges related to their deaths.

They were also indicted on murder charges related to Tammy Daybell, who was Chad's wife at the time of her death.


The indictments revealed some of the evidence investigators have.

"It's dark stuff because you just want to turn back the hands of time and say, 'Tylee, run!'" said Cushing.

In one example, Lori Daybell is accused of using Ryan's credit cards to cash in on accessing her dead father's Social Security benefits, even after Ryan was dead.

"To try and climb inside their mind and figure out what they were thinking and what they thought they would get away with," said Cushing.

Now, the Daybells will have to face those charges.

After what she saw Tuesday, Cushing knows there's a good chance nothing will shock her in this case anymore.

"This was really the most pivotal moment that I was really aching for," she said.

Tammy Daybell's family also released a statement.

They thanked law enforcement and said, "We pray that truth will prevail and that all of us left behind will find a way to pick up the pieces and somehow come out of this crucible together."

Correction: A previous version said the children's bodies were found in January 2020. They were found in June 2020.

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Alex Cabrero
Alex Cabrero has been reporting for KSL-TV for nearly two decades. He has covered a variety of stories over the years from a variety of places, but he particularly enjoys sharing stories that show what's good in the world.


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