BOISE, Idaho (ABC4) — On the 16th day of Lori Vallow Daybell’s murder trial, the causes of death for her children, JJ and Tylee, were revealed. This is the first time since JJ and Tylee’s alleged murders that the public is learning how they died.
Dr. Garth Warren, a forensic pathologist, testified on Wednesday about his findings on their causes of death. A forensic pathologist is a medical doctor who determines how people die. Warren was assigned to investigate JJ and Tylee’s remains.
Warren investigated JJ’s body when they uncovered his remains in June 2020. According to Warren, JJ died of asphyxiation due to a plastic bag over his head, and duct tape over his mouth.
Warren said when they received JJ’s body, “There were some things that obviously jumped out.” This reportedly included that JJ was wearing a red pajama top, red pajama bottoms, and black socks. Read how this information fits in the Daybell, Vallow complete timeline.
The prosecution asked to admit photos of JJ’s autopsy for the jury to review. One of Lori’s attorneys, John Thomas, said the photos were unnecessarily prejudicial, and asked that they be excluded. However, Judge Steven Boyce overruled and allowed for the photos to be admitted to the jury. Warren reviewed the photos with the jurors and explained how he came to his determination of JJ’s cause of death.
Afterward, Warren testified on his examination of Tylee’s body, and his determination of her cause of death. Warren said the autopsy for Tylee took a week, as her remains were burned, leaving very little for them to review. Warren said there was no evidence to support that Tylee was alive when she was burned.
Warren said he determined that Tylee’s cause of death was homicide by unspecified means. “There are specific guidelines and criteria used dealing with the cause of death. One, it has to be objectively suspicious circumstances – dismembered body, body is burned, body is buried out of site – and others, […] Two, no findings at autopsy to explain the death.” Warren said it clearly fit the first criteria.
Warren then reviewed the photos from Tylee’s autopsy with the jury to explain his findings. According to East Idaho News, Lori reportedly avoided looking at the photos. To read more about the trial, visit ABC4’s Lori Vallow Daybell Murder Trial.