Zombies, an affair, and lies: What Part 2 of Melanie Gibb’s interview reveals about Lori Daybell investigation

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REXBURG, Idaho (ABC4 News/East Idaho News) – Zombies, an affair, and lies. Part two of the East Idaho News interview with Lori Daybell’s best friend, Melanie Gibb reveals more alarming details into the investigation of her two missing children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan.

READ: Part 1 of Melanie Gibb’s interview 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,'” said Nate Eaton, reporter with East Idaho News.

According to Gibb, doomsday author Chad Daybell persuaded Lori to move from her Arizona home to Rexburg, Idaho in August 2019 where he lived. Her brother, Alex Cox and niece, Melanie Boudreaux eventually made the move too and lived in the same complex.

When Gibb came to visit Lori, she said she witnessed Chad and Lori being affectionate during a walk around the Brigham Young University Idaho campus although he was still married to his wife, Tammy.

“I said, ‘Aren’t you worried that people are going to see you?’ She says, ‘Well, Tammy doesn’t come out a lot.’ … They said a lot of people that knew Chad didn’t know what Tammy looked like because they didn’t do a lot of things together,” Gibb told Eaton.

What Gibb found strange was during the visit is that Lori never talked about her 17-year-old daughter, Tylee or brought her around. When Gibb asked about her, she said Lori claimed Tylee was at BYU Idaho.

Just a few months after, Lori allegedly told Gibb she would be sending her son, JJ to live with his grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock in Lake Charles, Louisiana because he was “turning into a zombie” and “getting in the way” of their mission. But Gibb soon found out, that’s not what happened.

“This is where there’s a big turn in my life. I get a call from Chad two days before Thanksgiving. I still feel emotional about it. (He said) ‘Melanie. It’s Chad. When police call, don’t pick up the phone’ and my heart just dropped. He was very nervous. He was very scared. He did not sound himself. Very unsure, very quivery almost,” Gibb told Eaton.

She went on to say, “I was so confused. He said, ‘The police are at Lori’s house checking on JJ.’ I’m like, ‘JJ’s not with Kay?’ (Chad replied), ‘No.’ My heart dropped deeper, and I just knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know. I didn’t understand.”

READ: New body camera footage shows Lori Daybell’s ex-husband expressing concerns to police before his death

This wasn’t the first time Lori had talked about zombies, according to Gibb. Chad had told Lori that her former husband, Charles, was supposedly a zombie and would eventually die in a car crash. Although she was initially uncomfortable with what he told her, she still trusted in his “revelations.”

Her brother, Alex supposedly believed all of their claims, which could have been the driving factor as to why he fatally shot Charles in July 2019 and claimed self-defense. Gibb said Lori didn’t tell her about Charles’ death until four days after.

“I used to say to her, ‘Why is everybody in your life turning into zombies? Why is everybody after you? I don’t understand.’ And she would say, ‘Well, it’s because Satan really hates me, and because of my exaltation and the level I’m exalted to, they’re coming straight after me,'” Gibb said to Eaton.

Lori allegedly asked Gibb to lie to police about having JJ in her custody and to falsify pictures to make it seem like he was with her. Gibb said she didn’t comply and realized at that moment, she needed to tell police everything she knew.

“She’s been fearful through a lot of this as she said in our interview that people around Chad and Lori were dying and have been dying and there’s kids missing. She didn’t know if she might be next or she could have a target on her back,” said Eaton to ABC4 News.

One of the main reasons Gibb agreed to be interviewed was so she could speak to those who follow Chad’s teachings or similar beliefs. She admits she was gullible and even confessed to detectives that she can’t believe she was “sucked in.”

“There are many people other than Chad that believe these teachings of many lives or multiple probations. I want you to decide – Does having this information make you a better person? Does it make you loyal to your spouse? Does it make you feel like you’re better than other people?” Gibb asks.

She went on to say, “If this idea of multiple probations had not been introduced, nobody would have ever died because they would have never thought they were married before. This is dangerous doctrine because this is not how he (God) works.”

Lori Daybell and Melanie Gibb

Gibb says despite everything that has happened, she still loves Chad and Lori. She says she hopes they will repent, tell the truth and confess to authorities any wrongdoings they have done.

“I do feel sorrow for everybody involved. Everybody’s hurting from this. She’s in jail now. She doesn’t get to be with Chad, who she loves. That’s what she wanted so badly, and now she can’t even be with him. It was a fatal attraction that led to their separation and people passing away. It’s a tragic, tragic story,” she said.

For those that doubt her credibility or believe that her testimony is only based off the information released by media outlets over the past few months, Gibb said she began working with investigators back in December and everything she has shared publicly now was documented then.

East Idaho News will release the third and final part of their interview Thursday, where Gibb talks about Tammy Daybell’s death and where she thinks JJ and Tylee are.

Rosie_Nguyen
Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. Her areas of focus include stories about communities of color, minority issues, and social justice.

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