NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — Not far from the sounds of shag music on Ocean Drive in North Myrtle Beach, Chris Matechen takes a seat on his patio furniture and thinks of what could have been.
He should be a husband; father of a boy and girl; and a helping caretaker to two other girls from a relationship he shared with Alyssa Dayvault.
That dream quickly vanished when Dayvault made the now infamous choice to kill their boy and girl newborns and throw them in the trash.
One thing that Matechen says that he will never get back is the ability to trust anyone — that's reserved only for those that stuck beside him through the entire ordeal.
The 36-year-old moved to North Myrtle Beach back in January 2011 from Pittsburgh.
“In 2010, we had a big snowstorm, and I was like I’m done,” Matechen explained as he waved to a neighbor pulling into their driveway. “I always wanted to be near the beach.”
He said his relationship with Dayvault started 7 or 8 years ago while they were both working at a costume store in Myrtle Beach.
“There was something there,” he said. “We were both kind of similar people. I don’t know what happened to her.”
Matechen says the relationship between he and Dayvault was a smooth one — even talking of a Halloween 2020 wedding before he found out what she did through detectives that showed up at their door.
They originally moved in together at Cherry Grove Commons in North Myrtle Beach, before settling down in the former house where Dayvault lived in high school — but these days it is just him and his trusted sidekick Gibson, a lab-corgi mix full of energy.
“I’m surprised he’s not in there right now barking,” Matechen said.
He still gets very emotional talking about Dayvault’s two daughters that she brought into the relationship.
“Since 2018, when they drove off my driveway, I haven’t been able to see them,” Matechen explained as he fought back tears. “It’s messed up because a day before all this went down, her oldest daughter asked if she could call me dad.
“Those 24 hours, she called me dad.”
On Oct. 15, Dayvault was found guilty on two counts of homicide by child abuse, wrapping up a years-long process after she killed two of her newborn children by throwing them in the trash, a baby girl in 2017 and a baby boy in 2018.
Matechen shakes his head and wonders why she would stoop to something so low. He never knew about the first newborn girl and only found out about the second pregnancy because of a visit from North Myrtle Beach detectives — and, later, Dayvault’s later confession.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “I just can’t believe it.”
He vividly remembers the day that he found out the devastating turn of events.
North Myrtle Beach detectives called them and said that they were coming to check on Dayvault.
Matechen said that they asked if he needed to pick up the girls from school which struck him as odd. As he was leaving, he noticed undercover police vehicles in the neighborhood.
“I was like, 'What is going on,'” he asked. “I knew they were coming here, but I didn’t know why.”
When he arrived back, the cops asked him to take the girls over to a nearby park.
“While I was watching the girls, I was also watching the house not knowing what was going on.”
A detective finally walked over to Matechen and said, “I’m going to tell you something that’s going to be tough, but try to hold your emotions together for the girls.”
“He told me that they found my son in the garbage,” Matechen said, fighting back tears again as he realized he may never see the two girls again.
“I started balling out of control. I was definitely sick. It was the worst moment of my life.”
He said that the police then told him about the 2017 incident.
Judge Steven John didn’t let Matechen address the court on Nov. 5 when Dayvault was sentenced to two 40-year prison terms that will run concurrently.
But he knows what he would ask her if he could.
“I would just mainly ask her, 'Why?” he said.
“I’ve asked her that several times. It’s always something different. Her mom, we didn’t have enough money. I could have worked 80 hours a week.”
Matechen never thought that Dayvault would choose to skip her trial, only finding out by watching the news. Her low $35,000 bond for a double-murder only made it worse for him.
“That was a tough time,” he said, looking down at his hands. “I wanted nothing more than for her to be sitting there and hear that jury say that she is guilty for both of the kids and I wanted to see her face.”
Some would ask why he still lives in the house where the remains of his son were found by detectives.
“I know it sounds crazy,” he explained. “I feel like my son has visited me. I get signs sometimes from him.”
Some would ask how Matechen didn’t know that she was pregnant.
“Normally you gain weight when your pregnant down here (pointing to his stomach),” he said. “She gained weight everywhere. Looking back, how stupid can I be? It’s not that she fooled me. She fooled everybody.”
Matechen said this whole ordeal has changed his entire life. He’s had to see a therapist occasionally. No more relationships for him. It is only his family, friends and Gibson from now on.
Also, the hatred that he receives from social media only amplifies the problem.
“It hurts,” he said. “I’m an emotional type of guy. I’ve been cleared and offered many times to take a lie-detector test.”
He credits North Myrtle Beach detective Will Lynch as his saving grace.
“He’s a rockstar,” he said. “He’s been there since Day 1. I owe him my life. He went above and beyond.”
Where will Matechen go from here now that he has some closure?
“A load has been lifted off my shoulders for sure,” he said. “I will have trouble trusting again. Her life is over, and that’s all I can really care about. I can’t believe she lied so well.”
To this day, it still disturbs him that the newborns are known on the record as baby Dayvault. The baby girl’s birthday will be on Nov. 15 and Matechen will finally give her a name.
“I’m gonna name her Gloria Ann, and I will do the same thing for my son.”