'American Idol' Chikezie Eze My Estranged Wife Vanished with Our Kids

3/24/2019 12:20 AM PDT

Ex-'Idol' Contestant Chikezie Eze Claims Estranged Wife Vanished with Kids

EXCLUSIVE

Former "American Idol" contestant Chikezie Eze says his estranged wife disappeared more than a year ago and took their children ... but he's finally got the court's help trying to locate them.

Chikezie and his ex, Linda Iruke, have had their issues -- he filed for divorce from her last year shortly after she accused him of domestic abuse and threats -- but this is even more troubling.

Eze tells us Iruke completely vanished in early 2018 and cut off all ties with him and their friends, and even more concerning ... he says her family hasn't been able to contact her either.

According to new legal docs ... the court stated there is reason to believe the children have been "taken, detained, and concealed" and have authorized the L.A. County D.A.'s office to investigate and locate Eze's estranged wife and kids.

He's thankful to have this assistance, and tells us Linda's family -- especially her mother -- have been vital in convincing the court to take action.

Chikezie also has an emotional message for his son -- on his birthday -- and urges anyone who knows about his family's whereabouts to contact the D.A.'s child abduction unit.

Eze finished 10th on the seventh season of 'Idol' back in 2008.