Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, is said to ahve killed his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter on Monday. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a press release that the investigation began on Saturday, at which point Coleman’s wife had alerted authorities in Santa Barbara that her husband had left with the children in a van. The wife did not know where they had gone.
The following day, a missing persons report was filed, with Coleman’s wife tracking his phone to Rosarito as of Sunday afternoon. Additional tracking allowed the FBI to send officials in the San Diego area to make contact with Coleman, who on Monday entered the U.S. in the aforementioned van without the two children. Later, the FBI made contact with Rosarito law enforcement officials and were informed that the bodies of two children matching the description of Coleman’s had been recovered. Coleman was then taken into custody.
A separate report from the Associated Press notes that Coleman shot the children in the chest with a spearfishing gun. Additionally, Coleman is said to have told authorities that he had become convinced his wife “possessed serpent DNA,” which he believed had been passed on to the children.
In court documents viewed by Complex, an FBI agent said Coleman had “confessed to the murders” on Aug. 9. Coleman also told authorities he had been “receiving visions and signs” about his false “serpent DNA” belief. Asked by a jailer at the Santa Ana Jail on Aug. 10 why he had a band-aid affixed to his hand, Coleman, per the affidavit, said it was from “hurting his children.”
“[Coleman] believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them,” per an affidavit filed by the FBI agent. Per the AP, Coleman was also the founder of a surfing school in the Santa Barbara area.
Complex has reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the Santa Barbara Police Department for additional comment.