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Tylee’s best friend, people who examined her body testify in Chad Daybell murder trial



BOISE — When Ashlyn Rynd’s best friend Tylee Ryan temporarily moved to Texas in 2017, they stayed in contact. But about two weeks after Tylee moved to Idaho, she said they “tried for two weeks” but then fell out of contact.

Rynd testified Tuesday during the murder trial of Chad Daybell, who is accused of killing 16-year-old Tylee and her younger brother, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, before marrying their mother.

Rynd said Tylee’s relationship with JJ was “almost maternal.”

“She was there for him. … Tylee would always be the one to show up,” Rynd said.

Police began searching for the two siblings in November 2019 before their bodies were eventually found buried in Daybell’s Salem, Idaho backyard in June 2020.


KSL.com is streaming the trial daily.


Trauma to Tylee’s body

Detective Chuck Kunsaitis, who testified earlier in the trial, was called back to the stand Monday to testify about satellite images of Daybell’s property from shortly before Tylee is believed to have been killed and before her body was found months later.

He pointed out discoloration in the images marking the spot where he later would uncover her remains.

Dr. Angi Christensen, a forensic anthropologist, talked about her analysis of Tylee’s bones and said trauma was inflicted on the bones while her bones were still “biomechanically fresh.” She said the trauma could either be from before her death or shortly afterward, and she could tell because of the way the bones were bent and broken.

She said there was evidence that some of the bones had been burned and they had marks from sharp trauma. She also said there were signs of “carnivore scavenging” on some of the bones.

Christensen said over 100 bones were sent to her for analysis, but she was not able to determine whether all of them were human bones.

Photos of the bones she examined were shown to the jury and the people in the courtroom, but were not shown to the public on the livestream.

Douglas Halepaska, a forensic examiner with the FBI, also testified Monday about his examination of Tylee’s remains. He said there were markings on her bones consistent with a “stabbing action” and others that were consistent with a “chopping action.”

He did not have specific tools to test, but some of the tools he said could have been used were a single bladed knife, a hatchet or blade, and an ice pick.

Halepaska said a stabbing action with one of the tools caused Tylee’s hip bone to fracture and shatter.

On Friday, jurors heard testimony from Tammy Daybell’s sister and her husband, Samantha and Jason Gwilliam, who testified about Chad Daybell’s fringe religious teachings and his response after his wife’s death.

Chad Daybell is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Tammy Daybell, as well as the deaths of his new wife Lori Vallow Daybell’s two children, JJ and Tylee. He is also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder of each of the victims, grand theft and two counts of insurance fraud.

Lori Daybell was found guilty after a trial last year, and was given five sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

If Chad Daybell is found guilty, the same jurors who make that decision would be tasked with deciding whether he deserves the death penalty.

This story will be updated.





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