Santa Barbara

Surf School Owner Charged With Murder After Allegedly Shooting His Children With Spear Fishing Gun

The bodies of the suspect's 2-year-old boy and 10-month-old girl were found in a ditch about 35 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Warning: This article contains graphic content.

A Santa Barbara surf school owner was charged Wednesday in the gruesome deaths of his two children, ages 2 and 10 months, after their bodies were found in a ditch in Rosarito, Mexico. 

Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, faces two counts of foreign murder of United States nationals — a 2-year-old boy and 10-month-old girl. He told authorities in an interview after his arrest that he “believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them,” according to a criminal complaint filed by federal authorities. 

He also admitted to shooting them with a spear fishing gun, according to the nine-page criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday. The complaint went on to say Coleman stated that he was enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife possessed serpent DNA and had passed it on to his children and was trying "to save the world from monsters."

An affidavit in support of the criminal complaint states that Coleman’s wife on Saturday contacted Santa Barbara police to say her husband left their home in a Sprinter cargo van. She filed a missing persons report the next day and, using a computer application, determined Coleman’s phone was in Rosarito Sunday afternoon, according to the affidavit. 

Security camera video showed Coleman checking into a Rosarito motel Saturday with the two children, according to the Baja California Attorney's General Office.

The FBI dispatched agents to the U.S.-Mexico border, who found Coleman had entered the U.S. in the Sprinter van without the children, according to authorities. They were later informed by law enforcement officials in Rosartio that the children’s bodies had been found Monday morning about 35 miles south of the border.


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During a court proceeding Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles, Coleman was ordered jailed without bond. His arraignment is scheduled for August 31.

It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. 

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