The Idaho mom is currently in custody in Idaho in connection with the disappearance of her two children

By Christine Pelisek
March 24, 2020 07:10 PM
Rexburg Police Department

Lori Vallow allegedly believed that her two missing children were zombies, according to recent court filings.

The Idaho mom is currently in custody in Idaho in connection with the disappearance of her two children: seven-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, who have been missing since September.

Vallow is married to Chad Daybell, an author who writes about religious doomsday prophecies. Vallow was recently extradited from Hawaii where she and Daybell, her fifth husband, had been living.

The court documents were filed last week in an Arizona court by Vallow’s niece’s ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux, in a child custody case against his ex, Melani Boudreaux Pawlowski, the East Idaho News reports.

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell
Eric Grossarth/

In the filing, Melani Pawlowski allegedly told her current husband Ian Pawlowski that she “had been told by Chad and Lori that her children 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,” NBC reports.

Pawlowski allegedly said he tried to keep an open mind about his wife’s beliefs in teleportation and “dark and light portals,” according to NBC.

“The ideas seemed harmless at first, and she sounded pretty certain of some of them. She talked about how she’d learned some of these things in the temple and others from Chad and Lori,” the East Idaho News reports.

Garrett L. Smith, a lawyer who represents Melani and Ian, says Melani doesn’t believe the kids were possessed.

“She wants to know where they are,” Smith says. “She is cooperating every way she can for them to be found. Brandon has created this false story in order to justify what he did, which was unlawfully take his kids away from his wife.”

Smith says Melani has cooperated with the authorities and spoke to the FBI three times.

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Vallow is charged in Idaho with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, as well as resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, contempt of court and willful disobedience of court process or order. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison if convicted, according to the Madison County prosecutor’s office.

Police earlier said they “strongly believe that Joshua and Tylee’s lives are in danger” after reporting that Vallow and Daybell “abruptly vacated” the couple’s Rexburg, Idaho, home and fled to Hawaii before police could serve search warrants tied to the investigation.

Lori Vallow
Dennis Fujimoto/AP/Shutterstock

Vallow has not yet entered a formal plea to the charges after she was extradited from Hawaii to face them. She remains jailed in Madison County on a $1 million bond.

RELATED: Idaho Mom Lori Vallow Smiles After Bail is Reduced to $1M — and Her Kids Are Still Missing

But in a statement to ABC News, Vallow’s defense attorney, Mark Means, maintained her innocence.

“As with any citizen of our country, Mrs. Daybell is entitled to all the privileges and rights that accompany our cornerstone belief of innocents [sic], until proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise,” said the statement, issued Monday. “It is this innocence that Mrs. Daybell assertively maintains regarding all charges.”

Authorities say J.J., who has autism, was last seen at his Rexburg school on Sept. 23 before his mother withdrew him from classes. Tylee was last seen Sept. 8 when she accompanied her mother, brother and an uncle, Alex Cox, on a day trip to Yellowstone.