Neighbors describe Chad Daybell’s unusual reactions after wife’s death

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BOISE — Former neighbors of Chad and Tammy Daybell testified Tuesday about unusual ways they say Chad Daybell reacted after his wife’s death.

Alice and Todd Gilbert were neighbors and went over to their Salem, Idaho, home the morning that Tammy Daybell died on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.

Alice Gilbert said she received a call from a sobbing child about 7 a.m. saying her mother had died in her sleep. She said Chad Daybell then took the phone.

“He told me not to tell anybody and to wait for about an hour. I said, ‘Well, I need to call the bishop and he said, ‘Nope. Don’t call.’ But I still did,” she testified, adding that she and her husband went over to the house at 8:30 a.m.

She said the children were stunned and could hardly speak, but said Chad Daybell did not seem stunned. He told them his wife had died of an embolism and said she fell off the bed. He also told them a funeral would be held on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and a memorial would be held the next day.

“I said, ‘Did you plan this?’ He said, ‘No,’ but I knew somebody planned it,” she said.

“He seemed like he was business-like, more so than someone who had just lost his companion, his wife. And that things were all, well, pretty planned out (for) the funeral,” Todd Gilbert added.

The testimony was presented as part of the case against Lori Vallow Daybell, who is on trial for murder, conspiracy and grand theft in the deaths of her two children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow. She is also charged with conspiracy in connection with the death of Tammy Daybell, her new husband’s previous wife. Chad Daybell is charged with murder for the same three deaths and will face a separate trial at a later date.

Todd Gilbert said after the death, he remembered a statement Chad Daybell had made about a vision he had that his wife would die before she turned 50. She was 49.

Following a memorial the day after the funeral, the Gilberts went back to the Daybell house with food. While they were there, Chad Daybell announced he was moving to Rexburg where he had a friend he could stay with. Alice Gilbert said he led her to believe that it was a male friend.

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