Witness Undercuts Doomsday Dad Chad Daybell’s Story of Wife’s Death

The Daily Beast/ADA County Sheriff's Department
The Daily Beast/ADA County Sheriff's Department

Chad Daybell has long insisted that he woke up one morning in 2019 to find his wife of nearly 30 years dead on the floor of their Idaho bedroom. But the Doomsday author’s son allegedly told his friend and former co-worker a different story.

“He said he found her when he got home from work and he didn’t know where his father was,” that friend, Jason MacKay, testified at Daybell’s Idaho murder trial on Thursday. “I don’t remember if he said she was in the bed or next to the bed. She was kind of pale and her lips were blue.”

The revelation calls into question what happened the morning of Oct. 19, 2019, when authorities arrived at Daybell’s home to find his wife, Tammy, wrapped in a sheet on their bed.

At the time, Daybell told authorities that he’d found his wife “stiff” on the floor after she had been coughing and vomiting all night. His son, Garth Daybell, testified on Monday that his mother was feeling ill the night before and asked him to pick up McDonalds before his shift at a local haunted house with MacKay.

Chad Daybell Introduced Family to Lori Vallow a Day After Wife’s Funeral, Son-In-Law Says

Garth Daybell testified that when he returned home around 1 a.m., he only heard his father “snoring” and fell asleep. He said he woke up hours later to his father demanding he come into the primary bedroom, where his mother was on the floor.

“I felt she was cold and stiff and gray. I realized she’s not been breathing,” Garth testified. “I immediately thought, ‘She needs my help’ so I lifted her immediately into the bed.”

MacKay, however, told jurors on Thursday he clearly remembered Garth telling him a week later that he’d been alone when he found his mother.

“I was still at work at the Haunted Mill. There were a few other scary actors around us. It was closer toward the end of our shift,” he said, adding that Garth seemed sad.

Prosecutors allege that Daybell and his paramour, Lori Vallow, were driven by their fringe religious beliefs to murder Tammy—before killing Vallow’s children a month later and burying them in Daybell’s Idaho backyard. Then, prosecutors allege, the pair fled to Hawaii to start a new life.

Daybell, 55, has pleaded not guilty to several charges and faces the death penalty. Vallow is serving life in prison on similar charges.

Daybell’s lawyers argue there is no evidence that Tammy’s death was a homicide, and Garth Daybell testified that he did not hear a struggle the night of his mother’s death.

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