8:25 AM PDT, August 31, 2021
The grown children of Chad Daybell, in an upcoming episode of CBS News’ “48 Hours,” say they believe their father was “framed” for the murders of his current wife’s children.
Garth Daybell, Emma Murray, Seth Daybell, Leah Murphy and Mark Daybell spoke with the news magazine in their first interview since Daybell’s case became a national sensation. Their comments will be seen Wednesday in an episode titled “The Secrets of Chad Daybell’s Backyard.”
In June of last year, the remains of 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow were found buried in shallow graves on Daybell’s Idaho farm. They were the children of his current wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, and had vanished in September of 2019.
Their disappearance sparked a media frenzy, nationwide searches and speculation about extremist cults with peculiar tenets.
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell were charged with murder in May 2021. Her case was placed on hold after a judge ruled her mentally incompetent and ordered psychiatric treatment for the incarcerated woman. She has long denied any wrongdoing in connection with their disappearance and deaths. Chad Daybell has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
Chad and Lori Daybell were married in November 2019, weeks after his first wife, Tammy Daybell, was found dead in her home. Chad Daybell has also been charged with murder in connection with that death. But his children said they don’t believe he killed their mother, even though they say an autopsy later performed on her exhumed body determined she had died from asphyxiation.
Authorities have not released a cause of death for Tammy Daybell.
“They told me that she’d been asphyxiated … but we never saw an autopsy,” Garth Daybell told the news magazine. His brother, Mark Daybell, added, “Asphyxiation doesn’t necessarily mean smothered. According to my understanding, it just means the breath was interrupted. And in the end, she wasn’t able to breathe. And according to that, there’s more facts we need. We don’t just say, ‘Oh, well, bye, Chad.’ No there’s still love, there’s still connection.”
The Daybell children say their mother was in failing health before she died, and they are steadfast in their belief that their father did not cause her death.
“The time has come that we need to share our story,” Leah Murphy tells CBS correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti.
“My father needs someone to be a voice for him. To let people know what’s real , what we know,” says daughter Emma Murray.
The children say their father is innocent and that he had no knowledge of the two victims being buried on his acreage, and that their bodies were placed their to frame him.
“This is his property. If there’s bodies buried here, it would be attributed to him,” Murray said. “I don’t know why they would be there,” she said. “But I do know that if he were to commit a crime, he wouldn’t be foolish enough to put the evidence in his own backyard.”
Chad Daybell’s children said they hope his trial, scheduled to begin Nov. 8, will exonerate both him and them.
“I hope that my dad can get a fair trial,” Murray said. “And I hope that one day, our community can treat us like we’re part of it again.”