ID - Joshua Vallow, 7, & Tylee Ryan, 17, Rexburg, Sept 2019 *MEDIA MAPS TIMELINE* NO DISCUSSION

Discussion in 'Located Timeline and Media Links' started by oviedo, Dec 24, 2019.

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  1. Tortoise

    Tortoise Well-Known Member

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    Justin Lum Fox 10 Phoenix
    3 hrs ·
    IDAHO SUPREME COURT: Just signed, an extension of emergency reduction in court services. The order goes through 4/30/. This extension comes due to COVID-19 precautions.

    Lori Vallow’s bond reduction hearing is on 4/24. The hearing has not been moved officially yet.
    [​IMG]
     
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    Justin Lum Fox 10 Phoenix
    22 April at 21:33 ·
    SUBPOENA: Lori Vallow’s attorney Mark Means has now filed a subpoena for Madison Co. Sheriff’s Dept. The request is for records from the agency regarding Lori Vallow, including all communications. Specifically recordings of LV speaking to LE & counsel since 2/20/20.

    Means wants a list of everyone employed with MCSD involved with custody and supervision of Vallow. He even asks for work schedules of deputies and agents. The list goes onto request communication between department and anyone associated with Madison County Prosecutor’s Office, Madison County Court, Rexburg Police and Fremont County Prosecutor’s Office.


    04/21/2020 Subpoena Duces Tecum - Madison County (State of Idaho) Sheriff's Department
     
  5. Tortoise

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    "Decoding Doomsday Cult Mom's Behavior"



    "Another Shooting Linked to 'Cult' Mom Lori Vallow-Daybell"

    [Re: Brandon Boudreaux]

     
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    Nate Eaton - Reporter
    6 hrs ·
    So many of you have asked about this ******** account. We checked. It’s fake. It was not set up by Chad Daybell but someone pretending to be him. Please let your friends know.

    [​IMG]
     
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    cocomod Well-Known Member

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    cocomod Well-Known Member

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  10. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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  11. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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    Family of Lori Vallow defend her innocence in missing Idaho kids case”
     
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    Morgan Loew Interview Transcript (videos linked at end) Note - the part about JC's phone contact with JJ on October 1st is not in these videos.

    JC = Janis Cox
    SS = Summer Shiflet


    JC: Well we have a goal. So we’re just gonna do our goal. Tell the truth.

    Why do you think it’s important to sit down and do this interview?

    SS: I think it’s important because Lori has been portrayed a particular way in the media this far as a monster, a heartless villain that’s just after money, and that couldn’t be further from the truth of who she really is. I think it’s unfair that she’s been treated the way that she has been and I’m really hoping that by us speaking out that people might soften their hearts a little bit towards her, and help see that she’s really a loving, sweet, warm person, and she’s more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside. She’s just a loving wonderful person.

    How difficult has this been for you?

    JC: It’s probably the worst thing that has ever happened in our family. I hate to see it like this. I know the truth about Lori. I know how loving she is. I don’t have the answers about the children. I love those two kids with all my heart. Tylee and JJ. They’re two of the loves of my life. And I know that Lori has always protected them. If everyone knew how far she had gone to protect them, their whole lives, I don’t know where the children are but she felt like she was keeping them safe, that’s the impression she gave us.

    You’re her mom and she cut off communication and you don’t know where your grandchildren are. That just, that’s gotta seem strange.

    JC: It does, but she did say, she said ‘I’m not going to be able to tell you everything’. She did have some major fears, that were real, to her. She didn’t share them all with me. She felt like, in her mind, that she was protecting us, in her mind, but it didn’t turn out that way. I did talk to a friend of hers in Hawaii, that was a mutual friend, and she said, she said she was gonna see her at church, Lori was going to go to church in Kauai, and I said well if you talk to her tell her that her mom thinks she should put the kids in a room with today’s date, take a picture, and send it to the police. Please, that’s my advice, as her mother. That would solve a lot of problems.

    Why won’t she do it?

    JC: I don’t know. And to me, that’s what I would do.

    Summer, do you think that she is guilty of the things that she is accused of?

    SS: No. No I don’t. Not even a little bit. I know for a fact that she did not conspire to kill Charles, in any way, shape or form, I spent a lot of time with Lori and Alex um leading up to Charles’ death and I know that there was never any kind of discussion like that about it. Charles texted probably 20 or 30 times ranging from ‘I swear I’ll be nice, please call me’ to ‘your end is coming soon’. So I saw a lot of threatening texts from him. If Alex hadn’t have been there I think Lori and Tylee would have been on the news for a very different reason.

    You asked Alex to go to the house that morning?

    SS: Yes I did. I asked Alex um the day before Charles was coming, if he would please go, stay with Lori um he said Lori’s going to be fine, she can call me if she needs me, and I said please, I have a very sick feeling in my stomach, please just go stay there. I was going out of town, and I didn’t feel safe, um with Charles coming into town after the things I had read, um so I said will you please just go stay there and if you’re then then maybe nothing will happen. And that’s what I thought. I thought it would just be a deterrent from trouble.

    What was your reaction when you heard what happened that morning?

    SS: Shock. I think they were in shock, I was in shock, I found out er Friday evening and um I was in shock that that had transpired, but I was very grateful also because I know that um it would have had a very different outcome had Alex not been there. And I’m sad that that happened, I didn’t want that to happen, I feel for his family, um I understand what it feels like to lose a brother, it’s not fun, um, and so I don’t wish that on them by any means, but he was here with an agenda, he was here causing the trouble, she was not trying to go after him, he was here bugging her.

    Janis, Alex was your son, and he has been described as the family hitman.

    JC: (Laughs) I can’t help but laugh. Alex is the most laid back person. He’s been funny his whole life. He was protective of, very protective of Colby and Tylee. Very protective. He said I tasered a paedophile, and so he said I’m willing to admit it, he’s he’s always owned up to anything he’s done wrong. He certainly wasn’t perfect. But he doesn’t have the intensity of a hitman. He doesn’t have the desire to be hit…he doesn’t think that death solves anything.

    When’s the last time you communicated with Tylee?

    SS: August, before they moved was the last time I saw her. And then I texted with her a couple of times but the last time I texted with her was September 24th on her birthday, and she responded and said ‘thank you Summy, love you, happy birthday to you too’.

    And that date is significant because the FBI said she has not been seen since the beginning of September. Do you believe that that was Tylee who was texting you back?

    SS: I don’t really have any way to know. Um, I like to believe that it is, um, but I, I really don’t have any way to know, it could be either way, but as far as I know it was her. Um, I don’t have any reason to think otherwise.

    Are you defending Lori because she’s your daughter, and she’s your sister, or are you defending her because you really think that she did nothing wrong?

    JC: We really think that she did nothing wrong. She’s had some bad judgement. She’s married a few men that we didn’t care for.

    SS: She’ll be the first to say..

    JC: Yeah, she’s made mistakes.

    SS: She’s made a lot of mistakes and she’s paid high prices for those mistakes. She is a very humble person. She doesn’t blame other people, she takes responsibility for herself.

    So what is the scenario that Tylee and JJ are still alive?

    JC: Well to us we believe they are because we know Lori. And that’s…we have seen her dedication. His mother had been drug, drug mother, he was born addicted to drugs, and he only weighed 1 lb 9 oz. They didn’t know of course then that he was autistic. But she was dedicated to him from the moment he came home.

    Are they in a bunker somewhere? Are they with friends? Where do you think they are?

    SS: We don’t know. We wish we, we wish we knew. We don’t know. But we also don’t know what Lori has been through, she was being threatened, she was being followed, um she had reasons for doing what she did, and we don’t know everything that she’s been through or why she’s doing things the way that she’s doing them now.

    Who was threatening her?

    SS: Well, um, Kay was threatening her, um.

    JC: And her brothers. They were very upset about Charles’ death. There was a lot of threats made to Lori.

    SS: I feel like Kay could have handled this uh a lot of different ways, and she could have gone and filed in court for JJ she could have done things a lot of ways. She did this very strategically and deliberately um this is somebody who’s hurting and in pain because she’s lost her brother and I understand that but this is a revenge situation, this is not a, um, this is something that could have been settled much quieter and calmly, and it didn’t have to get to this level. Lori is the legal parent of both Tylee and JJ. She has a right to live wherever she wants to live and raise them and not include anybody in their lives that she doesn’t feel is good for them, that’s her right as a parent. She should not be forced to do any of the things that she’s been asked to do. That’s not, it’s not okay.

    Have you asked your sister where the kids are?

    SS: No. I’ve talked to her a couple of times, um the first time I talked to her, everything is recorded, and I know she can’t tell me, and I don’t want to put her in a position that’s gonna make anything worse for her, um, I want her to know I love her and I support her and she knows I love her and the kids. But I did tell her we were worried about her and the kids the first time I spoke with her, and she said to me ‘you know me and you know I’ve always taken care of my kids’. And I do know that. I do know that, it’s removed every doubt in my mind that she’s done anything wrong. I know she wouldn’t do that, that’s just not who she is and her children are everything, she’s always put them first, above everything, every fight she ever had with Charles was about how he treated Tylee and if he was not kind to Tylee she would leave the house and say if you can’t get along with Tylee we’re not staying here.

    All she would need to was show proof that the kids are alive, and are well. Can you understand why she is refusing to do that?

    JC: You know it seems simple, it did to me, that’s why when I was talking to her friend, I said if you see her, just tell her, that’s what I would do, that’s my advice. But I don’t know what she knows. All I know is the woman that she is. I did not see any great change in Lori. I think the only change that happened was when she found out Charles was cheating on her, that ruined that marriage. Before she accused Charles of cheating he never said one bad word about Lori ever. Not once.

    SS: Never.

    JC: He never said anything, then he started all of this ‘she thinks she’s god’, tried to get her excommunicated from the church,

    SS: Took JJ.

    JC: He went to, he went to attorneys, and said ‘I’m scared for my life’. The whole time he was texting us, calling us trying to get Lori back. Finally he said tell Lori I’ll drop all the court proceedings if she’ll just come back and talk to me.

    Do you think she’s in a cult?

    JC: No.

    SS: No.

    JC: No.

    SS: No.

    JC: We don’t.

    I’ve spoken to people who live near Chad and they say ‘we follow Chad’. They look at Chad like he is some sort of messiah.

    Cut from long interview but found in short video:

    JC: We can’t see Lori blindly following anybody. Can you?

    SS: No.

    JC: No. We can’t see it.

    SS: Some people can do that if that’s what they choose to do. They’re entitled to their religious freedom and belief, that’s the great thing about our country, we have religious freedom and you can believe whatever you choose to believe. He, I don’t know Chad very well. I’ve only met him one time. I’ve never heard anything about him self-proclaiming to be a prophet, or anything else of that nature, or trying to get people to follow him. But if somebody chooses to do that on their you know, on their own, that’s their choice, I certainly wouldn’t ever do that, I, I follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints they might be misguided in their thoughts or thinking but I don’t think it makes them bad people.

    You don’t think that Chad brainwashed her?

    JC: No! (laughing) No! He couldn’t do it. That’s not possible. It wouldn’t be possible. We can’t speak intelligently about Chad and Lori, um, I think that you know when you don’t have any understanding, we didn’t know anything about it, we didn’t know they, we learned they got married on the news. Right? So we didn’t know.

    SS: Yeah, We didn’t know. We’ve never been invited to any of Lori’s weddings. So this was not unusual for us.

    JC: Well we were invited, we didn’t go to any. (laughs)

    SS: Well I’ve never been invited to one, but that’s fine.

    How has this last year affected your family?

    JC: It’s been devastating. It’s been devastating. We’ve had a family that loved each other, that did everything together, we loved each other through good and bad, we had wonderful parties, they were all very clean, Charles said I’ve never been to a party before without drinking, he didn’t think it could be fun, he was fun at the parties, all of us had a great time, we knew that there were, you know, we all know each other’s imperfections, but we were very close. It’s been devastating not to see Tylee and JJ in such a long time. We love(d?) them so much. (4:02 in video of the 4:52 short video) And it’s been devastating not to see Lori. And it’s, it was hard to hear about Alex, from the police. We didn’t know he’d gotten married, we didn’t know he’d moved back to Arizona, that was very hard. So it’s affected every part of our family.

    Is it fair to criticize her for being in paradise in Hawaii while there’s a manhunt on for her kids? I mean, that just, that didn’t look good.

    JC: It didn’t look good. I agree, we agree. We didn’t like the way it looked, but we knew that she, they weren’t missing to her. That’s a whole difference if your children are missing-missing, or if they’re not missing to, to her.

    SS: Yes, she wasn’t like ‘oh my kids are missing I’m gonna go on a vacation, that’s a very different scenario,

    JC: But it’s still, it’s still hard to see because we know how much Tylee and JJ love Lori. They want to be with their mom. JJ would say all the time “Just Mom, just Mom, I want Mom”, he touches Mom. So I don’t like the fact that they’re separated. I don’t like that. But I don’t know what the reason is and it could be a wonderful reason. And maybe she’ protecting them from something terrible. I don’t know. But I do know that, I have faith in her as a mother that she’s doing the best she knows how for her children.

    Is there any part of the dark recesses of your minds that say ‘maybe she cracked, and maybe this is not going to end up well’?

    JC: We have gone through those scenarios probably a hundred times.

    SS: If something has happened to those children it is not by her doing. And it’s not by her permission to do something. There is no way that she did anything to them. There’s just no way.

    JC: We know her well enough to know that. We know that. And she couldn’t crack enough to do harm to her children. I’ve never seen anyone who put their whole life and soul into a child like she did. With each one of those kids.



     
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    Morgan Loew Interview Transcript. See posts in discussion thread for screenshots. ID - ID - Joshua Vallow, 7, & Tylee Ryan, 17, Rexburg, Sept 2019 *mom arrested* #32

    MP = Melani Pawlowski

    IP = Ian Pawlowski


    (numbers in brackets refer to my numbered screenshots)


    How close are you to Lori?

    MP: My mom passed away when I was 9 and Lori is one of the closest things to her and how much love uh my mom showed me. So she’s a, a friend, a, um, almost like a mother to me, and an aunt and somebody that I, I love.

    Do you think that she is being unfairly portrayed?

    MP: It’s just not Lori that I see. I see a lot of hatred in the media and a lot of judgement, I see a lot of lies, I don’t um know where my cousins are, her children JJ and Tylee, and I love all of them and I know uh she’s doing whatever she can to keep her kids safe and I hope we can see how that turns out um in the future as truth continues to come forward.

    Did anything seem strange to you when you moved out there, about the way Lori was acting, or Chad?

    MP: Well I moved out there right after um my ex took my children from me. Um there’s a lot of lies out there that I’ve abandoned my children and it’s simply not true. I didn’t move down there to be in a cult, I didn’t move down there to be solely by Lori – Lori is very independent and does her own thing and I had my own reasons for, you know, kind of having a fresh start and trying to work through my custody battle with my ex.

    I think I’ve reported that you followed her to Rexburg. Is that not accurate?

    MP: It’s not. I mean um I, I had re.. my own reasons for going and I love my aunt Lori, and it absolutely was a benefit to be close to her, she’s been somebody that’s given me unconditional love.

    You got out there, your aunt is there but your, you don’t see your cousins. Was that, was that strange?

    [1:46 – very nervous and short of breath with next answer]

    MP: Prior to their move, uh, she was moving for their safety, and for those threatening her and um to keep JJ and Tylee safe, um, this was, this was a big move to try to you know, kind of move forward after, after Charles was shot, and to remain safe with the kids, so, as soon as I move up there in November, I um see some of their stuff but I don’t see them there, and Lori says that they’re, they’re safe and they’re doing everything they can to keep, um, them from the people that are trying to harm them – I believe that.

    IP: It was a shock finding out that um Chad and Lori are/were gone, kids are missing, people are, people’s doors are being kicked down because they can’t find the kids.

    What led you to put those thoughts down on paper and then end up going even to the investigators?

    IP: So I mean I guess it all began when my mom called me, um, I was at work one afternoon and my ex-wife had called my mom (video is spliced here) What she said to my mom was you know it was concerning, she’s saying you know that uh, Melani’s ex-husband Brandon is making claims that she’s in a cult, that Lori’s in a cult, Chad’s a cult leader, um and, you know, that they, you know, tried to kill him, that they plotted and killed Charles. (video spliced) and I said okay I’ll go, I’ll go sit down with police. I didn’t know the FBI would be there. But um, you know, I was open to sharing everything that I knew at that point. And so at that point I, yeah, I shared, I shared all the information I have and I was hoping that I could, I was hoping the FBI, because the FBI was there, they would have information already, that there would be something that they knew that I could say that would make sense to them. That would, you know, be a piece to a puzzle instead of becoming a framework for them to build this investigation on. And it seems like the information I shared with them turned into this nationwide just frenzy. You know, so they gave me a recording device, you know, I recorded con.., some conversations with Chad and Lori.

    Did you have reservations about recording those conversations? I mean this is your new, this is your new wife and this is your new family and now you’re going to record them, secretly.

    IP: Right. (1) Yeah I mean there was a little bit of hesitation (2) but at the end of the day I saw that as the fastest way to get from point A to point B nobody knows where these kids are, they’re, you know w.., there’s serious concern about their safety. I’m (sic) just married Melani and I love her with all my heart and I wanna get her out of this. Uum and I saw that as the fastest way to do it. If I could get some concrete evidence for law enforcement for them to be able to say this is where Tylee and JJ are or this is what’s happened to them, it’s a open and shut case and we’re done, we move on with our lives, but it didn’t play out that way. For two weeks I’ve been thinking this through and looking at anything, looking for anything I could to try to figure out where these kids are and there’s just no evidence, there’s nothing, trying to figure out anything bad that’s going on. And I don’t, you know, I couldn’t find anything, I couldn’t find anything aside from just baseless accusations coming from her ex-husband. At the end of the day I put it into a memo when I conv.., when I confessed this to her. You know and I need to protect her to the best of my ability from the damage that I could, that I, that I have done to her. So I write down everything that I can remember saying to the FBI, how I explained it to ‘em, what her fears were, what my fears were. I write it all down, and give it to her lawyers.

    How did you take that news?

    MP: As big of a betrayal (3) as it sounds and felt in the moment too I have to look at the entirety of it, and he’s recording my conversations and there’s, there’s nothing with th..that, and there’s nothing between Chad and Lori that was said that was, you know, this was, this was early in December (4) and so um I think it shows, if you read the entire document (5) it starts out I’m (6) terrified, (7) and then it ends with there was nothing there and the reason this document is so important is because it’s basically, we’re trying to clear this up because this whole case is based on this, this document and this outline, of, you know, bits and pieces taken from everywhere. Um, you know, there’s a part in there speaking about um, you know, my kids, if I had a nightmare that something had happened to my kids I haven’t seen them since October 9th and you know he was taking everything so literally and when I first saw this document it was shocking like explain this, like I can’t explain it, and so, it’s good to come forward and explain where that comes from in the context and to look at it in its entirety.

    Do you think that Tylee and JJ were in danger, do you think that Lori thought they were zombies, do you think that they, that she thought that their spirits had left them?

    MP: I didn’t think they were in danger, um and didn’t have those fears and doubts until this welfare check um and then Chad and Lori left I didn’t have contact with them, and I’m absolutely worried. I knew the threats that Lori had been um getting and I don’t know what’s going on and so I was, you know, being in a new marriage, I’m kind of dumping on him I’m worried about this, I’m worried about this, meanwhile we have all these false accusations and questions about this supposed shooting that uh Brandon Boudreaux’s claiming that happened, and I’ve yet to see evidence and facts that comport (or come forward) with that, but um, you know, he’s, he’s adamant about, you know, that it was Alex Cox that shot at him and there’s been no evidence that I’ve seen, and for a time I worried (8) could my uncle have done that? Are you so sure? And I’ve got my own father threatening me and intimidating me with text messages and I did worry, but when it comes back to it I, I know the person Alex is, I haven’t seen any evidence and detective Pillar (sp?) on um Gilbert Police never even called Alex or you know asked him to come in for a visit.

    Did you have anything to do with that shooting?

    MP: Absolutely (9) not. And Brandon knows that.

    It just seems like it’s like bad thing after bad thing after bad thing and the one thing that’s in common here is that Lori is involved. How can she not be involved in something bad here?

    MP: I can’t attest to all those different events but I do know that Charles wa.. ha.. was there with an agenda and he was working with Brandon and with Kay and things didn’t go the way he thought, and the big question we’re not asking is why is nobody (10) asking why Charles had a $2million policy on Lori? Charles and Brandon did life insurance together and there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of things that haven’t been brought to light. Um that, things that aren’t being portrayed in the media. They’re being hidden so we can run with this cult story and you know, (11) zombies and it’s more exciting than the truth, sadly.

    Do you think you’re going to see Tylee and JJ again?

    MP: I do, I absolutely do, I know Lori wouldn’t ever do anything to hurt her kids. I’ve seen the pain that she’s gone through and the abuse and betrayal. I’ve seen authorities let her down, I’ve seen court systems let her down. I don’t have the answers as to why she does the things she does, and why she hasn’t spoken as to where they are, but I can’t judge her because I don’t know what she’s going through. I can only love and support her and hope for everyone to be safe.
     
  16. Tortoise

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    Nate Eaton - Reporter
    13 hrs ·
    Just spoke with Melani and Ian Pawlowski via Zoom for 90 minutes. No questions were off limits and they answered everything I asked. We are splitting the interview into three parts (for video processing purposes) and will post it without any edits starting tomorrow.

    link to photo Nate Eaton - Reporter

    [​IMG]
     
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    Part 2

    (Part 1 is the next post)

    Melani Pawlowski: Ian has never met them, but the last time I saw them, they were packing up their home in Chandler where Charles had been shot. I remember how emotional it was just to be there. It was where this big thing happened. And Tylee thought it was hard being in the house after that situation happened.

    And Lori – sometimes she’s had to do things to protect her kids. The court systems haven’t protected her, and Tylee and Colby were abused by their dad, Joe. The court system didn’t protect them, and she had this history of doing everything she could to protect Tylee and JJ. I’ve always seen that in her since I was a teenager, and she flew me out to go nanny for Tylee and JJ. I’ve never seen any evidence or anything at all that tells me that Lori would purposely harm her children. It’s hard, all the attacks out there. I still see her as the wonderful mom she is. When I see her come in court, I’m looking for something off that I’m not seeing. Because I’ve had every fear of where they could be, but the last time I saw them was the end of August as they were moving because I think they moved up that first week in September.

    Eaton: Did you visit Lori in Rexburg before you moved there?

    Melani: I did I think on a weekend. My ex, Brandon Boudreaux, and I have 50/50 custody, and so anytime it wasn’t my time with my kids, I was a wreck and just missed my kids. I tried to go hike in Arizona or go on a trip, and I did go visit Lori for a weekend up there (in Rexburg). She said, “Just come. Try out somewhere new and come see if you like it up here.” We toured BYU-Idaho, and she said Tylee was with friends. She always was with friends, so I didn’t ask any questions about that. And JJ is either doing some type of therapy or with a nanny or in a school that will help him. So if I didn’t see him, I wasn’t asking, “Where is he?” I just have always trusted her.

    I had known that they left to Idaho because they were being threatened by people. I didn’t want to ask so many questions, and I didn’t know what to do with that. And I was just there for love and support, and I just wanted to be there to help you guys (Lori).

    Eaton: Then you moved up in November. You didn’t see the kids at all. Did you think that was a little suspicious? A little weird? I could understand not seeing them one or two days, but after days and days go by and Tylee’s Jeep isn’t there – did you ever ask Lori, “Hey, where are Tylee and JJ?”

    Melani: When I moved up that first week in November, Alex helped me move on Halloween night. We drove up that first week in November with a moving truck. I was very involved in setting up my home and getting everything for my kids. I did bring all the things they do need with them besides a mattress that had stains on it, broken toys and outgrown clothes that I left out front. It was not all of their belongings – I just took everything that was important to us to consolidate into a smaller apartment.

    I was getting my home ready and was going to figure out what’s going on with my kids and get them back here. We were going to have a fresh start. And Lori is very independent, doing her own thing. She was next door, but I spent most of my time with Alex. Alex would come over and hang out with me. Those days were hard and teary missing my kids, and he would come over and lift me up.


    So if I saw Lori, she was still moving in and getting situated, so I didn’t spend a lot of time over there. I did see some of their things, and she had a room set up perfectly for Tylee and JJ, and it didn’t seem strange to me. I knew the threats she was getting from Kay Woodcock (JJ’s grandmother) and from others, and I guess I didn’t ask questions because I knew that history. I knew what was going on, and in my own head, I’m trying to find out where my own kids are.

    Eaton: There are going to be people that say when they get together with relatives, the talk instantly turns to our kids — soccer games, piano recitals, whatever. So when you actually would see her, did that sort of conversation ever come up? I could maybe understand a day or two but if you’re going on weeks, and you haven’t seen them, did you say, “Where’s JJ been?” – especially because he has special needs?

    Melani Right. Yeah. So she would tell me things like, one of the neighbor boys next door, I forget his name, but she would tell me all his friends and how funny they were. JJ was very high energy, and sometimes he’d be in other people’s space, and I think sometimes that bothered some other people, so she would say, “These are the friends that are not judgmental, and they’ll just let JJ come in.” She said that he loved his school there.

    She always talked about her children, but during that time – from November to I guess the 20th is about when Ian and I started dating – I didn’t see them, but I didn’t see a lot of Lori. I saw Alex pretty much every day, and anytime I would go over, I’d say, “Where’s Tylee?” and it was like she was out with friends. Lori would say, “We’re doing everything we can to protect the kids from Kay. Kay’s causing a lot of trouble right now,” and I didn’t really get into too much of their own custody deal.

    To be honest, I’m in my own head and don’t know where my own kids are at that point. And as we know later in November, I went down to Utah to try to see them and see what we could work out.

    Eaton: When you got married at the end of November, did you move into Ian’s place?

    Melani: No. We kept both of our apartments. I had a lease on mine and he did also. We kind of would sleep at my apartment and set up stuff for Max and Lily over at mine. I had one extra bedroom and so we spent most time at my apartment.

    Eaton: When did you guys find out there was an investigation and JJ and Tylee were missing?

    Melani: I’m foggy on this date but (Rexburg Police) Detective Hermosillo and another gentleman had come to my door while I was moving my stuff in so it had to have been early in November – I’d guess the second week in November.

    I get a knock at the door, and I open it and see police, and I’m jumpy because what is my ex up to? What’s the next thing? Are my kids OK?

    The detective said, “Do you know who lives next door?” And I said, “Yes, I think Alex’s name was on the lease, so sometimes my uncle’s over there, sometimes my aunt goes over there,” and I didn’t know what that was about. That was it. That was my first encounter with Rexburg Police.

    Eaton: And that’s when they said the kids are missing?

    Melani: No, no. This was early November. Then right before Thanksgiving, we’re driving down to Arizona to meet Ian’s family and have Thanksgiving, and I get a text from (Rexburg Police) Lt. Ball that says, “Somebody’s broken into your home. I need you to call me right away.”

    I’m immediately like, “Oh great. My ex has sent somebody. I knew he had a private investigator following me, and I immediately thought he sent somebody to come break into my house. I didn’t know what to text back – I was kind of processing it.”

    Then later, I texted back, “Well, I’m with people I love on Thanksgiving, and at least that’s what’s important.” If whatever the heck was taken – I had my emergency cash savings and I had a computer, an iPad, an old phone I didn’t use – I didn’t know what had been taken, but I was like, if my whole apartment is robbed, it’s OK. I got everything I need. It’s not about things.

    Then he said, “I need you to call me,” and then I later found out it was the Rexburg Police. They had knocked down my door and taken a lot of my things. I kind of felt bothered about the text I got but I understand they’re just doing investigation.

    As soon as I returned after Thanksgiving, I went right into Detective Hermosillo and was like, “What’s going on? I’m here to get my stuff.” He asked me about my previous marriage, what was I doing here, and he asked me about Lori and Alex. I was an open book and said, “Here’s what I know. Lori and Chad had left probably right around when I was going down to Arizona. They packed up and left, and I think it was a planned move. It wasn’t last minute because they had talked about moving to Hawaii at some point. They told Ian when they met, ‘You’ll have to come visit us in Hawaii sometime.'”

    Eaton: Can you understand how that looks suspicious though?

    Melani: Absolutely. Everything looks suspicious. But I knew they had planned to move, but I didn’t know exactly when they were going to move.

    Yes – so many things look suspicious. I think having some basis of knowledge on what people had already planned and what’s actually going on, it kind of makes it less suspicious to me.

    Eaton: Where do you guys think JJ and Tylee are?

    Melani: I don’t know, and I’ve been asked that so many times. As we know, I’ve had every fear in the world of what could have happened to them. I think most of December, after Lori and Chad just disappeared, and I didn’t have a phone number for them and no contact, I am thinking the worst. I get a phone call from one of Lori’s old friends, and she scares me with a lot of, “I think this happened, or this could have happened,” and I’m having every “what-if,” because I didn’t see them the whole time I was up there in November.

    But I also had seen text messages from Kay and how she was treating Lori after Charles passed away. I also knew who Lori was, and Lori’s always been somebody with a plan. She’s always done everything to protect her kids. So, up until when my doors were broken down, and things shifted, and I can’t talk to Lori and Chad, absolutely, I’m dumping on Ian, “What if this happened, and what if this happened?” If I have a nightmare about something happening, it just got dumped all on him unfairly, as we’re newly married, and this just gets thrown in our lap.

    Eaton: We can transition with that into everything you allegedly told Ian and what he wrote down. Ian, can you explain the background about how this document came to be?

    Ian Pawlowski: The whole purpose of the document was to send to Melani’s lawyers so they knew what I had gone in and told the FBI.

    So I told Melani on Dec. 19 that I had been talking with the police and a little later, I told her I’d been recording her. It was after I told Melani that I had been working with the FBI and the police that I wrote this. The whole idea is to protect her. Her lawyers needed to know exactly what I said, how I said it and that’s how I wanted to present it to them. These are the fears I shared with them that Melani shared with me.

    The document sounds a lot more affirmative than what I heard, but when I go into the police, I want action. I want this to be over with, basically. I went and I shared with the FBI everything that I heard, everything I was afraid of, and at that point, I thought the kids were in danger. I thought there was something dark and sinister going on. I was afraid.

    So things came out when I talked with the FBI in a way that (I) shouldn’t have. And I kind of regret the way I presented it to them because I feel like it’s kind of blown this thing up a lot more than it should have. There wasn’t really a whole lot going on until my ex-wife and I went in and spoke with the FBI. Then, a week later, they’re starting to put out press releases and all these things. I don’t know if what we shared acted as a catalyst for that. Or maybe I’m just full of myself.

    Eaton: For the casual reader seeing this, there is some shocking stuff in there. Chad and Lori apparently told you, Melani, that JJ and Tylee had been possessed and become zombies, that Alex may have to “take care” of the kids, he had “great faith” and “never wavered in his trust of the Lord.” Can you understand these writings are alarming, concerning and suspicious on all counts?

    Ian: Anybody who doesn’t know what’s going on, they’re going to look at this and go, “Yeah, this is insane.”

    So Brandon contacted my ex-wife, Natalie, and basically shared the idea with her that Melani’s in a cult, Lori’s in a cult, Chad’s a cult leader, they tried to kill me, they killed Charles and there’s this whole plot. I’m hearing this and I’m going, “Holy crap! What did I get myself into?” And so anything that happens, anything I hear from then on, even if it’s something I’ve heard before, I’m looking at it through the lens of, “This could be a cult.” Something weird is going on, and I’m hearing this right after her door gets kicked in by the Rexburg Police and we see a search warrant looking for JJ.

    So everything seemed really off at that point. I’ve described it like a Treehouse of Horrors episode of “The Simpsons” for Halloween. You see a shadow of a claw on the wall, and then the light comes, and it’s just a branch scratching on the window. Depending on how you shine the light, there are facts, but depending on how you shine the flashlight, the facts look different.

    When I’m hearing all these things, I’m scared, and I think there’s a cult. As you go through the document, you kind of see my thought process of this is stuff that I’m hearing, and stuff I’m worried about. As I continue to look at it, I’m starting to see that there’s really nothing proving any of this. There’s nothing proving that Tylee and JJ have come to any harm. You can even see at the end of the document I’m still questioning why in the world do we not know where the kids are.

    But as I’ve gotten to know Summer and Janis and heard more about Lori’s life and the experiences she’s gone through, I’m starting to see maybe there is some reasoning behind what’s going on. I have no clue what’s going on, but I know that Melani is a good person. I’ve loved her through this whole thing. I was never really concerned about her. But in the beginning, I’m like, “Holy crap, her uncles are into some shady stuff, and I need to try to figure out what’s going on. I’m going to record your conversations, try to get from point A to point B, get this thing wrapped up and over with so I can move on with my life and my new wife.”

    Melani: I think it’s important to understand where some of these things come from. Initially, when Charles filed for divorce with Lori, he brought a document over to my home with me and Brandon. We were still married, and everything seemed OK.

    With Charles and Lori, things just went quick. She had found a lot of women on his computer, and a lot of purchases and stuff that he’d been purchasing through Hollywood Hobbies or something. And Lori’s upset, obviously. He’s on the road all the time for his career – similar to what Brandon does for his work. And she found this and confronted him with it.

    Charles had never said anything ill about Lori ever. He just thought the world of her and worshipped her. As soon as she just started asking questions, he just flipped. He came over to our house and said, “Lori is crazy.” He showed us this document, and that’s the first time I saw this. It said something about Tylee being dark and JJ being light, and I’m trying to process all this.

    He said, “Lori doesn’t think I’m me. She thinks I’m Ned or something.” What do you take from all that? It just felt off. And Lori wasn’t telling everyone in our family that Charles had been cheating on her. She had been trying to keep it between her and Charles. Charles just went ballistic, and then he took JJ away, saying Lori is never going to see him again.

    It’s these patterns of narcissism where everything’s fine until you start asking questions. I did see the same exact pattern happen with my ex-husband. Everything was fine, and he thought the world of me until I asked some questions he was uncomfortable answering. Instead of giving an explanation, he turned on me and said, “Melani, I’m going to take the kids away from you. You’re crazy. I’m going to get you excommunicated from the church, and you’re never going to see your kids again.”

    That’s just from asking, “What’s this video I found? What are these text messages?” It was like watching Charles unravel first, then Brandon did the same exact thing. It’s just these patterns, and you just can’t make this stuff up. It’s the same exact thing happening over and over again.

    Lori just moved on. She didn’t play any of Charles’ games, and he was back and forth, wanting to get back together or saying, “Your end is coming soon.” So the day he came to the house, Summer said, “Alex, would you go over – Charles has been kind of aggressive and acting crazy. He’s gonna go over there to get JJ. Will you go over there just in case something happens?” As we see, something did happen.

    I know they’re trying to change that whole investigation now to make it look like Lori had something planned or Alex did but there’s no doubt in my mind about that shooting. Brandon went and ran with that story to his advantage. He pulled me into the garage, and he and my uncle Adam said, “Charles has been murdered by Alex.” I’m like, “It doesn’t feel right, and there’s got to be something more to this.”

    Eaton: So you do believe that Charles was shot in self-defense, and Alex was defending himself?

    Melani: Absolutely. And I went to Tylee and was like, “How are you?” She was so brave speaking about it and was very collected and very mature. I admire Tylee so much for how brave she was. She explained everything, and so did Lori and so did Alex, and it made sense with how Charles has been acting. You’re in shock that it went to that extreme, but I’m glad Alex was there to protect Tylee.

    I hated that Tylee had to go through that, and I know there’s been a lot of criticism of how Lori acted afterward. She’s smiling on camera, and I know when she’s uncomfortable, she’ll just kind of laugh or smile and try to make light of it. I do the same thing. It’s just how we handle being in shock, and every person handles being in shock differently.

    That’s when everything started to be strange. Charles had said all these things in court documents, things I had never heard Lori say, and that’s when these strange ideas started flowing around. Lori has always been an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loves learning, and she spent a lot of time in the temple trying to learn and grow from experiences and trying to feel peace from all the things that have happened in her life.

    Charles, I feel, took that to an extreme with the things that he said about her. Honestly, I see everything Charles did … like the emails about his life insurance. Charles sold life insurance and had his own company, and the texts between people — it almost looked like a setup. It was very alarming to see all these things.

    I have been asked what spiritual experiences has Lori had. That’s not for me to answer or to say what Lori and Chad’s beliefs are. But I know the people they are, and I know they’re good people and they’re trying. As a family, we’d get together and talk about the mysteries of God and the deep doctrine conversations. We’re allowed to do that. We’re allowed to discern truth from error and just learn and in our church. We believe in revelation, and it’s an ongoing process. We’re learning continually and everything’s changing. We’re just people that are trying to grow in our faith and be closer to the Savior.

    There’s no cult. Lori’s my aunt, Zulema’s almost like an aunt to me, Alex is my uncle, and this is my family. Where it comes down to Tylee and JJ and this zombie idea – it came from a disturbing phone call I got from one of Lori’s old friends right after they took off to Hawaii. She told me, “Lori and Alex did something to Tylee and JJ, and we don’t know where they’re at, and Lori has lied to you,” and all these things that didn’t feel right. On that phone call, I felt a lot of fear and doubt, and that’s when I kind of went into this worrying phase.

    I’m newly married, and I’m sharing these things with him and can’t sleep some nights. I didn’t know where they’re at, I didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t understand these things. And Ian, which I don’t know, is talking with Natalie and Brandon, and they’re telling him these terrifying things that aren’t true – that I’ve wanted to kill Brandon, and I’m in a cult. I have no idea what Ian’s doing behind the scenes, and I’m in a scared time in my life where I’m trying to figure out the pieces. I’m trying to know what’s going on with Brandon and his plans, and who he is working with, and where my kids are. December was terrifying – like we’re thrown into this boiling pot as soon as we get married and trying to just adapt as best we can.

    Eaton: Melani, did you actually believe these things that Lori and Chad told you? Or were you telling Ian just to get it off your chest with the assumption you didn’t know what to think?

    Melani: Lori and Chad did not tell me most of those things in the document. Those were fears I was hearing from other people, and never did I believe them. When you don’t have knowledge about something and you’re in a scary situation like this, you think the worst. And I’m an open book. I kind of say it how it is.

    I didn’t know Ian was recording all these things and that he was talking to Natalie or Brandon. I had told him my history with Brandon, and I warned that Natalie’s probably going to try to get ahold of Brandan, and Brandon’s going to run with all these lies about me. Ian knew who I was, but the factor of Tylee and JJ going missing – he’d never seen them before and had only met Chad and Lori one time. He doesn’t know what I know about the past with Lori trying to do everything she can to protect her kids and people who have been threatening her.

    There was so much going on in our in my own custody case with my children, and we hadn’t got to that. So real quick – we get married, thrown into this boiler pot, and we’re doing the best we can, and Ian acted on fears and doubt, rather than the things that he didn’t know, but I don’t hold any blame toward him. This was a terrifying time for us. And I’m just continuously dumping on him, and I had my dad sending threatening messages saying things about a shooting that Brandon Boudreaux’s claiming and I never, still to this day, don’t know if this shooting actually happened or who did it.

    Eaton: Do you think it was Alex?

    Melani: The first meeting with Detective Pillar the day after the shooting I said, “Here’s all the people Brandon associates with.” Then he asked if I had Lori or Alex’s number, and I gave it to him. But when I heard that, it sounded like Brandon was trying to set them up or something. I know they don’t have anything to do with it.

    Later on in December, Alex passes away, and then on Christmas, I get a phone call from Brandon, and I had to listen to him bullying me for an hour and threatening me and saying I had to go to the FBI and say that Alex shot at him. I said, “I don’t know that, Brandon.” And he’s like, “If you ever want to see your kids again, you have to go and tell them that.”

    Why did they never call Alex or say, “Can you come in and meet with us? We have some questions for you”? Brandon was so sure, but his story kept changing. Still to this day, I don’t know what happened in the shooting. He had my dad on board sending me text messages saying, “Sentencing is coming soon for you. They know it was Alex. They know it was this Jeep registered to Tylee.” I’ve been trying to put the pieces together of what’s going on because I don’t have the facts, but the knowledge that I do have – it doesn’t add up to all the speculation and rumors that are flying around. To this day, I have not seen one shred of evidence about this shooting Brandon’s claiming that leads me to believe that it was Alex Cox.

    Eaton: Do you believe that Brandon has turned dark?

    Melani: No, and in that document … the way I understand this is in our faith is as you increase in becoming closer to your Savior and act in obedience and righteousness, you increase in light. As you make bad decisions or invite evil things into your life, you’re losing that light of Christ.

    We talk about in our religion the gift of spiritual discernment, and I think you look at the fruits of people to know for yourself, “Is this a good person I want to have in life? Is this a bad person?” Never is there ever any ill intent if somebody is not making good choices in their life to do harm to them. You pray for them, and you bless those who persecute you and use you, and that’s how I view it. I don’t see children as being light or dark. We believe the age of 8 is the age of accountability when you’re baptized. And from then on, you can make decisions in light or dark, if you will. That’s just the terminology I see that as. The way these things are worded, it sounds terrifying, and they’re stemming from bits of truth that we talk about in our religion.

    Eaton: In talking with you guys, you seem like mainstream Latter-day Saints. But a lot of members look at the writings and have never heard a lot of this stuff. They say, “Whoa, those ideas are on the fringe.” I also think Latter-day Saints are very uncomfortable with the word “cult.” Melani, you said you’re not in a cult, but are you in a fringe group? A group that’s not mainstream? Were Lori and Chad in a group that wasn’t mainstream?

    Garrett Smith, attorney: Hang on a second.

    15 seconds later

    Melani: I’m not in any cult, and I don’t believe anything that is against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are topics where we don’t have full understanding, like you see in this document – things like translation, we don’t have information on. It’s something that’s talked about in the scriptures. And these are things that are interesting, and you want to learn more about the mysteries of God that no one really has the real answers on. These are things to learn about, but there are no beliefs that I have, or that I know that Chad and Lori have, that are against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or anything inconsistent with that faith.

    Eaton: One other question about the document, Ian, and then we can we can move on. You mentioned in there that your whole intent was not to smear anybody. Your intent was to protect your family and helps solve the case of the missing kids. Can you guys address the public as to what you all are doing to help in the case?

    Ian: We, to the best of our knowledge, have cooperated fully with the FBI and law enforcement. Anytime they’ve had questions, we’ve answered. That’s all we can do right now. We’re trying to set people at ease a little bit. Right now, the kids are missing. We don’t know where they are, and there’s so much speculation because of this information that’s leaked in the accusations that Charles made in his paperwork, and people coming out of the woodwork to come after Chad or come after Lori.

    There’s a lot of speculation that’s happening, but so far, all we know is that they’re missing. Lori’s mom, Janis, put it really well. The kids aren’t missing to Lori. They’re missing to the rest of us. While I would absolutely love to know where they are and just get this over with and move on with my life, I have to try to have faith and believe that there’s going to be a happy ending to this. I certainly hope there is because it’s going to have a really negative effect on my life if there isn’t.

    Eaton: So you guys have talked with the police in Rexburg and the FBI, and any time they want to talk to you, you’re open to talking with them and answering questions.

    Ian: Absolutely. Yeah.

    Melani: Yeah. I had my first initial meeting with Detective Hermosillo, and then I invited FBI into my home for a few hours and told them everything that I did know. My first meeting with FBI, I shared a lot of these things I’m sharing with you, Nate, and they were like, “OK, this isn’t where we thought this was going at all.” We haven’t heard this other side of why Lori would be doing what she’s doing and why she does not feel safe to say where her kids are and why she needs to protect them.

    Eaton: A few people have said this story is all “hype.” Yes, the media has latched on to this story because it is two missing kids but the “hype” could die down if the kids were produced or if she said where the kids are. Why do you think she won’t?

    Melani: I don’t have that answer, but I know no one is listening to her side. She’s been what seems proven guilty before even given the chance to speak for herself. I know she hasn’t come forward and said (where the kids are), and I absolutely would love that. She knows what she’s doing, I believe, and she knows where the kids are. I can’t remember the quote she said – very initially when things took off – something about when all this speculation and rumors over. I believe, when all the speculation and rumor is over, and we’re looking at the real facts here, I believe she has a story to tell. She doesn’t have reason to trust a lot of people right now. I can’t ask that question to her. She’s in jail waiting for her time to defend and tell her story.

    Eaton: Melani, why can’t you ask her where the kids are?

    Melani: She’s in jail, and everything’s been recorded. It sounds like her conversations even with her own lawyer have been recorded and then given to Detective Ball and the prosecutor. I feel like that’s a huge concern. I don’t think if I asked her she would tell me. She didn’t tell me before, probably just to not involve me, and whatever she’s got going on – she’s got a plan and I just want to be loving support and do whatever I can. When it comes down to it, every fear, every worry, every doubt that I have – it doesn’t stick to the knowledge I do know of who Lori is and everything she’s done to protect those kids. Those kids love their mom, and they don’t want to be with Kay. JJ’s never wanted to be with Kay, and I wish we could see the times Kay’s actually come to try to be in JJ’s life.

    I was in Arizona most of the time Lori and JJ were there after adopting him. I might have met Kay one time, but she wasn’t a big part of JJ’s life. I see a lot of things behind-the-scenes that aren’t being said, and I don’t know everything going on or where Lori would have the kids.

    Eaton: Do you think they’re safe? Chad has said that they are safe. We don’t know what that means. But do you think they’re safe in a bunker somewhere?

    Smith: Nate, let me modify this just a little bit. Part of the premise of what our clients are saying, including Melani and Ian here with us, but also Summer (Shiflet, Lori’s sister) and Janis (Cox, Lori’s mother) – the premise of it is, first and foremost, they don’t think they’ve ever seen anything in Lori’s life that would give them any evidence that she could harm her children.

    The next level is that they know that Lori had a basis and a belief that she needed to take steps to protect her kids. We don’t have all the details about that, but she had expressed at least that much to them. They were moving out of the state of Arizona, they were going away, and she had a reason for doing that.

    The third thing is that they had experienced in Lori’s life this notion that she has a substantial distrust of the system because of its failure in her ability to protect her own kids. The system never was able to help her do that – the judicial system.

    So it’s hard to go into Lori and say, “Just tell us where the kids are” when it undermines everything that I just set forth. They don’t think she did anything to the kids. They know she’s got a basis for wanting to protect them. She knows they know that she doesn’t trust the system. And so to go in and ask her to tell them where the kids are would undermine her ultimate purpose – which is to protect the kids. Everybody wants that question asked because they just want to see when the kids are, but that’s not what Lori’s goal is here. Lori’s goal is to protect them and saying where they are doesn’t protect them.

    Melani: I think the bigger question is why does Lori feel the need to protect her kids? And from who? From what? And until we know that question, she probably will not tell any of us that, and she’s willing to sit in jail over keeping quiet and not sharing that information.

    Smith: I saw the news clip from Kay where she said that she’s never threatened Lori. Then at the end of the conversation, she said, “I had some phone calls and emails where I said some pretty mean things. But really, I just want to see JJ.” You can’t have it both ways. Either you sent mean and nasty communications that caused Lori to be threatened, or you didn’t, and it sounds like she did, and Lori says she did.

    We expect Kay’s going to come forward and say, “I would never want to harm JJ, all I wanted to do is this,” but in Lori’s mind, in Lori’s perspective, she was under attack. She felt that she had good reason to believe and take whatever steps she took in order to fulfill that goal.

    Eaton: Melani, when’s the last time you spoke with Lori?

    Melani: I had a phone call with her – I want to say the second week of December after Alex had passed. I think it was the night Ian told me he had been going to the police and FBI. I haven’t heard anything from them since then.

    Eaton: And she and Chad were already in Hawaii at that time?

    Melani: I would guess they were already in Hawaii at that time because they left that last week in November and then a couple weeks later I had a phone call with them, I didn’t have their number and that was the last time that I spoke with them.

    Eaton: What do you want people to know about what you guys know, about any involvement, about your aunt and the kids?

    Melani: Our biggest focus is we’re working on our own custody cases right now that are affected by all the speculation and rumor – deflecting from what our exes are doing and keeping our kids away from us unjustly. That’s our biggest focus. We’re running on faith and hope that Lori’s got a plan, and she knows where JJ and Tylee are, but I don’t know where my children are. I’m having to spend all this time telling the truth because everything’s been manipulated into lies in the media. People aren’t seeing the whole picture of things. And this is a whole deflection on the truth. Everything that’s being thrown around – all these ideas that people are bouncing off each other – they’re missing the truth. That’s our exes’ goal, to distract from everything they’re doing and confuse it in this case to take advantage of it. It’s sad for our children, and we pray for them every day. We know we’re going to be with them soon. Maybe they’ll see us on TV, maybe not, but we know that they know who we are. And we patiently await every day until we are reunited with them.

    Ian: I just basically echo what Melani said. Her ex-husband and my ex-wife are taking advantage of this case and going with it to keep our children away from us. They’re making all sorts of claims. Melani was the primary caretaker of her four kids for 10 years and never did anything at all to harm them. She was a loving mother, and for some reason, all of a sudden, now Brandon is trying to take them away. Same thing with my ex-wife. I took good care of my kids, and I love them. They love being with me. They love being with Melani. We had them almost entirely through the month of January … didn’t have any problems with Melani or me being around the kids at that point, but now that’s a problem.

    This whole case is being used against us to keep our children away, and our exes are frustrated. Things kind of blew up when she and I got married. They both became very upset. It’s frustrating to have this case continue. We had a preliminary hearing scheduled for the 7th and 8th, and now it’s been pushed out to July, and until things get resolved, it’s going to continue to affect us. We’re just ready for it to be done.

    Melani: It’s been a huge stall, Nate, and unfortunately COVID has been pushing things back. But the most disappointing thing was when we had a family custody hearing finally for the Boudreaux case with my children, Brandon didn’t show up. I don’t know where he was. And later on, seeing him on TV a few days later in the front row at Lori’s hearing, waiting to see if they can keep her in jail longer and not reduce her bail, that’s upsetting. Where were my kids during then and why is he leaving them? And why are they not the focus of his life?

    It’s sad to see that. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I have every plea in my heart that Brandon will have any kindness in his heart to reunite me with with my children and let them talk to their mother. They’re scared. I don’t know what they’ve been told, but I know they know in their hearts who I am. I’ve done everything for them, and my whole life put everything, every ounce into them, and I’m so grateful I’ve done that because every day without them is unbearable. I know everything’s going to come forward eventually. As we just keep trying to tell the truth and be ourselves and try to do the right thing, I know things are going to work out.

    I want to thank you for being open-minded, for wanting to share both sides and not being afraid to share truth. There’s so much confusion out there, and this is what we want. We want everything to be heard, and I think everything will eventually unravel as we see it continuing to move forward.

    I appreciate you being willing to clarify anything that has been reported wrong because we see it reported wrong every day in all these different news sources. I desperately just want to call each one and say, “Hey, you got this wrong. These are the facts.”

    I remember you saying how Brandon Boudreaux has claimed that I have a million dollars of reasons to shoot at him or kill him or get money for a cult. I know you’re just reporting what you hear and what’s given to you. I appreciate you giving us the time to respond to these false claims and accusations, and we’re always happy to answer and clear up questions. Thank you for hearing us.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  20. tresir2012

    tresir2012 Former Member

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    Part 1, Melani and Ian interview

    (Part 2 is the previous post)

    Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com: The first thing I want to ask, Melani and Ian, is your reaction to the autopsy results which came out Friday concerning Melani’s uncle, Alex Cox. What did you think when you heard the news?

    Melani Pawlowski It was relieving but we weren’t surprised. We knew that it would be natural causes. We had no reason to think anything otherwise. I think it was just a comfort like, finally, this part is over and it’s one more stepping stone to just keep revealing truth. And then the second half of the day, (Gilbert Police) say it’s still under investigation. It feels like every time we get a little bit of good news, there’s a little bit of drag too, but overall, just relief and comfort to be in the right direction.

    Eaton: You mentioned that police are still investigating and there is going to be people watching that still don’t believe the results or say there’s something more here. What do you say to them?

    Melani: You post truth out there, and people have already made up their minds and decided. Ian made a bad joke saying, ‘Did they test for all the invisible poisons?’ People will still think whatever speculation or rumors or whatever they want to believe even when it’s right in front of their face.

    When Tylee and JJ show up and are here again, I don’t know if people would even believe it. They still go on with their own…it’s still they’ve done something bad and a lot of people have already made up their minds.

    We just want to come on and share what we do know and share truth and hopefully keep getting opportunities where more people will be open to that and be able to listen.

    Eaton: Melani, Alex was your uncle and a lot of people have thrown questions out there as to why he died. Was this just a big coincidence? Did you think there might be something more here?

    Melani: There was absolute shock when I got the phone call from Zulema Pastenes (Alex Cox’s wife), and she was telling me (he had died). I had spoken with Alex earlier that day, and he seemed OK, but I knew the week before he was having trouble. He was, overall, a pretty healthy guy but stubborn. He wouldn’t do regular checkups and was just was a tough guy.

    I was going to bring him some of his stuff because he had moved down to be with Zulema, and he had said, “Let’s not meet up halfway. Let’s wait. I’m not feeling very good.” That was big for him to say that because he never would say that he wasn’t feeling good.

    The week before, he said he had tightness in his chest and trouble breathing. He said he had bent down to get a water bottle and took the breath out of him. I was absolutely worried and was like, “You need to get to the doctor.” And he was like, “No, no, no, I’m fine.”

    So that morning, I called him and Ian was at work. He was somebody I could kind of just – you could tell him anything. He’s like a vault. I was just openly telling him about things in my new marriage, things that were challenging or things that were going really well, and he was just my best friend at that point. He shared some things that I just felt I needed to write them down when he started talking to me.

    Eaton: Like what?

    Melani: He said, “Melani, the most important thing in your marriage is to be loving, be supportive, and be patient.” And he kept repeating that and I was like – I need to remember that always. It was his last words to me, and I didn’t know that, but it was really just special like that. He just said, “Everything’s going to be fine, just keep moving forward, you’re going to have your kids back soon and everything’s going to work out. Just go on in faith.”

    Later that evening, I got a call from Zulema, and I was excited. I started telling her about my day, and then it shifted. I kind of just went into shock for a little bit, and I fell to the floor. I just felt all the feelings of losing a close friend. I hadn’t been very close with Alex most of my life. I was closer with my aunts and even my other uncle.

    Alex was a truck driver, and after starting to have challenges in my last marriage, you could just call him, and he always answered. He would just talk and let you talk to him. And I do talk a lot. And he would let me just vent, and he never would put somebody down or judge them. He would just say, “Here’s how you handle that situation.” Nobody could do any wrong in his eyes. He just was very positive and somebody that was so influential to be around when I’m going through the hardest thing and missing my four children.

    Eaton: How is Zulema doing?

    Melani: I love Zulema with all my heart. I feel like it’s been really hard. She hasn’t been able to really mourn and grieve the loss of her husband with all the accusations. She doesn’t really feel ready to come forward and share her story and I respect that. She’s still just trying to get through every day and missing her husband. But she’s doing OK.

    Eaton: There has been some limited information that’s come out about each of you, and I’m wondering if you could tell us about yourselves – how you guys met, how you ended up in Idaho and then back in Arizona?

    Ian Pawlowski: I grew up in Southern California and I got married in 2010. I moved to Idaho in 2011 with my ex-wife, Natalie, and we have two kids together. Right now they’re nine and seven – Max and Lily. They’re fantastic kids. I miss them a lot right now, and I would love to get them down here in Arizona.

    I started school at BYU-Idaho. I never finished. Just work, school and being a dad was too much, and I just figured I’d work. On our ninth anniversary, Natalie asked for a divorce. That was in March 2019. We worked our way through and got it all wrapped up in July.

    I decided to try to jump back into dating a little bit. It wasn’t really my goal to find a wife – I just wanted to find people to hang out with. At the same time, I had just gone through a really rough divorce, and it kind of tore me up. I’m trying to put my life back together and was maybe looking for a little bit of validation – just somebody to talk to who’s not going to judge me and push me away.

    I downloaded some dating apps and found Melani on one of them. I asked her on a date that day. I don’t feel like I communicate well over text – I’m sarcastic a lot and don’t come across well in text sometimes. So I invited her out to dinner, and we went to MacKenzie River.

    Eaton: What month was this?

    Ian: This was November.

    Eaton: Melani, you had moved to Rexburg?

    Melani: Yeah, the first week of November I moved. We were across the street from each other but didn’t know it.

    Ian: I don’t know how to describe it other than everything just kind of clicked with her. We’d had so many similar experiences with the way our divorces went and struggles, and we understood each other. I found no judgment with her, no preconceived notions – she just wanted to get to know me. We spent the next two days basically just talking constantly. It was just easy to click, and I didn’t have to try to do mental gymnastics to justify a second date.

    Eaton: Then you got married shortly thereafter.

    Ian: Correct. So one of the things that led to us getting married so quickly was our children. She had four kids, and one of the first things I put on my bio is that I’m a dad. I’ve got two kids I love with all my heart, and I want them to be a big part of our lives.

    I still haven’t had the opportunity to meet her kids yet, and I can’t wait too. The first time we came to Arizona, I came down with my two children to have Thanksgiving with my family. Melani was talking about how she didn’t have anybody to go to Thanksgiving with, and so I invited her to come be with my family. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing. She showed up, and my kids immediately fell in love with her. My daughter can be a little shy, a little standoffish, and just immediately was attached to Melani. She wanted to take her around and show her everything she’d been doing, play games with her and tell her everything that’s on her mind. Just to see Melani interact with my kids – it made me fall really hard, really fast for her because she’s just so sweet and good with them.

    Melani: We got married Nov. 30. It was really fast. I was in this battle with my ex, and I didn’t have my kids with us, but we both pray about decisions together, and we felt that it was right. A Vegas wedding wasn’t dreamy or anything, but our goal was to be sealed in the temple one day. So we said, “Let’s do this when we have Max and Lily, and then we have Braxton, Brighton, Blake and Brees too, let’s all get together on that special day where we can be together.”

    Eaton: Did you guys have a joint wedding with Alex and Zulema, or was that separate?

    Melani: Alex and Zulema had been dating for several months, and Alex was very ready to marry Zulema. She was waiting until she got an answer. She knew she was supposed to be with Alex but was going to wait until it felt like the right time.

    They had talked about wanting to get married in Jackson or Las Vegas, and it just so happened when they picked their date, they had more of a plan than Ian and I did. The coincidence of us picking the day right after them wasn’t planned or anything – it was just what happened. We made the decision in Arizona during Thanksgiving and said, “Let’s do it.” And while we’re there, we need a witness, and Alex and Zulema are there. This wasn’t our big wedding day – just the beginning of our lives together, and then we’ll have that special moment when we’re all together as a family.

    Eaton: So they got married the day before you guys did?

    Melani: We got married on the 30th, and I think they got married on the 29th.

    Eaton: Was it just an intimate ceremony for the both of you?

    Melani: For Ian and I, we had two or three hours. We got a dress and a tux and got the kids all dressed up and their hair done. I think the Lucky Little Wedding Chapel is where we picked and it was a small room. It was very intimate and quick – not anything crazy or anything, but it was special to us. Alex and Zulema were our witnesses, and it was just planned last second. We didn’t have time to invite a lot of people. It was just a on-a-whim decision and (we) felt like it’s what we should do.

    Eaton: Melani, were you born and raised in Arizona?

    Melani: I was born in Utah, but I lived in Phoenix as a baby and then lived in California for a while. And then Seattle is where I spent a lot of time growing up.

    Eaton: Your mother unfortunately passed away when you were young.

    Melani: My mom got really sick a couple years after having me. She almost died having me because she had a deep vein thrombosis blood clot. And the Cox side doesn’t really have great genes. My grandpa’s had cancer and blood clots, and initially my grandfather was told by the police that Alex – they thought a lung clot was the reason for his death initially. So that’s what we thought this whole time.

    I think my parents had a rough time when my mom got really sick with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis. She didn’t have the ability to absorb nutrients and was in and out of doctors and hospitals, and I think it was hard on my dad. I know there was some infidelity on his part, and they tried to work through things, and they just couldn’t make it work.

    I spent a lot of time in the Cox home. Barry and Janis, my grandparents, lived in California, and I lived with them for a while. My mom was sick and I remember my dad traveling a lot for his job, and my mom finally felt like she was healthy enough when we moved to Seattle, and my dad got a job there. It was just me, my mom and dad. My mom couldn’t have any more kids.

    When I was 6, I can remember the night my dad took me and said, “We’re going to go get gas,” and we never came back. We left my mom there, and he turned the power off. He took all her credit cards, her planner and just left her there. She was really sick to the point she couldn’t really take care of herself. We hid out in a hotel for a couple months, and that started a nasty custody battle between them.

    I remember just being quiet and not really understanding what was going on. I just remember not seeing my mom a lot, but she fought as much as she could. I grew up with my dad and then later my stepmom when my dad got remarried. I heard all manner of things about the Coxes, but my dad kind of cut off communication with them.

    My mom later passed away when I was 9. Lori was the one that called and told me the news. She said, “Your mom’s in a coma and she’s probably not going to make it.” I remember that phone call and I’ve always loved and trusted. Lori. She’s always been somebody that has so much unconditional love and no judgment, no drama, and I admire her so much. I don’t think I would have wanted to have that phone call by anybody else to have to give me that news.

    I remember flying up with my dad, who took me to see my mom last time in hospice. She passed, and my dad didn’t let me talk or see any of that side of the family. I didn’t know why other than he was saying all sorts of things about them.

    Finally, when I was 15, I found my uncle Adam (a radio DJ). I think I Googled him on the computers in high school, and I found him, and he was one of my favorite, favorite people in my life. I remember growing up and connecting all the ties from age 9 to 15. For all those years, they didn’t have me, and they tried sending packages, and my dad would return them. I never understood why I just felt something off in my heart, but I have
    no judgment or resentment on why my dad did the things he did. I wish to this day he would just say it for what it is and be real about it because that’s how we grow.

    Eaton: So did Lori somewhat raise you after your mother passed?

    Melani: Mainly my Grandma Janis. Lori was young and busy with her life, but she would take me and go do fun things. Also my aunt Summer and my uncle Adam. I wasn’t super close with Alex. … But they were so important in my life. I didn’t know that my dad had been telling everybody, “Hey, your mom died of anorexia,” and she was mentally ill and basically made himself look like a hero.

    I have all of her medical records and all the court documents. It’s hard seeing the same patterns that happened to my mom now happening in my life where my kids are taken away from me wrongfully and things are said about me that aren’t true – but my kids know who I am. My own father is helping my ex-husband right now, and they’ve had my kids at their house and don’t tell me. I have bullying text messages from my dad, and that’s upsetting. I feel like you should love your kid no matter what. If all these false claims were true – if I was crazy or in a cult or done something horrible – shouldn’t they just reclaim me with kindness as their daughter and love me anyway?

    It’s absolutely heartbreaking that I don’t have a good relationship (with them) right now where I feel like I can keep them close in my life. I’m kind of just loving them from a distance and letting everything play out. I don’t judge anyone for all the things they’re scared of or confused about. This case is heavy, and it’s unlike anything – I never thought this would be our lives. It’s unreal.

    Eaton: There have been reports that Lori may be somehow tied to your mother’s death – that she may have been the first victim. Can you address that?

    Melani: She died of natural causes. It’s on her death certificate. She had type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis. She went to every type of doctor, and I think she got tested for everything. It was so clear she was far from anorexic.

    My dad ran with that story, and it’s hurtful and untrue, and she’s not here to tell that truth. Reading through court documents, there’s so many things he could have said because we’re real and open about our family and we make mistakes. It was mostly just lies about everything. That’s similar to what’s happening in my family court case – the same pattern. I think we go through these things to learn experience and seeing that same exact thing happened now in my life, it’s too ironic it’s the exact same patterns.

    EastIdahoNews.com will post the rest of the interview Monday including questions about JJ and Tylee, Lori and Chad, the Pawlowski’s religious beliefs and why they are speaking out now.
     
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