ST. ANTHONY — A phone confrontation between Melanie Gibb and former friends Chad and Lori Daybell was streamed around the world Monday during Chad Daybell’s preliminary hearing in Fremont County.
The call reportedly happened on Dec. 8, 2019, and centered around the location of Lori Daybell’s then-missing children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16. In the recording, Gibb confronts the Daybells about why they asked her to lie to law enforcement.
Chad is charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, and two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. He was arrested June 9 after the remains of JJ and Tylee were found buried on his property.
During police’s initial investigation into the whereabouts of the children, Lori told Rexburg police officers JJ was staying with Gibb.
Chad and Lori later asked Gibb to lie about the boy being with her.
Gibb was one of the witnesses to take the stand Monday, and during her testimony, Gibb told the court that she made the recording on her own, without the knowledge of law enforcement.
The topics on the call varied widely, beginning with why Gibb was asked to lie, and a discussion about the whereabouts of JJ. It then shifts to points of religious doctrine from their shared Latter-day Saint faith, before finally becoming full-blown accusations of wrongdoing.
At one point, Lori assures Gibb that JJ is safe.
“I know exactly where he is,” Lori says. “He’s perfectly fine and safe.”
Eventually, Gibb tells Lori she is very concerned about their behavior, before the phone call abruptly ends.
The portion of Chad Daybell’s Monday preliminary hearing where a recorded call of him and Lori Daybell being confronted by their friend Melanie Gibb
Listen to the entire call in the video above.
Lori is also charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. She is in jail in Madison County and is awaiting a preliminary hearing later this month.
Chad Daybell’s preliminary hearing continues Tuesday at 9 a.m. with John Prior, Daybell’s attorney, cross-examining Gibb. EastIdahoNews.com will provide complete coverage of the hearing.
Here is an archive of what each witness said throughout the day. You can watch the entire hearing on the EastIdahoNews.com YouTube channel here.
Chad Daybell at his preliminary hearing on Monday. | John Roark, Post Register