Coroner: Tammy Daybell's initial cause of death was a cardiac event

Tammy Daybell

FOX 10 has obtained probate documents filed in an Idaho court regarding the estate of Tammy Daybell. 

49-year-old Tammy Daybell was the first wife of Chad Daybell and died on October 19, 2019. Initially, a coroner determined the cause of her death to be natural. Chad Daybell is accused of murdering Tammy and is also charged with murder in the deaths of 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, the children of his current wife and co-defendant Lori Vallow.

The deaths of JJ, Tylee and Tammy are at the center of the awaited Vallow-Daybell murder trial. Prosecutors say Lori and Chad espoused unorthodox religious beliefs based on doomsday events and the end of times to justify the deaths. Investigators also say the so-called "doomsday" couple believed they could distinguish the difference between "light" and "dark" spirits and had a mission to rid the world of zombies.

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The application for probate of will and appointment of representative was filed by Emma Murray who is a daughter of Tammy Daybell. The filing in March 2021 reveals Tammy’s death certificate from October 2019. Fremont County Coroner Brenda Dye listed Tammy’s immediate cause of death as a cardiac event and named pulmonary edema as a condition leading to the death. Medical experts say pulmonary edema is buildup of fluid in the lungs which makes it hard for you to breathe.


FOX 10 previously reported on the audio recording of a phone call between a Gilbert police detective and a dispatcher in Fremont County, Idaho just days after Tammy’s death. The dispatcher told GPD that the Daybell family never requested an autopsy when the coroner and deputy arrived at their home.

Chad Daybell, top left; Lori Vallow, top right; JJ Vallow, bottom left; Tylee Ryan, bottom right.

Chad Daybell, top left; Lori Vallow, top right; JJ Vallow, bottom left; Tylee Ryan, bottom right.

At the time, Gilbert PD was investigating the attempted murder of Brandon Boudreaux, the ex-husband of Lori Vallow’s niece Melani Pawlowski. Boudreaux had been shot at while pulling into his driveway in Gilbert. According to police, the suspected shooter is the now-deceased Alex Cox who is Lori Vallow’s brother. Cox died of natural causes on December 11, 2019 -- one day before the exhumation of Tammy Daybell’s body. 

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Investigators believe Tammy’s death is suspicious as court documents say Cox attempted to shoot Tammy about ten days before she died. Cox also shot and killed Lori Vallow’s fourth husband Charles Vallow after an alleged fight in Chandler in July 2019, claiming self-defense. 

In June 2021, Lori was indicted for conspiracy to commit murder in Charles’ death.

Since the exhumation of Tammy’s body, the official cause of death has not been released publicly. But Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell are accused of conspiring to kill her. The couple married on November 5, 2019 – just weeks after Tammy’s death.


Idaho dispatch tells Gilbert PD family refused autopsy for Tammy Daybell

FOX 10 was the first Arizona news station to bring you the case of two missing children with ties to Arizona. There are now new details surrounding the death of their stepdad's wife, who died just weeks before he and their mother got married.

In the probate filing is Tammy Daybell’s will she signed in 2005. The personal representatives named are Chad Daybell, her father Ronald Douglas and father-in-law Jack Daybell in that order or priority.

Those three family members have since renounced their rights to appointment as personal representative and nominated Emma Murray. On April 20, 2021, a judge approved her to be the personal representative of Tammy Daybell’s estate.

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