"Cult Mom" Lori Vallow's Niece Bought Into What She Was Selling — Where Is Melani Pawlowski Now?

Melani Pawlowski once told her second husband that "sometimes children are full of light and then just like that they go dark."

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 24 2024, Published 5:41 p.m. ET

In May 2020, Melani Pawlowski spoke with East Idaho News about her difficult childhood and the moment she found out her mother had died. The person who shared the devastating news was her aunt Lori Vallow, the doomsday cult mom who was later found guilty for the murder of her two children. Vallow told her, "Your mom’s in a coma and she’s probably not going to make it." She loved Vallow so much that Pawlowski couldn't fathom hearing that from anyone else.

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During this interview, Pawlowski also talked about Vallow's children who had been missing for nearly a year. She said people had already decided what happened to them and when JJ and Tylee "showed back up again," those same people still wouldn't believe it. A month after this interviewed aired, the children's bodies were found buried on the property of Vallow's husband Chad Daybell. Pawlowski was never charged in connection to their murder, though some think she knew something. Where is she now?

Ian Pawlowski (L) and Melani Pawlowski (R) speaking about Lori Vallow
Source: YouTube/AZ Family (video still)

(L-R): Ian Pawlawski; Melani Pawlowski

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Where is Melani Pawlowski now? She has her own legal troubles to deal with.

According to Fox 10 Phoenix, Pawlowski was charged with computer tampering by Mesa police in October 2023. She allegedly used a copy of a $12,000 check deposited into her ex-husband's business account to "present as an exhibit during a family custody hearing," per the outlet. Pawlowski and Brandon Boudreaux divorced in 2019, during which time the custody battle for their four children was long and messy.

A police report showed Pawlowski was ordered to remove her name from the bank account, and had 60 days to do it after the October 2019 sale of the couple's house. Not only did Pawlowski fail to do that, but she apparently logged into the account on March 2, 2020, to procure the copy of the check. After police spoke with Pawlowski's attorney Garrett Smith, a detective noted in the police report: "Garrett told me it is not Melani’s fault that Brandon was ‘dumb’ and did not change the login information until three days after Melani accessed the online account."

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This is not the first time Pawlowski was in hot water with the cops. On two separate occasions, she reportedly tried to take her children from Boudreaux's parents house while they were staying there. After she refused to leave their property, her ex-husband's parents were forced to call police to have her forcibly removed. She was charged and convicted of criminal trespassing with a domestic violence enhancement, and received probation in December 2020.

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Melani Pawlowski changed after she began spending more time with Lori Vallow.

The Associate Press reported that in 2018, Pawlowski and Vallow began attending Latter-day Saints meetings together. Soon after, Pawlowski was telling Boudreaux that they needed to start preparing for the end of the world and demanded they spend $10,000 stockpiling food in preparation. This directly contributed to their divorce the following year.

After Boudreaux moved out and had been in his new rental home for two days, he was shot at by someone driving a gray Jeep that was very similar to the one owned by Vallow's older daughter Tylee. It should be noted that Tylee had been missing for a month. The Jeep was given to her by Vallow's ex-husband Charles. During Vallow's trial, the prosecution claimed this was a plan enacted by the doomsday cult mom to get her hands on any money Pawlowski might have inherited by way of her deceased ex-husband.

Pawlowski quickly married another man a mere 10 days after meeting him. She and Ian were both freshly divorced and met via a dating app. The couple told East Idaho News that they clicked immediately, hence the quick wedding. Boudreaux alleged that at one point, Ian told him Pawloski once said, "sometimes children are full of light and then just like that they go dark." Naturally this caused Boudreaux to grow more concerned about the safety of his own children.

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