Arizona teen found safe in Alaska in case eerily reminiscent of ‘Doomsday Mom’ saga
Oct 30, 2023, 12:02 PM | Updated: 1:39 pm
(Photos via FBI)
PHOENIX – A missing Arizona teenager was found safe last week in Alaska and his mother and uncle were arrested in a case eerily reminiscent of the Lori Vallow Daybell “Doomsday Mom” saga.
Blaze Thibaudeau, 16, was located by Customs and Border Protection agents at the Alcan Port of Entry, just west of the Canadian territory of Yukon, the Gilbert Police Department announced Friday night.
He was traveling with his mother, an uncle and a sister. Spring Thibaudeau, Blaze’s mother, and her brother Brook Hale were arrested on extradition warrants for alleged custodial interference and turned over to Alaska State Troopers.
The FBI and Gilbert Police Department issued alerts about the case earlier Friday, three days after Blaze’s father described his wife’s doomsday beliefs in a court filing.
The Gilbert Police Department and @FBIPhoenix announce tonight that 16-year-old Blaze Thibaudeau has been located safe by US Customs and Border Protection agents at the Alcan Port of Entry along the eastern Alaska border. https://t.co/zxpglZ6HHS
— Gilbert Police Dept. (@GilbertPolice) October 28, 2023
Hale reportedly left a note for his family saying he received visions and didn’t know when he’d see them again, according to the filing.
Why did teen’s father cite Lori Vallow Daybell case in court filing?
According to Maricopa County Superior Court documents, Ben Thibaudeau filed to have his marriage to Spring Thibaudeau dissolved on Oct. 17. He then filed an emergency motion for sole custody and decision-making authority regarding his son on Tuesday, a day after his wife allegedly took Blaze to the mountains of Idaho against his will.
“She started spending a significant amount of money on food prep,” Ben Thibaudeau told East Idaho News. “She was buying a lot of winter gear, even though we live in Arizona. She was buying tents. She was convinced that the saints would have to gather in the last days up in the mountains, and she was preparing for that.”
The custody court filing calls Hale the leader of the group and cites similarities to the case of Lori Vallow Daybell, which also had ties to the East Valley and Idaho.
In July, Vallow Daybell was sentenced in Idaho to life in prison without parole for the deaths of her two youngest children and a woman she saw as a romantic rival.
Vallow Daybell’s case included her claims that the children were zombies and that she was a goddess tasked with ushering in an apocalypse, earning her the “Doomsday Mom” moniker.
She still faces face charges of conspiring to commit murder in two 2019 East Valley cases. Her estranged husband, Charles Vallow, was killed in Chandler, and her niece’s ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux, was shot at in Gilbert.
Vallow Daybell’s brother Alex Cox was the alleged gunman in both cases. He was never charged and died in December 2019 of what authorities determined were natural causes.
What did Spring Thibaudeau allegedly believe about her son?
Ben Thibaudeau’s custody court filing alleges that Spring Thibaudeau believes in an end-of-the-world scenario in which she is a “chosen prophetess” and Blaze is the “Davidic messenger.”
“Mother and her group have cut off all the communication with the outside world, and Husband is painfully aware of how other such doomsday cases between here and Idaho have turned out,” the document says.
The filing also asked the court to authorize law enforcement to help get Blaze back to his father.
A felony arrest warrant for Spring Thibaudeau and Hale was issued Friday, before the group was located in Alaska.