Forensic examiners say Tylee Ryan’s DNA was found on a pickaxe

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 7:03 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Warning: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find disturbing.

The murder trial of Lori Vallow Daybell continued today with day 17 of testimony in Boise, Idaho.

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.

Angi Christensen, a forensic anthropologist with the FBI, was first to take the stand. Yesterday, she said was evidence of “sharp trauma” on Tylee Ryan’s pelvic and pubic region, indicating a sharp instrument was used. It was unclear to Christensen if the other bones had sharp trauma because they were fragmented and burned.

During cross-examination by Lori Vallow’s defense attorney John Thomas, Christensen said in her opinion, Tylee’s body was not consistent with a typical dismemberment case.

Next to take the stand was Douglas Halepaska, a forensic examiner with the FBI in the firearms and tool marks division. Halepaska said he noted multiple types of force used on Tylee’s bones. One trauma was from a stabbing motion, others due to chopping. The tool, he said, used to make injuries like this could be like a cleaver, hatchet, or machete.

Following Halepaska’s testimony, David Sincerbeaux, a retired Idaho State Police laboratory chemist, was on the stand, and he testified the decomposing flesh and debris sent to him from Rexburg police contained gasoline.

Katherine Dace, a forensic biologist with the Idaho State Police was then called to the stand. She was given evidence from the killings of the children to test for DNA. Tools found on Chad Daybell’s property, where both of the children’s bodies were found, were tested for DNA profiles. The handle of a pickaxe had blood on it that matched Tylee Ryan’s DNA.

Up next was Tara Martinez, who works with the Idaho State Police Forensics Lab. She documented prints found at the scene and matched a fingerprint and a slight palm print on the plastic bag that covered JJ Vallow’s body to Alex Cox, Vallow Daybell’s brother.

Tammy Daybell’s sister, Samantha Gwilliam, is called to the stand.

She and her sister “got along really well,” Gwilliam said. “We talked every day.”

Gwilliam went on to recount how Chad Daybell told her on Oct. 19, 2019, Tammy had been really sick, and later rolled out of bed and died. To Gwilliam’s knowledge, her sister was perfectly healthy.