Santa Barbara resident Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, was charged today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for the crimes of murdering his two young children on foreign soil. According to an affidavit by an FBI Special Agent, he confessed to the murders of his two children, ages 10 months and 2 years old, during an interview, allegedly stating he believed they “were going to grow into monsters.” Coleman is the owner of Lovewater Surf School in Santa Barbara.
According to the FBI affidavit, during Coleman’s confession, “M. Coleman stated that he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them.” The affidavit further states Coleman said “he was enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving visions and signs” that his wife had passed “serpent DNA” to their children. When asked if he knew what he did was wrong, Coleman acknowledged it was, but he had to save the world.
The FBI investigation so far has involved the Santa Barbara Police Department and the County District Attorney’s Office. Coleman’s wife had reported to Santa Barbara Police on Saturday, August 7, that her husband had taken their little boy and infant daughter in their Sprinter van, though she had expected them all to go camping. She met with an officer the next day after her attempts to reach Coleman by phone, along with attempts by other family members, went unanswered. She stated they’d had no problems or arguments, and she didn’t believe they were in danger. A missing persons report was filed, and an app on her computer located Coleman’s phone in Rosarito, Mexico.
According to Mexican authorities, videotape from Coleman’s hotel showed him leaving at around 3 a.m. on Monday with the children and returning around 6:30 a.m. without them. Apparently, prosecuting Coleman in Mexico would require an extradition request.
On August 9, the FBI affidavit states, Santa Barbara Police notified the FBI when Coleman’s phone was seen to be nearing the San Ysidro border crossing. San Diego FBI agents stopped Coleman in his van, noting it held no other passengers.
An agent contacted the Rosarito police — la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Municipal de Rosarito — who said two children had been found that morning at around 8 a.m. in a ditch. The police photos matched those provided by their mother.
During a press conference given by the chief prosecutor for Baja California, Hiram Sánchez Zamora, on August 9, he described how a farmworker walking along a dirt road had followed a trail of “stains” and discovered the bodies. Investigators believed a wooden stake had been used to commit the crimes.
In Coleman’s confession, however, he stated he’d used a spear fishing gun to kill the children. The location Coleman described was the same as where the bodies had been found earlier that day.
Coleman is being held in a jail in Santa Ana and is scheduled to make an appearance in Los Angeles federal court this afternoon on a bond hearing.