BOISE, Idaho (ABC4) — A man who was present the weekend JJ allegedly died testified on Thursday in the Lori Vallow Daybell murder trial.
David Warwick testified in court on April 20 concerning JJ, Chad, and everything he knows about what happened the weekend JJ died. Warwick is the husband of Lori’s friend, Melanie Gibb, and he was mentioned in Gibb’s extensive testimony about Lori’s beliefs.
Warwick said he first met Lori the first week of August 2019, shortly after Lori’s husband Charles died. Warwick said they met at Lori’s house with Chad Daybell, Alex Cox, Melani Boudreaux, Zulema Pastenas, Melanie Gibb, and one other.
“Lori was an amazing hostess. She was fixing food. We were having a social,” Warwick said.
Warwick said he had spoken on the phone before to Chad, but August 2019 was the first time they met in person. According to Warwick, Chad reached out to him a few years earlier and wanted to write a book with him, but Warwick said it didn’t feel right, so the book never happened.
The next time Warwick reportedly saw Lori and Chad was during a trip to Rexburg, Idaho, with his girlfriend, Gibb. Warwick said they traveled to Rexburg the weekend of Sept. 20-23 to visit Warwick’s son, attend a Book of Mormon conference, and record a podcast with Lori and Gibb at Lori’s apartment.
Warwick said he planned to stay at a hotel, but Lori reportedly told Gibb there was an extra room in her apartment. Warwick stayed in JJ’s room, JJ stayed in Lori’s room, and Gibb stayed in Tylee’s room. Warwick said when he arrived at the apartment, Gibb, Lori, JJ, and Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, were there. Lori allegedly told Warwick Tylee was attending college in Rexburg and wanted to be independent. Warwick said he didn’t see Tylee that weekend. At this point, Rexburg Police Department said that Tylee was likely already dead.
Throughout the weekend, Warwick said he saw JJ playing with toys, cutting holes in a cardboard box to make it like a home, and playing outside. Warwick said when JJ went outside to play, he seemed very happy.
Warwick also interacted with Chad a few times during the trip. Warwick said Chad taught him about the gathering of 144,000, and that Satan had the power to push people out of their bodies. Warwick said he told Chad he didn’t believe him. Chad had Warwick and Gibb meet him and Lori at a property next to a church, where Chad reportedly described a heavenly building next to the church. Warwick said he followed along with what Chad and Lori said to be respectful, but that he could not see the building.
In another interaction with Chad and Lori that weekend, Warwick said that they were very affectionate with one another. Warwick said he knew Chad was still married to Tammy, and asked Chad about it.
“I asked […] how his marriage was with Tammy, and if she was a good wife. He said he had no complaints and she was a good wife, but her time was coming up, and he and Lori were going to do the things they needed to do for God,” Warwick stated. And Chad reportedly told him he had a dream a few years prior that Tammy was going to die by the time Chad was 50.
On Sunday night, Sept. 22, Warwick said he, Lori, and Gibb were recording a podcast in Lori’s kitchen. Around 10:30 p.m., Cox came back to the house carrying JJ who was asleep on his shoulder. Cox took JJ upstairs and put him to bed in Lori’s room. Warwick said he didn’t recall if Cox left that night.
After midnight, Gibb heard Warwick screaming in his sleep and tried to wake him up, Warwick reported. Warwick said he had “one of the worst nightmares of my life. It was very real.” Gibb told Warwick she was going to try to wake up Lori and get Chad over to the house to give Warwick a blessing. When Gibb went to get Lori, she didn’t respond, Warwick said.
On the morning of Sept. 23, Gibb and Warwick were leaving to go home and went to say goodbye. JJ was nowhere to be seen, but Lori told Warwick that JJ had “an episode,” and climbed on the cabinets, and on the fridge, and then knocked over her picture of Jesus Christ.
Warwick asked if he could see JJ so he could give him a blessing, but Lori said Cox came to take care of him. Warwick said he didn’t see any signs that the cabinets were damaged, and there were no marks on the stainless steel fridge. Warwick said he did not call the police because he saw no reason to suspect anything.
To read more about the Lori Vallow Daybell murder case, you can visit ABC4’s webpage dedicated to it.