A couple facing charges related to the alleged concealment of the remains of two children in Idaho spoke on the by telephone to each other on the day authorities discovered the bodies, prosecutors have revealed.
The recording of the phone call was played at a preliminary hearing which began on Monday, to determine if there is enough evidence to hold Lori Vallow Daybell's husband Chad Daybell for trial.
The bodies of her children, Tylee Ryan and Joshua 'JJ' Vallow, were discovered at his home months after they had gone missing.
“I love you so much,” Mr Daybell said in the recording after telling Ms Vallow Daybell police were searching the field behind the house.
“I love you,” Ms Vallow Daybell responds. “Should I try to call you later? “I don’t know,” Mr Daybell said. “You can try.”
There was no indication that either was aware of the discovery.
The New York Post reported that Ms Vallow Daybell asked: “Are they seizing stuff?”, during the call. “They’re searching,” Mr Daybell reportedly replied in muffled audio.
Nearly 30 pieces of evidence have been submitted by prosecutors for a judge to evaluate in the hearing.
Both Mr Daybell and Ms Vallow Daybell face charges related to hiding the children's remains. They have pleaded not guilty.
The remains were found on Mr Daybell’s property in rural Idaho in June and were identified as being the bodies of JJ and Tylee not long after.
Rexburg Police Detective Ray Hermosillo gave chilling details about how the children’s bodies were discovered at the hearing on Monday, describing how JJ had been found wrapped in plastic bags and duct tape and that Tylee's body had been burned.
The discovery is the latest grim turn in a long case that began with the disappearance of the two children in late 2019. Police began searching for Tylee and JJ in November after relatives raised concerns.
Investigators said they found the bodies by tracking the movements of Ms Vallow Daybell's brother, Alex Cox, using cellphone data.
The “doomsday” beliefs of Mr Daybell and Ms Vallow Daybell and the suspicious deaths of their former spouses have drawn global attention to the tragic case.
Court documents in Ms Vallow Daybell’s criminal case showed that Melanie Gibb a friend of Ms Vallow Daybell, claimed they had become acquainted through a "doomsday" belief system and told her at different times last year that both children had become "zombies".
Mr Daybell ran a small publishing company and wrote fiction books about apocalyptic scenarios loosely based on the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Police say the couple lied to investigators about the children’s whereabouts before quietly leaving Idaho. They were found in Hawaii months later.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press