Prosecutors seek the death penalty in kids’ deaths

Idaho prosecutors on Thursday announced their intention to pursue the death penalty against Chad Daybell, who is accused of killing his two stepchildren who were found missing and dead in Idaho last year.

Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell, the mother of Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, are charged with the murder of their two children. Chad Daybell is also charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Tammy Daybell, 49, who died in “suspicious circumstances” in 2019.

Prosecutors said they had consulted with the victims’ immediate family members, but the final decision to apply for the death penalty rests with the state. You said the decision only applies to Chad Daybell.

“[W]We have found that the nature and extent of these crimes warrant the maximum possible punishment, ”they said in a statement to East Idaho News.

Chad Daybell’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY on Thursday.

Prosecutors argue in the court record that Chad Daybell’s actions justify the death penalty because they were “particularly heinous, cruel or cruel”, committed as “reward” and in disregard for human life. They also argued that Chad Daybell poses an ongoing threat to society.

The children’s bodies were found on Chad Daybell’s property in June 2020, police said. Lori Vallow Daybell was arrested in connection with her disappearance in February of that year, and Chad Daybell was arrested in June.

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Authorities became suspicious of Chad Daybell when he remarried just two weeks after the death of his ex-wife, originally believed to be a natural cause. Her body was later exhumed and an autopsy was performed in December 2019.

Police first announced the children were missing in December 2019 after JJ’s grandmother said she hadn’t heard from him in months. Lori Vallow Daybell reportedly told police that JJ was in Arizona when they were conducting a social check. The couple fled to Hawaii at the time.

Tylee was last seen in Yellowstone National Park on September 8, as photos show her with JJ, Lori Vallow Daybell, and Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox.

Lori Vallow Daybell is also charged in Arizona, where her brother allegedly killed her former husband, Charles Vallow. Her brother pleaded for self-defense and died in 2019.

A friend of Lori Vallow Daybell’s told authorities that the couple believed their children had become “zombies” and claimed they were implicated in apocalyptic, cult-like religious beliefs.

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