California dad accused of murdering children said he was ‘enlightened’ by conspiracy theories, criminal complaint alleges

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LOS ANGELES (KSWB) – A Santa Barbara, California, father confessed to killing his two young children whose bodies were found earlier this week in Rosarito, Mexico, according to a federal criminal complaint filed Wednesday.

Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, was charged with foreign murder Wednesday, two days after FBI agents took him into custody at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

An affidavit by an FBI special agent revealed disturbing details in the investigation.

In an interview, Coleman confessed to the murders of his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter, saying he was “enlightened” by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories, the complaint alleges. He said he was “receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife … possessed serpent DNA and had passed it onto his children” and “that he was saving the world from monsters,” the complaint shows.

The summary of probable cause within the complaint alleges Coleman “murdered his children by shooting a spear fishing gun into their chests.”

When asked whether he knew what he did was wrong, he said “he knew it was wrong, but it was the only course of action that would save the world,” according to the complaint.

The investigation began Saturday when Coleman’s wife reported to the Santa Barbara Police Department that her husband had left home in their family’s van, did not tell her where he was going and was not responding to her texts, according to the complaint. The next day, she filed a missing persons report.

Around 8 a.m. Monday, Rosarito authorities said they found the bodies of two children matching the description of Coleman’s children, the complaint says.

According to the complaint, police were able to track down Coleman when his wife allowed them to use the “Find My iPhone” application on her laptop. The app showed Coleman’s last known location was recorded at 2:24 p.m. Sunday at an open-air shopping center called Pabellon Rosarito.

With the information, investigators contacted the FBI in San Diego and requested their assistance in interviewing Coleman upon his return to the United States.

Around 1 p.m. Monday, Coleman arrived at the border crossing in a Mercedes Sprinter van, the complaint shows. No other occupants were in the van when it was spotted. After an initial inspection of the van, Coleman was referred to secondary inspection, where federal agents took custody of the vehicle.

During an interview, Coleman identified photos of the bodies recovered by Mexican authorities as his children, according to the complaint.

Coleman appeared Wednesday afternoon in federal court, where a judge ordered him jailed without bond. His arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 31.

Multiple agencies are involved in the investigation, including the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Santa Barbara Police Department and the Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Municipal de Rosarito.

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