Jury hears phone call between Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell

Doomsday Cult Mom Murder Trial: Day 3 

Posted at 1:35 PM, April 12, 2023 and last updated 7:21 AM, April 13, 2023

By: Kelsie Rose

BOISE, Idaho (KIVI) — The trial of Lori Vallow Daybell continued Wednesday with the cross-examination of Detective Ray Hermosillo, who was the lead detective on the case from the Rexburg Police Department.

The defense asked questions about the excavation efforts at Chad Daybell’s property that led the finding the remains for JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan.

ourtroom sketch shows Rexburg police Detective Ray Hermosillo

This courtroom sketch shows Rexburg police Detective Ray Hermosillo testifying in the Lori Vallow Daybell trial Wednesday, April 12, 2023. (Lisa C. Cheney)

READ MORE: ID v. Lori Vallow Daybell: Doomsday Cult Mom Trial

Questions involving materials found, as well as the movement of the remains to Ada County were points of interest for the defense before they ended their cross-examination.

The prosecution, upon redirect, discussed the weapons found at the Rexburg apartments, and the detective testified that he did not know whether or not they belonged to Lori.

Questioning also clarified why Hermosillo contacted Melanie Gibb in Arizona regarding JJ’s whereabouts and that it was based on information obtained by Lori. They also reiterated what the detective observed in Chad’s behavior at various times, and more questions about the property where the remains were found.

Hermosillo also testified, when asked, that none of the tips that came in were helpful in locating the children.

The defense requested a re-cross, and questioned Hermosillo’s knowledge of the October 2019 death of Tammy Daybell, Chad’s wife at the time. The defense had no further questions.

The State called their next witness, Lieutenant Jared Willmore from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office who oversees the Telemate system in the Madison County Jail, where Lori Vallow Daybell was being held. Questioning began to obtain information on how the phone and computer systems are accessed and how it is monitored by authorities.

This line of questioning was leading to testimony regarding the contact between Chad and Lori, as Willmore was responsible for monitoring.

Audio was played from the conversation between Chad and Lori on June 9, 2020, the day police were searching Chad’s property.

Chad suggests Lori talk to “Mark” and says Mark knows what they are doing. Chad ends the call telling Lori he loves her very much.

More evidence was introduced containing thumb drives of video visits from Lori’s sister Summer Shiflet, and Lori’s son Colby Ryan.

The defense had no questions for cross-examination, and Lt. Willmore is dismissed.

The State then called Lieutenant Joe Powell from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.

Courtroom sketch depicts Lori Vallow Daybell taking notes in court.

This courtroom sketch depicts Lori Vallow Daybell taking notes in court. She and her husband, Chad Daybell, are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, murder and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Vallow Daybell’s two children: Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Both are also charged in connection with the death of Chad Daybell’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell. (Lisa C. Cheney)

Powell had assisted police in Gilbert, Arizona in looking for the Jeep Wrangler involved in the attempted shooting of Brandon Boudreaux.

Powell testified that this information led to the surveillance of Chad and Lori.

Powell testified that he learned of Tammy Daybell’s death in October 2020.

There had not been an autopsy performed on Tammy Daybell before her burial, as her death was ruled as being from natural causes.

Having information that Chad and Lori were married shortly after Tammy’s death led investigators to have suspicions and ultimately they exhumed Tammy’s body from her burial site in Utah.

The State admitted photos of Tammy’s gravesite and exhumation into evidence. They followed with photographs of her autopsy.

Upon cross-examination, the defense asked questions about the surveillance on Chad and Lori.

They also asked if Powell was knew of Lori’s whereabouts on the day Tammy died, he did not. He also testified that he was not surprised to learn she was in Hawaii. This ended the cross-examination and the court took their morning recess.

Court was dismissed early for the day following a recess. In a statement to Court TV’s Chanley Painter, the prosecution said, “There has been a death in the family of one of the prosecutor’s lead attorneys. The Court and defense have been gracious in allowing the prosecution to adjust to this personal situation.”

This story was originally published April 12, by KIVI in Boise, an E.W. Scripps Company.