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Lori Vallow's Niece May Know Where Missing Children Are, Court Documents Say

“Melani is involved in a cult where numerous members, adults and children alike have been killed off like flies,” Melani Pawlowski’s former husband alleges in new court documents.

By Jill Sederstrom
Lori Vallow Daybell Arrested In Connection To Missing Kids

It’s been more than five months since Lori Vallow’s two children were last seen in Idaho, but could Vallow’s niece know what happened to them?

New court documents connected to the case suggest Vallow’s niece Melani Pawlowski may know more than she’s revealing about the disappearance of 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, according to local station KSAZ-TV.

The documents, filed by Pawlowski’s former husband Brandon Boudreaux as part of a custody dispute between the pair, allege that Pawlowski has refused to cooperate with authorities in the months since her aunt’s children have disappeared.

“Melani’s knowledge of the whereabouts of her aunt’s two missing children and her unwillingness to cooperate with law enforcement is daunting and her current husband has told law enforcement that Melani says sometimes children are full of light and then just like that they go dark,” according to the court documents obtained by the local station.

The court documents also allege that Pawlowski left Arizona to join her doomsday-obsessed aunt in Idaho, where she lived in the same townhouse complex as Vallow.

“Melani is involved in a cult where numerous members, adults and children alike have been killed off like flies,” the court documents said.

Vallow was arrested last week in Hawaii and was charged with felony desertion and nonsupport of dependent children after she refused to produce the missing children by a deadline given by authorities. Neither child has been seen alive since September, authorities said.

Boudreaux even alleges that Pawlowski may have been part of an apparent attempt on his life in October 2019 after a window in his Tesla was shot out. 

 "Brandon believed Melani, his wife at the time, had a million dollars of reasons to have him killed ... hoping to cash in on the policy to help support the cult that she is believed to be a part of,” his attorneys said in the documents.

Just moments before the shot was fired, Boudreaux allegedly spotted a rifle with a silencer come out of the rear window of a gray Jeep Wrangler, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Vallow’s case by the Madison County Prosecuting Attorney. Authorities said the Jeep was registered to Charles Vallow, Lori’s former husband, who had died months earlier. 

The Jeep, which was later found in Lori’s possession, was seized by investigators, according to the documents.

Charles Vallow was shot to death by Lori’s brother Alex Cox on July 11, 2019, according to the affidavit. 

Cox told authorities he had shot Charles in self-defense, PEOPLE reports. He was never charged in connection with the death and Cox later died in December.

Charles’ death came just months after he had expressed fear for his life in court documents he filed after filing for divorce, according to the Associated Press. He alleged his wife believed she was a “god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020.” 

After Charles was killed, Lori Vallow wouldn’t remain single for long. Last fall, she married Chad Daybell, a religious author who writes about preparing for the end of the world, just two weeks after his own wife had died.

Tammy Daybell, a 49-year-old librarian, died on October, 19, 2019 due to what authorities initially believed was “natural” causes. However, as the investigation into Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell continues, investigators have exhumed the body and performed an autopsy. The results of that autopsy are still pending, PEOPLE reports.

Vallow is being held on a $5 million bond as the search for her two missing children continues.