Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, of Santa Barbara, faces a federal charge of murdering U.S. nationals abroad, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.
Coleman confessed to the FBI in an interview that he took his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter to Rosarito, Mexico, where they fired a “harpoon gun” in the chest, according to one. affidavit filed by an FBI. agent with the criminal complaint.
Coleman said “he believed his children were going to become monsters, so he had to kill them,” according to the court document.
A farm worker found the children’s bodies on Monday at a ranch near Rosarito in Baja California, authorities said.
Coleman and the children had checked into a hotel in Rosarito on Saturday, but video footage showed them leaving before dawn on Monday, Mexican authorities said.
The man returned alone later in the morning and then left the hotel for good, authorities said.
An iPhone finder app placed Coleman’s phone in Rosarito on Sunday, and on Monday it was located in an area of Mexico near the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego, according to the affidavit.
Coleman was detained at the border checkpoint, where, in an interview with an FBI agent, “he explained that he was enlightened by the QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and that he received visions and signs. revealing that his wife, AC, possessed snake DNA and passed it on to her children, ”according to the affidavit.
He is accused of throwing the bodies of the children in a ditch near Rosarito, reports CBS Los Angeles.
According to the station, Coleman’s wife reported to Santa Barbara Police on Saturday that the family was preparing to go camping when her husband suddenly left with the children in the family van. She said she didn’t know where they were going and he hadn’t responded to her texts.
Coleman’s wife said she didn’t believe the children were in danger, that she hadn’t had any issues with Coleman, and that “they hadn’t had any kind of argument” before he left, according to the court affidavit.
CBS LA says Coleman told FBI agents he put his daughter in a box for the ride to Mexico because he didn’t have a car seat.
Coleman is the founder of Lovewater Surf School in Santa Barbara.
The family’s neighbors in Santa Barbara told CBS LA they were shocked and Coleman appeared to be a good family man. One of them said he was “shocked” and “stunned”. He called it “immensely tragic”.