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Court TV: Medical Examiner describes her findings from Tammy Daybell's autopsy

Posted at 8:18 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 22:18:08-04

BOISE, Idaho — In the trial of Chad Daybell, Dr. Lily Marsden, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner at the Utah Medical Examiner's Office, explained her findings while completing an autopsy on Tammy Daybell.

  • Dr. Marsden says Tammy Daybell had 'acute' bruising
  • Defense Attorney John Prior said Marsden's findings were subjective. She agreed

(The following is a transcript from the broadcast story)

Tuesday in court, we heard about Tammy Daybell and Alex Cox. And, how investigators pinpointed electronic data to determine the time and date that Tylee Ryan was burned and buried in Chad Daybell's backyard.

On September 9 2019, the day investigators believe Tylee Ryan was burned and buried in Chad Daybell's yard, investigators noticed a significant data cluster from a device belonging to Alex Cox.

During a two hour and 30 minute time period, his device pings several times in Chad's yard. Within a few minutes of Alex Cox's device leaving Chad Daybell's property, Chad sends his wife, Tammy, a message.

"And the text message read, 'Well, I've had an interesting morning. I felt I should burn all of the limb debris by the fire pit before it got too soaked by the coming storms. While I did so I spotted a big raccoon along the fence. I hurried and got my gun and he was still walking along. I got close enough that one shot did the trick. He is now in our pet cemetery. Fun times,'" read FBI Agent Rick Wright on the stand.

A few weeks later, Chad's wife, 49 year old Tammy Daybell is found dead in her bed.

Her body was eventually exhumed.

The deputy medical examiner who helped perform the autopsy determined her cause of death was asphyxia, and the manner of death, homicide.

She testified about the bruising on Tammy's arms.

"All of the bruises on Miss Daybell were what we would call 'acute,' which meant that under the microscope, the only thing there was bleeding into the soft tissues under the skin. So, there was no inflammatory response. So, the body had not started to mount a response to try to clean up the injury," testified Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Lily Marsden.

And on cross examination, John Prior emphasized that the deputy medical examiner could not really be certain of the cause and manner of death, saying that your findings were subjective.

She agreed.