Prosecutors in Lori Vallow case turn over evidence to defense

Idaho prosecutors handling the case of Lori Vallow have submitted thousands of pieces of evidence, including videos from the mother’s trip to Yellowstone National Park with her two children before their disappearance last fall, to be turned over to the defense. 

The Madison County Prosecutors Office on Monday filed thousands of pages of documents, hundreds of photos and several videotapes as part of the standard discovery process.

Vallow’s attorneys will get a chance to review all the materials and build their defense accordingly.

A separate court filing this week by the first husband of Vallow’s niece, Melanie Boudreaux Pawlowski, alleges that Lori and her new husband, doomsday author Chad Daybell, espoused some bizarre beliefs about people turning into zombies and requiring help to rid of evil spirits possessing them.


Prosecutors in Lori Vallow’s case have turned over thousands of documents, photos and videos to her defense team in Idaho in response to a request for discovery

JJ and Tylee in Yellowstone National Park one of the last times they were seen alive

Lori with JJ at Yellowstone on September 8

The FBI released this photo of the family at Yellowstone National Park on September 8 and has asked anyone with information about that day to come forward. Video from the family’s trip has been turned out to Vallow’s defense as part of discovery 

KTVB reported that evidence listed in the initial discovery disclosure is said to include security videos showing Vallow’s 17-year-old daughter Tylee and seven-year-old son JJ spending time with her and her brother Alex Cox at Yellowstone National Park on September 8, 2019.

The family day trip marked the last time that Vallow was seen with her two children. It was also Tylee’s last sighting. 

Her younger brother was last seen at his elementary school on Rexburg, Idaho, on September 23. He was pulled from the school the next day.   

Other materials set to be turned over to the defense include taped interviews with family members and police body camera footage.

As East Idaho News reported, in court documents filed by Brandon Boudreaux, the former husband of Lori Vallow’s niece, Melanie, as part of a custody battle, he claims that his ex-wife knows where JJ and Tylee are, was part of her aunt’s religious group, and played a role in an attempt on his life.

JJ, 7, and Tylee, 17, have not been seen or heard from since September 2019

JJ, 7, and Tylee, 17, have not been seen or heard from since September 2019

Melanie Boudreaux Pawlowski has vehemently denied though her attorney her ex-husband’s claims.

The revelations come from what Melanie’s second husband, Ian Pawlowski, told his lawyers. The filing does not specify how Boudreaux obtained the documents, but the website reported, citing unnamed sources, that it came from Pawlowski’s computer.

According to the court records, Pawlowski has revealed that early in his relationship with Melanie, she discussed with her some of her religious beliefs.

The conversation covered the subject of zombies, which Melanie allegedly explained were ‘human bodies that have had their original spirits forced out of them’ and possessed either by a demon, or a worm or slug.

Pawlowski wrote that at first he tried to keep an open mind about Melanie’s beliefs, some of which she said she had learned from her aunt Lori and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell.

Pawlowski stated that when he first met Lori and her new husband in person, he did not get a bad impression from them, but it struck him that some of their ideas about religion felt like they were ‘ripped straight out of a Dungeons & Dragons manual.’

According to Pawlowski, Melanie told him she feared that her first husband, Brandon, had been possessed by a demon, and that she had been told by Daybell and Lori that their children, Tylee and JJ, also had been possessed and had become zombies.

‘She shared concerns that she’s been told Brandon needed to die and that may indicate that Tylee and JJ needed to die as well,’ Ian allegedly wrote. ‘She told me she was worried that [her brother Alex Cox] may have had to “take care” of the kids. 

The timeline of the mysterious deaths and disappearance in Vallow's immediate family

The timeline of the mysterious deaths and disappearance in Vallow’s immediate family

Chad Daybell, husband of cult Mum Lori Vallow, is seen leaving the Kauai Community Correctional Center. The couple fled to Hawaii and married on a beach on November

Chad Daybell, husband of cult Mum Lori Vallow, is seen leaving the Kauai Community Correctional Center. The couple fled to Hawaii and married on a beach on November

‘She explained that [Cox] had great faith and never wavered in his trust in the Lord. No task would be too difficult or too great for him.’ 

Cox, who was suspected of firing a shot at Brandon Boudreaux outside his home in Arizona, died under mysterious circumstances in December 2019, six months after he shot and killed Lori’s estranged fourth husband, Charles Vallow, during an argument. The brother claimed self-defense.  

In the wake of her extradition from Hawaii, where she had fled with Daybell last November amid the search for her children in Idaho, Vallow remains in jail on $1million bail. She is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 7. 

She has been charged with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, contempt of court and willful disobedience of court process or order.

Daybell has not been accused of, or charged with, any crime.