JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan’s remains reveal their final days
Boise, ID (KPLC) - Warning: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find disturbing.
Day 16 of testimony in the Lori Vallow Daybell trial started back up this morning at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, revealing gruesome details about the cause of death of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
Vallow Daybell, infamously dubbed the “Doomsday Mom,” is currently on trial for her alleged role in the murder of her two youngest children, Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow, and her husband’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell.
Wednesday’s testimony opened with FBI Special Agent Steve Daniels taking the stand for the second day in a row. He explains the excavation process of 7-year-old JJ Vallow’s remains, which were found underneath a tree and with deliberately placed large rocks at the site. Below the rocks, he found wooden planks.
Out of all the burials that Daniels has excavated, he said “this one was the most precise - somebody’s taken the most effort to bury these remains.”
Further excavation revealed a body inside multiple garbage bags held together with duct tape. This was later discovered to be JJ.
The remains of Tylee, 16, were found in a separate burial site on the property of Chad Daybell, who married Lori shortly after the children disappeared. Daniels said that her burial was completely different from JJ’s.
“Such a big contrast to us as a team, going from JJ’s remains...very precise...versus Tylee’s remains... a melted, charred mass,” Daniels said about the differences between JJ Vallow’s remains and Tylee Ryan’s remains.
Garth Warren, the chief forensic pathologist with the Ada County Coroner, was next to take the stand.
Warren conducted JJ Vallow’s autopsy. He said the cause of death, which was never previously known, was asphyxiation by plastic bag and duct tape over the mouth.
The jury looked at autopsy photos of JJ’s body, in which he is wearing red pajamas and covered in a blue children’s blanket, and he has a plastic bag wrapped around his head that is covered and sealed with duct tape. Warren described the photos for the jury, pointing out scratches on JJ’s neck and his wrists and ankles were bound with duct tape.
“Was JJ trying to get the bag off his head? It could be scratch marks of him trying to get it off his head,” Warren said.
Once Warren finished the autopsy of JJ, he began Tylee Ryan’s autopsy.
Warren said Tylee’s cause of death was “homicide by unspecified means,” as he was unable to pinpoint an exact cause because her remains were not found intact. Her organs were charred and shrunken, and he believed she was dismembered.
Warren also said that there was not enough of Tylee’s body present to determine a complete cause of death.
John Thomas, Vallow Daybell’s defense attorney, then cross-examined Warren.
Thomas asked Warren how he was able to determine JJ was suffocated with a plastic bag, and Warren said based on everything he ruled out, and that there was a plastic bag over his head, “it was reasonable to conclude that was the cause of death.”
Angi Christensen, a forensic anthropologist with the FBI in Quantico, takes the stand next.
She received bone fragments of Tylee Ryan to analyze in order to conduct a more in-depth examination. She said she identified bones with “sharp trauma,” which revealed some type of tool was used on Tylee Ryan’s body.
Christensen said usually sharp traumas in dismemberment cases occur around the joints, and Tylee’s injuries are not typical of dismemberment.
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