Rexburg mayor hopes discovery of human remains at Daybell home brings closure to family

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The remains were found during a search warrant that was executed on the Daybell home Tuesday morning

UPDATE 6/10: Wednesday morning Rexburg police confirmed two sets of remains were found. Chad Daybell was charged with felony destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence. He will be in court Wednesday at 11 a.m.


/FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (ABC4 News) – The Mayor of Rexburg says he hopes the discovery of human remains found on the property of Chad Daybell brings closure to the families of those involved.

In an interview, ABC4 News Investigative Reporter Jason Nguyen asked Mayor Jerry Merrill, “How do you feel about the community responding to the news right now?”

Mayor Merrill responded with:

“Well, it is a sad day for Rexburg, you know, of course, to find out the news about the kids. But on the other hand, it’s a good day in the sense that it is good to try to bring some closure to the family and to this story. You know, that has been dragged out for so long and so we are glad to have that closure. But it is a very sad day for the people who knew those kids, you know, that loved them and cared about them. So there is nothing to celebrate.”

When asked with the follow-up question, “Are you indicating they found the kids?” The Mayor’s reply was, “Oh.”

RELATED: Chad Daybell taken into custody after unidentified human remains found in backyard

Human remains were found Tuesday after the Rexburg Police Department executed a sealed search warrant at the home of Chad Daybell. He is newly married to Lori Daybell, who is the mother of 8-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. The children have been missing since September.

ABC4 News reached out to Rexburg Police multiple times after the Mayor made his comments and we have not heard back. A representative for JJ’s grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock gave permission to air the interview.

Deputies with Fremont County Sheriff’s Office pulled Chad Daybell over about a mile from his house and took him into custody. He has been booked in the Fremont County Jail. Online records indicate Daybell was arrest for destruction or concealment of evidence.

The high-profile case has garnered attention after Chad and Lori Daybell continuously refused to cooperate with police. The couple was located in Hawaii just a few months after the children’s disappearance.

RELATED: Mother could be in contempt after deadline passes with no sign of missing Idaho kids

Lori was then arrested and extradited back to Idaho. She remains behind bars at the Madison County Jail on a $1 million bond. Her next court date is scheduled in July.

Chad and Lori are also under investigation for conspiracy, attempted murder, and murder in connection to the death of Chad’s last wife, Tammy Daybell who died suddenly at their Salem, Idaho home in October 2019.

RELATED: Attorney General takes over Tammy Daybell death investigation

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