Lori Vallow offered to pray for her husband, Chad Daybell, as authorities were searching his property for her missing children’s bodies, according to a recorded phone call between the pair.
The brief call — which was played during Daybell’s two-day preliminary hearing earlier this week — occurred on June 9, 2020 as the FBI, Rexburg police, and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office were scouring Daybell’s property in search of the remains of Vallow’s children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow.
Both children disappeared, just weeks apart, in September while living with their mother in Rexburg, Idaho.
The months-long search to find the children ended on June 9 — the same day the phone call was made — after investigators discovered the remains of the children buried on Daybell’s property.
Daybell is facing two counts of concealment of evidence and two counts of conspiracy to conceal evidence after the bodies were discovered, according to local station KTVB.
Vallow, who is currently being held on a $1 million bond in Madison County Jail, is also facing two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence in Fremont County in connection with the discovery.
“Hi, babe,” Vallow said in the phone call to Daybell, according to KSL News Radio.
Daybell responded with a somber-sounding “hello,” before Vallow asked him what was wrong.
“They’re searching the property,” he said.
“The house right now?” Vallow replied.
Daybell confirmed that investigators were at his property and then told Vallow that she needed to talk with her attorney, Mark Means.
“OK. What, are they in the house?” Vallow asked.
Daybell responded that investigators are “out in the property” after delivering a search warrant earlier in the day.
“So, we’ll see what transpires,” he said, according to East Idaho News, who also posted a recording of the call.
As investigators were searching for the remains of her children, Vallow’s attention seemed to be focused on her new husband.
“What do you want me to do?” she asked. “Pray?”
Daybell told Vallow he was “pretty calm” before saying that he had another call and needed to go.
“I love you so much,” he said.
Vallow asked him if she should try calling again later that day and he told her that she should, and he would answer if he could.
“OK, baby, I love you,” she said.
Daybell was arrested that same day as police saw him driving away from the area in his vehicle, according to a probable cause statement in the case obtained by Oxygen.com.
Detective Ray Hermosillo testified in court earlier this week that Ryan’s body had been found charred and dismembered in what appeared to be a “mass of burnt flesh and bone” near what investigators believed was a pet cemetery on the property.
JJ was found buried in another area of the property still clad in his red pajamas. He had been bound with duct tape and covered in two layers of plastic.
Investigators were led to the area after analyzing cell phone data from Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, who investigators said was on Daybell’s property shortly after each child had disappeared.
Cox died in December.
No murder charges have been filed in the case to date.
Judge Faren Eddins ruled Tuesday during Daybell's preliminary hearing that there was enough evidence to move forward with the current charges against the religious author.
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