Police used cellphone data to find Idaho children's remains

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June 20 (UPI) -- Police used cellphone data to track the locations of two children found buried on their stepfather's property in eastern Idaho earlier this month, according to court records released Friday.

Rexburg police, working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, pinged the phone of Alex Cox, the late brother of Lori Vallow, who has been arrested in connection with the death of her children Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua "J.J." Vallow, 7, and found he had visited two areas on Chad Daybell's property in September.

When they visited those areas with a warrant earlier this month, they found the children's remains, according to a probable cause affidavit for Daybell's arrest.

Daybell was taken into custody June 9 on two counts of felony destruction and concealment of evidence.

Vallow, Daybell's wife and the mother of the two children, has been held on $1 million bail since her arrest in March, when she was arrested in Hawaii and charged with child abandonment and obstruction of justice.

Shortly after Daybell's arrest, authorities announced that the bodies they recovered on his property were those of the children.

The Idaho Falls Post-Register has published a timeline beginning Sept. 8, the last time the children were seen alive, which includes a text from Daybell to his then-wife, Tammy, saying he had shot a racoon mid-morning on his property and buried it in the pet cemetery at 11 a.m. one morning -- a claim Daybell's son would repeat to a neighbor and which police found suspect since raccoons are nocturnal animals.

The affidavit also draws on statements from Melanie Gibb, a close friend of Daybell and Vallow, said Vallow had repeatedly referred to the children as zombies and that Vallow told her Alex had taken one of them.

Gibb also told investigators that Vallow said they were part of the "Church of the Firstborn" and that their mission was to rid the world of "zombies" and "lead the 144,000 mentioned in the Book of Revelation."

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