REXBURG, Idaho - A special prosecutor announced a grand jury indictment of Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow in the deaths of JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan, and Tammy Daybell.
Daybell and Vallow are now accused of first degree murder, and face other serious charges, such as conspiracy to commit first degree murder and grand theft by deception. Lori Vallow was charged with grand theft, while Chad Daybell was charged with insurance fraud.
"The unprecedented cooperation among law enforcement has been remarkable, and every person who has worked on this case is to be commended for their diligence and steadfast pursuit of the facts. The thousands of hours that have been invested into seeking the truth for these innocent victims must be recognized," said Rob Wood, who is the prosecutor for Idaho's Madison County.
Last June, both Chad and Lori were charged with two counts of conspiracy to conceal, alter, or destroy evidence. Chad had already been charged with concealing, destroying, or altering evidence after the remains of JJ and Tylee were found in his backyard on June 9, 2020.
This is a pivotal, highly anticipated development in the case as the victims’ families have waited nearly a year for murder charges. Remember - Lori’s kids went missing for nine months after she moved them from Chandler, Arizona to Rexburg, Idaho in fall 2019.
Another huge development in the indictment — is prosecuting Chad and Lori in the death of Chad’s first wife Tammy. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office received her autopsy report from the Utah medical examiner on Feb. 3, 2021. She died on October 19, 2019 in the Daybell home. It was initially ruled a natural death before her body was exhumed from her grave in Utah on Dec. 11, 2019.
In April 2020, Fremont County former prosecutor requested for the Idaho Attorney General's Office to take over the investigation into Chad and Lori for conspiracy, attempted murder or murder in connection to Tammy’s death. In Feb. 2021, newly elected prosecutor Lindsey Blake resumed full responsibility.
The penalty for the most serious felonies range from life in prison without parole to the death penalty. Prosecutors have not officially decided if death penalty will be pursued in this case.
This news comes on the day of what would have been JJ Vallow’s 9th birthday.
"I'm celebrating today's news knowing that we still have a lot ahead of us, but it's just been a jolt of confidence that they can go after Chad and Lori for all of the deaths," said Tylee's aunt, Annie Cushing.
A statement from Tammy's parents and siblings reads, in part:
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- Autopsy report on Tammy Daybell complete; details won't be released to the public
- Lori Vallow's 3rd husband feared she would kill him, her daughter, or herself
- Judge denies motion to disqualify prosecutor in Vallow-Daybell trial
- 1 year later: Dec. 20 marks anniversary of official search for JJ and Tylee, missing kids from Arizona
FOXNews.com contributed to this report.