LATEST: Possible evidence found in search of missing Rexburg kids
Investigators searched a home near Rexburg, Idaho looking for clues in the case of two missing kids — a case drawing national attention, which has gone from unusual to sad.
“So right now, we have the FBI, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, and the Rexburg police department all here at the house,” Eric Grossarth, a reporter for East Idaho News told 2News. “There are new themes added to this story every day.”
For months, 7-year-old Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan, 17, have not been seen. Police said their mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, has “refused” to help find the kids. She and new husband Chad Daybell have reportedly left the state.
On Friday, Grossarth watched as investigators went into the house and a small red barn on the same property.
“Who lived in the home?” 2News asked.
“This is the home where Chad Daybell lived with his (previous) wife Tammy Daybell, who died on October 19th,” Grossarth replied.
The local coroner determined Tammy’s death was from natural causes, but investigators have suspicions, and recently exhumed her body from a cemetery in Springville, Utah for an autopsy. Coroners in Idaho are elected, and may or may not have medical training.
The local sheriff would not specify what was found in the latest search, but described it as “evidence” and “primarily about Tammy."
“The evidence collected today will be sent off for examination by experts,” said Sheriff Len Humphries of Fremont County, Idaho, adding it could take months to process.
Meantime, the Salt Lake FBI office confirmed it’s now on the case.
“We are offering investigative, forensic and technical assistance in Idaho and Utah,” said Sandra Yi Barker, local FBI spokeswoman. “Our victim specialist has also been made available to the families of Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan.”
Chad Daybell wrote a series of books which his website said found “success in both the LDS bookstores and the national retail chains.” A Mormon Literature and Creative Arts site said he graduated from BYU in 1992 with a journalism degree and served as an assistant city editor for the Daily Universe newspaper.
He was also apparently involved with “Preparing a People,” which said it offers lectures and educational materials on “personal preparation,” but denied claims it is a “cult” or “group.” Principals of Preparing a People said, given recent events, they “feel it is inappropriate to represent or promote any media content that featured or contained references to either Chad Daybell or Lori Vallow.”
Reports said Lori’s former husband died last summer after being shot by her brother, a brother who is also now deceased. Her marriage to Chad Daybell apparently happened just weeks after Daybell’s previous wife died.