NewsLocal NewsThe Trial of Chad Daybell


Utah Doctor testifies the manner of Tammy Daybell's death was homicide

Dr. Lilly Marsden also testified they were no bruises on Tammy's neck
Posted at 3:13 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 17:13:34-04

BOISE, Idaho — Dr. Lilly Marsden is the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner in Utah who took part in Tammy Daybell’s autopsy. Even though Dr. Marsden testified they couldn’t determine the immediate cause of death, she told prosecutors she changed her opinion when the examination was over.

  • Marsden determined the manner of death for Tammy Daybell to be a homicide.
  • Defense Attorney John Prior asked if there were bruises on Tammy's neck. Marsden said "No," but clarified that there was bruising present elsewhere on her body.
  • Prosecutors asked Marsden "Are there ways someone could cause a death by asphyxia without leaving signs, such as bruising?" Marsden said "Absolutely."

 (The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)
Prosecutors asked Dr. Marsden. “Did you consider undetermined as a potential option? We did. What did you ultimately determine the cause of death to be? It was a homicide. And again, the cause of death? Asphyxia.”

Defense Attorney John Prior asked Dr. Marsden if there were any bruises around Tammy’s neck? Marsden said no. Marsden said the bruises on Tammy’s arms could be consistent with someone being restrained.

“You’re suggesting is someone was trying to stop Tammy Daybell from breathing physically covering up her airwaves is that correct? Correct. Nothing in fact to indicate a struggle, correct? The bruises could indicate a struggle but it’s nonspecific. And when you say nonspecific, we don’t know how the bruises got there correct? So, if someone is holding Tammy Daybell’s breathing that some person at the same time is holding her arms down as well? Or there’s more than one person I don’t know.?

Prosecutors then came back and asked. “Are there ways someone can cause someone’s death in that manner without leaving any signs or external injuries? Absolutely.”

Later, an F.B.I. Agent testified how they followed Lori Vallow’s brother Alex Cox through his cell phone that placed him near and on Chad Daybell’s property the day after the last known location of Tylee Ryan in Rexburg.