Lori Daybell’s best friend breaks silence about case involving two missing children

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Lori Daybell and Melanie Gibb

On Tuesday, June 9th the remains of Daybell’s 17-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old son Joshua “J.J. Vallow were found on the property belonging to Chad Daybell. Chad was arrested and appeared in court Wednesday morning where his bail was set at $1,000,000.


REXBURG, Idaho (ABC4 News/East Idaho News) – After five months in hiding, a key player in the missing persons case involving Lori Daybell’s children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan is ready to break her silence. On Tuesday, East Idaho News dropped the first of their exclusive three-part interview with Daybell’s best friend, Melanie Gibb.

Gibb may be the person who knows the most about Chad and Lori Daybell’s relationship than anyone else. She was there the moment they met, became a part of their religious circle, and was someone Lori shared personal experiences with.

RELATED: Best friend says Lori Vallow feared son JJ was a zombie

“I feel like Melanie, out of everybody I’ve interviewed, had the most information thus far and she was able to give some context and set things up so that you could maybe make sense of it,” said Nate Eaton with East Idaho News. “You couldn’t write a script like this and take it to Hollywood. They’d turn it down and say ‘This is too nuts.’”

Lori Daybell and Melanie Gibb

Court documents first revealed Melanie Gibb as a character of interest in the case. When police inquired about JJ and Tylee’s location with Lori and Chad around Thanksgiving, they told investigators that the children were with Gibb in Arizona. However, they weren’t.

Gibb said she was under the impression that they were with JJ’s grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Later in her interview, she reveals that she had received a call from Chad, telling her not to talk to police when they call.

Her extensive knowledge about Chad and Lori is also the reason why Gibb’s flown under the radar since December. That’s when Rexburg Police Department announced that JJ and Tylee were missing. Lori and Chad have not been cooperative with investigators nor have they disclosed the location of their children’s whereabouts.

“She went dark. She went off social media. She wasn’t answering phone calls. I know that the media went to her home and she avoided them. She’s kind of not been anywhere,” said Eaton. “She’s been fearful through a lot of this as she said in our interview that people around Chad and Lori were dying. There’s kids missing and she didn’t know if she might be next or she could have a target on her back.”

Deaths and disappearances surrounding Chad and Lori Daybell

Once Gibb was ready to talk publicly, Eaton was only one person she wanted to talk to. During the last two years she’s known Chad and Lori, at least three of their family members died under suspicious circumstances and her two children vanished without a trace in September.

“The whole purpose for her in doing this interview was in hopes that someone will say something,” said Eaton. “She realized and said that she’s ready to speak her truth and she has been working with police since November. So she’ll be likely called as a witness to the stand during trial.”

Eaton said he brought 11 pages worth of questions for Gibb and she told him nothing was off-limits, aside from the some of the more intricate details of their religious beliefs that she believed would cause confusion for those not familiar with the terminology.

In part one of their interview, Gibb discussed meeting Lori and Chad for the first time and watching their relationship unfold while they were still married to other people. They allegedly had separate phones to communicate with one another and would spend time together without their spouses.

“Did you ever think, ‘Hm. She (Lori) might falling in love with him (Chad)?” asked Eaton.

“Yeah, I knew that they pretty much hit it off. I actually did offer the idea like, ‘Why don’t you just go ahead and get a divorce?’ They were told that they weren’t allowed to (by who they were communicating with on the other side),” said Gibb.

What Eaton said he found most compelling in the first part in the interview is that Gibb said Chad appears to be the mastermind behind all of this.

“According to Melanie, Lori seemed to initially have doubts about Chad. Apparently Lori said, ‘If Chad is a Satan, then he’s a really good one’ to Melanie,” he said. “She describes it as Chad’s the hand and Lori’s the puppet.”

East Idaho News will release part two of the interview on Wednesday and part three on Thursday. Eaton said Gibb will discuss Lori’s move to Idaho from Arizona, the death of Lori and Chad’s former spouses, zombies, and more about the call from Chad that changed everything.

To watch and read more about part one of the interview with Melanie Gibb, click here.

READ: Part 2 of Melanie Gibb’s interview with East Idaho News

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