People close to Chad Daybell have begun speaking out about him and his bizarre beliefs. Those who know Daybell, who was arrested on June 10 after the remains of his stepchildren were found n his Idaho property, believed they were "possessed by evil spirits," according to The Daily Mail.
The remains of 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow had been discovered the day before, having been missing since September of 2019. Daybell's since been charged with two felony counts of concealment or destruction of evidence, which he's pleaded not guilty. His wife, Lori Vallow, is also facing charges on two counts of desertion and nonsupport of a dependent child. In the days since Daybell's arrest, multiple sources have claimed that the couple had become consumed by what they believed were visions from God and were active members of Avow, a doomsday-prepping offshoot of the Mormon church.
Charlene Campbell, a former member of Avow, had known Daybell and wife Lori for about five years. She said that Daybell predicted an earthquake would strike Idaho and distract everyone from her children's disappearance. "It is a predicted earthquake, but they believed they knew the date. According to my friend [in Avow], she understood that he truly believed those children were [zombies]," Cambell said. "He convinced Lori of that, and then they destroyed the children. They were convinced they would not have to deal with the consequences because the fallout of that earthquake would be so monumental, all the way into Idaho. It would be such a huge distraction; no one would know that they buried the kids."
Suzanne Freeman, a mother of 10 who's known Daybell since she was a teenager, said that "Chad's involvement with Avow changed him, and a few of the authors who claimed to have had visions of the Last Days changed him. But people really started looking up to Chad because he was an author and a well-known publisher." These comments come after the outlet had published a photo of Daybell digging a grave back in 1998, which he described as "rewarding" work but "sad when you have to bury babies."
Both Vallow and Daybell started making headlines after photos of their honeymoon in Hawaii emerged just two weeks after the children went missing. They remained there while Idaho police searched their home and property. Vallow had previously been ordered by an Idaho court to produce the children to prove that they were safe. She failed to do so, which led to her arrest.