Headlines refer to them as the “doomsday couple,” a pair who have drawn international attention for their so-called apocalyptic religious beliefs and the recurring demises of their immediate family members under questionable circumstances.
The Lifetime television network even made a movie about them.
On Tuesday, prosecutors in Idaho announced that the husband and wife, Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow, had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of two of Ms. Vallow’s children. Mr. Daybell was also charged with first-degree murder in the death of his previous spouse, a case that received renewed attention after the disappearance of Ms. Vallow’s children.
The couple, who were indicted by a grand jury in Fremont County, Idaho, on Monday, could face the death penalty, prosecutors said.
“Members of the grand jury deliberated and determined there is probable cause to believe the Daybells willfully and knowingly conspired to commit several crimes that led to the death of three innocent people,” Lindsey Blake, the Fremont County prosecutor, said at a news conference.
Tammy Daybell, 49, was found dead in October 2019 in her home in Idaho. Her death was initially attributed to natural causes, but the authorities ordered that her remains be exhumed, suspecting that her death might have been connected to Ms. Vallow’s missing children.
According to the indictment, Mr. Daybell and Ms. Vallow said in a text message exchange that Ms. Daybell had been in “limbo” and was “being possessed by a spirit named Viola.” Mr. Daybell had increased the amount of coverage in a life insurance policy for Ms. Daybell in September 2019, a little more than a month before her death.
Mr. Daybell, 52, and Ms. Vallow, 47, married shortly after their previous spouses had died.
A lawyer for Mr. Daybell did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
arrested in Hawaii on charges that included two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children. Mr. Daybell was arrested last June on felony charges related to the disappearance of his stepchildren. He and Ms. Vallow have pleaded not guilty to those earlier charges.