Niece of so-called ‘Doomsday Mom’ Lori Vallow faces computer tampering charge in Mesa


Melani Pawlowski – the niece of Lori Vallow, the so-called “doomsday mom” accused of killing her two children, is facing her own criminal charge in Mesa City Court.

Pawlowski, 33, is charged with computer tampering by Mesa police. The victim in the case is her ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux. Boudreaux was shot to Gilbert in October 2019, and according to investigators, Boudreaux believed Pawlowski provided the shooter with his new address.

The Gilbert Police Department shooting investigation identified the suspect as the late Alex Cox, Pawlowski’s uncle and Lori Vallow’s brother. The shooting is part of a chain of events related to the case of Vallow’s two children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, who went missing in Idaho after moving them from Chandler to Rexburg. , Idaho in the fall of 2019.

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Authorities found the siblings dead nine months later in the backyard of Chad Daybell, Vallow’s fifth husband. Prosecutors say the two justified the murders, including the murder of Daybell’s first wife, Tammy, based on extreme religious beliefs.

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In November 2021, Gilbert police recommended the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office file attempted murder charges against Vallow and Daybell, who allegedly orchestrated the shooting. Prosecutors chose not to charge Daybell, and Vallow’s case is still pending. Charges for Pawlowski have not been submitted to the MCAO.

Vallow is also accused of conspiring to kill her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot dead by Alex Cox in Chandler in July 2019.

Pawlowski identity theft investigation

New details in Mesa PD’s identity theft investigation into Pawlowski reveal that she used a copy of a check for $12,000 deposited in Boudreaux’s business bank account to present it as an exhibit during a a family custody hearing. Boudreaux and Pawlowski went through a long legal battle over their four children, following their divorce in 2019.

According to Mesa’s police report, Pawlowski agreed to withdraw the bank account of Boudreaux’s business known as Cougar Consulting. Bank records show Pawlowski accessed Chase’s bank account several months after the divorce decree was signed. Investigators say Pawlowski was supposed to withdraw from the account no more than 60 days after the former couple’s property was sold on October 3, 2019. The account was accessed sometime after March 2, 2020.

The investigation began in November 2021, and a Mesa PD detective interviewed Pawlowski’s attorney, Garrett Smith. According to the report, Smith admitted that Pawlowski was indeed removed from the bank account when she logged into the account online only because the login credentials had not changed.

“Garrett told me it wasn’t Melani’s fault that Brandon was ‘stupid’ and didn’t change the login credentials until three days after Melani accessed the account online,” the sleuth recounted in the police report.

Smith told police Pawlowski believed Boudreaux owed her money on the check and that’s why she logged into the account to send a copy to her attorney.

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The investigation ended with the detective finding probable cause to charge Pawlowski with one count of computer tampering which is a Class 3 felony.

“Melani Pawlowski knowingly accessed Brandon Boudreaux’s Chase business account for Cougar Consulting,” the detective reported.

His next hearing is set for September 26 and a sentence for a Class 3 felony could result in probation and up to a year in prison or two at 8.75 years in prison.

Pawlowski has a criminal record in Utah. She was arrested for criminal trespassing with domestic violence enhancement in November 2019 when police said she attempted to bring her children who were staying with Boudreaux’s parents to American Fork City in two separate incidents. The grandparents called 911 when Pawlowski would not leave the property.

Pawlowski was convicted and then sentenced in December 2020 and placed on probation according to court records.


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