It was just three days into Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow’s marriage that the doomsday author began his search for a home in Hawaii to start their new life.
“We are interested in seeing this property,” Daybell wrote in a Nov. 18, 2019 email to a Hawaiian realtor, according to East Idaho News. “Would the owners be interested in leasing this property to a clean couple with no pets or children? Please let us know. Thank you.”
But while the newlyweds were eager to live in Hawaii, prosecutors allege they were hiding a harrowing secret back home in the backyard of Daybell’s Idaho backyard.
Prosecutors say that just two months prior, on Sept. 22, the couple murdered Vallow’s two children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, before burying them in the backyard. A month later, the couple allegedly conspired to kill Daybell’s first wife, Tammy, for insurance and social security funds then fled to Hawaii.
It wasn’t until Dec. 20, 2019, a month after Daybell’s email to the realtor, that authorities declared the kids missing. But it would take another seven months for their bodies to be uncovered in Daybell’s backyard, where authorities say JJ was found wrapped in a garbage bag in a pet cemetery while his older sister was buried in a nearby fire pit.
The email, which was shown Wednesday during Vallow’s trial in Ada County Court, is among several pieces of evidence prosecutors say proves that the couple took steps to restart their life after murders that were allegedly fueled by their doomsday-focused religious beliefs.
Vallow has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the deaths of JJ and Tylee and the alleged conspiracy to fatally strangle Tammy Daybell. Defense attorneys insist that Vallow is a “loving” mother with eccentric beliefs who could have never hurt her children.
Earlier this week, Vallow’s only surviving child testified for the prosecution, describing to jurors the bizarre chain of events that occurred after his siblings’ murder. In one heartbreaking August 2020 jailhouse call, one month after JJ and Tylee’s bodies were found in Daybell’s backyard, Colby Ryan demanded answers from his mother—only to receive cryptic responses from Vallow that the truth would eventually come out.
“It kills me to watch you take the victim’s route and say this shouldn’t have happened to you when you are telling me that Chad Daybell came into your life and all of a sudden everything changes,” Ryan said at one point. “You lied to me, specifically to me, more times than I can count about this.”