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Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell indicted on first-degree murder charges

The murder charges are in relation to the deaths of Vallow's children, Tylee Ryan and Joshua "JJ" Vallow, and Chad's ex-wife Tammy Daybell.

FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho — An Idaho couple accused in the disappearance of two children was formally charged in their deaths on Tuesday.

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell were indicted by a Fremont County grand jury on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, grand theft by deception, grand theft and insurance fraud.

The conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and first-degree murder charges are in relation to the death of Vallow's children Tylee Ryan and Joshua "JJ" Vallow, whose bodies were found on Daybell's property last year. 

Daybell is also charged with an additional count of first-degree murder in relation to the death of his late wife Tammy Daybell.

"Fremont Prosecutor Lindsey Blake and I believe all three homicides and the related financial crimes were committed as part of a continuing criminal scheme," Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood said in a statement. "The unprecedented cooperation among law enforcement has been a model of cooperation, diligence and commitment. Every person who has worked on this case is to be commended for their diligence and steadfast pursuit of justice for Tammy, Tylee and JJ."

The remains of JJ and Tylee were unearthed on Daybell's Fremont County property last summer, months after law enforcement launched an investigation into the children's whereabouts.

According to court documents, Vallow failed to contact the Social Security Administration "as is required by law to inform the Social Security Administration" of Tylee and JJ's deaths. She also continued to collect Social Security Survivor benefits on behalf of Tylee and JJ for months following their deaths. 

Documents also state that Daybell and his late wife signed an application "to increase her LifeMap insurance to the maximum allowed under her policy" on Sept. 8, 2019.

"Local, state and federal law enforcement professionals and local and state prosecutors have worked tirelessly for nearly a year and a half to gather the facts and evidence necessary to bring forward charges on behalf of Tylee, JJ and Tammy," Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake said in a statement. "Due to the ongoing safety restrictions imposed by the courts during the pandemic, we just recently were given permission to present information to the Grand Jury for their review. They deliberated and determined there is probable cause to believe that the Daybells willfully and knowingly conspired to commit several crimes that led to the death of three innocent people."

The new charges come as Vallow was declared indigent.

Daybell is set to appear in court for his initial hearing on the new charges on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Vallow is set to appear shortly after at 11:30 a.m.

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