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May 13, 2024 20 mins
In a significant development in the Daybell murder trial, forensic biologist Katherine Dace provided crucial testimony regarding DNA evidence found on tools allegedly used in the crimes. The courtroom listened intently as Dace detailed her findings, which could play a pivotal role in the case against Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell.

The testimony, given in Idaho State Court, focused on various items recovered from the crime scene, including a pickaxe and several shovels. Dace, an experienced forensic biologist with the Idaho State Police, described how she was able to extract partial DNA profiles from these tools. Most notably, she identified Tylee Ryan, one of the alleged victims, as a possible contributor to the DNA found.

"Testing the largest piece of material from the pickaxe, we obtained a partial DNA profile," Dace stated in court. "Comparative analysis suggests Tylee Ryan as a possible contributor to this profile, with the probability of it being her DNA versus a random individual being 159 trillion to one."   
The court was shown photos of the pickaxe and the specific areas where Dace collected material for DNA testing. She noted the presence of burn marks and degraded material, which she attributed to exposure to heat and fire. Despite these conditions, Dace was still able to conduct a successful comparative analysis.

Additionally, Dace testified about finding a green substance on part of a shovel, which also matched Tylee Ryan's DNA with a staggering certainty of 604 octillion (27 zeros). "These findings are crucial as they directly link the material found on these tools to one of the victims," Dace explained.

The impact of this testimony could be substantial, as it provides concrete forensic evidence linking the tools found at Chad Daybell's property to the victims. The defense and prosecution listened closely, understanding the weight this evidence could carry in the ongoing trial.

Further unraveling the complex web of this case, FBI Intelligence Analyst Benjamin Dean provided insights into his review of hundreds of tips and digital evidence. Dean's work began in late March 2020, focusing on data extracted from devices seized from Daybell’s property, which included troubling finds like videos and photos relevant to the case. 
The search of Chad and Lori's vehicle revealed more damning evidence. Items recovered included Tylee Ryan's debit card, social security cards belonging to both missing children, and an envelope stuffed with $10,500 in cash. The presence of these items in Lori’s possession raised alarming questions about the couple’s intentions and actions following the children's disappearance.

As the trial continues, further testimonies are expected to delve deeper into the forensic details and the implications of these findings. The community and families affected look on, hoping for justice to be served in this complex and heart-wrenching case.

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