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California father Matthew Coleman has been indicted for killing his two young children in Mexico, allegedly believing they possessed “serpent DNA.”
Coleman, 40, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for two counts of foreign first-degree murder of United States nationals, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Coleman, a California surf instructor, will be eligible for the death penalty in connection with the charges. The Attorney General will decide whether to pursue capital punishment in the case at a later date.
“There are no words to describe the profound grief that envelops an entire community when a child is murdered,” Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said. “The Department of Justice is determined to achieve justice for these victims and their loved ones.”
Coleman is accused of killing his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter on Aug. 9, after taking the children from their Santa Barbara home two days earlier and driving them to Mexico, according to an affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
The children's mother would later tell Santa Barbara Police that the family had planned to go camping that day, but her husband put the children into a Sprinter van, drove away and stopped answering her text messages. She called police and asked them to try to get in touch with Coleman, but didn't believe that he would harm the children, according to the affidavit.
She filed a formal missing persons report the next day when he never returned.
Using the "Find my iPhone" app, she was able to track Coleman through his phone to Rosarito on Aug. 8, according to the affidavit.
The same app showed his phone was near the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the U.S. border on Aug. 9; however, when he returned to the country his young children were no longer with him.
Mexican authorities had discovered the bodies in a ditch in Rosarito earlier that day and were able to positively identify the children after they were contacted by the FBI.
Coleman is accused of killing the children by shooting them in the chest with a spearfishing gun, according to the affidavit. He allegedly told authorities he was motivated to carry out the slayings by QAnon conspiracy theory.
Coleman allegedly told authorities that he was “enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving visions and signs" about his wife.
"During transport to Los Angeles, (Coleman) told me that his wife ... had serpent DNA and may have been passing it on to his children," FBI Special Agent Jennifer Bannon wrote in the affidavit.
Investigators said he “believed his children were going to grow into monsters” and took their lives.
Coleman was previously charged with the same crimes in a federal complaint filed in Los Angeles, however, prosecutors said they plan to dismiss that complaint in light of the recent indictment.
He is expected to make his initial appearance in court Thursday in the United States District Court in Los Angeles.
Before his arrest, Coleman worked as a surfing instructor and was the founder of Lovewater surfing school in Santa Barbara.
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