Lori Daybell’s niece knows where JJ and Tylee are, ex-husband claims in court documents

Posted at 4:06 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 18:07:38-05

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The ex-husband of Lori Vallow Daybell’s niece says the mother of his children knows the whereabouts of missing 7-year-old Joshua JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.

Child custody documents filed in Arizona by Brandon Boudreaux, the ex-husband of Melani Pawlowski, say she became involved in “a cult where numerous members, adults and children alike, have been being killed off like flies.” He also claims she knows more about the attempted murder on his life in October due to statements reportedly made by her new husband, Ian, to law enforcement.

Police in Rexburg say photos and videos place Tylee’s last confirmed sighting on Sept. 8 in Yellowstone National Park. JJ went missing weeks later after last attending school at Kennedy Elementary on Sept. 23. Melani moved to Rexburg and lived next door to the children when they disappeared.

In the documents obtained by, Boudreaux claims Melani is under investigation in relation to the disappearance of JJ and Tylee. He calls his ex-wife’s knowledge of the whereabouts concerning and lack of cooperation with authorities “daunting.”

Others involved in the case have also refused to cooperate with law enforcement. According to court documents released Friday, Daybell and her new husband, Chad Daybell, repeatedly lied to others and police about the whereabouts of the children.

Boudreaux’s attorneys wrote Ian told police that Bouxreaux’s ex-wife says “sometimes (the) children are full of light and then just like that they go dark.” The comment adds to Boudreaux’s concern for his children’s lives if a court allows his ex-wife to have lengthy unsupervised care of the kids.

On Oct. 2, 2019, Boudreaux saw a rifle with a silencer pointed out a green Jeep. A bullet fired and struck his Tesla, missing his head by inches. The Jeep was registered to Charles Vallow, the dead husband of Lori Daybell. The car was primarily driven by Tylee who was missing by the time of the shooting.

Private investigator Rich Robertson, who was hired by Boudreaux, told his client believes the shooter to be Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox — the same man police say shot and killed Charles Vallow on July 11, 2019. Cox died in December, and police are looking into his death and are not releasing much information.

In the recently filed court documents, Boudreaux also notes another statement reportedly made by Ian implicating his new wife conspired in the attempted hit. Shortly after Ian and Melani Pawloski married on Nov. 30 in Las Vegas, she told him that she conspired with Cox to kill Boudreaux, according to documents.

Boudreaux claims Melani “had a million dollars of reasons” to have him killed. He says she “was hoping to cash in on that policy to help support the cult” he believes she is a part of. It’s unknown if “that policy” refers to life insurance.

RELATED | A look at the religious circle surrounding Chad and Lori Daybell

It appears Melani has been at least somewhat cooperative with law enforcement following the Dec. 12, 2019 death of Cox. Little surrounding his death is known about his death as police continue to investigate.

“Mother only now comes forward as she feels that the suspicious death of her uncle (Alex Cox) who was the shooter in the incident … has somehow freed her from her role in the attempt on Father’s life,” court documents allege. “This is simply not the case.”

Court documents indicated Melani lives in Rexburg, the central location of the “doomsday cult,” after abandoning her children. Sources tell she and Ian moved from Rexburg on Feb. 15 and are renting a home in the Phoenix area.

Lori Daybell remains the only one charged in the twisted web of cases. She faces two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of children, misdemeanor resisting and/or obstructing an officer, solicitation and contempt.

Whether any charges are pending against Melani for her alleged involvement in the attempted murder of her Boudreaux is unclear. The Gilbert Police Department was unavailable for comment Monday. will update the story if we receive a response.

The only charge Melani currently faces is a misdemeanor trespassing charge in American Fork, Utah. She is accused of going onto Boudreaux’s parent’s property in November 2019 and demanding to have the kids. Police arrested her that day and she posted the $2,500 bond, according to Fox 10 Phoenix.