Matthew Taylor Coleman is a California man who is accused of abducting and killing his young children in Mexico after he said he became “enlightened” by conspiracy theories, including QAnon. Coleman is accused of shooting his kids with a spear-fishing gun. Coleman’s son and daughter were found dead at a ranch, authorities said. Coleman was arrested at the Mexican border on August 10, 2021, according to police. The 40-year-old Coleman runs a surfing school in Santa Barbara.
Coleman’s 3-year-old son, Kaleo, was found stabbed 17 times at a ranch in Baja California, Mexico, Hiram Sanchez, the region’s attorney general, told The Associated Press. Coleman’s 10-month-old daughter, Roxy, was stabbed 12 times, Sanchez told reporters. He said a “blood-stained wooden stake” was found near their bodies, according to the AP. Coleman told investigators he used a spear-fishing gun to shoot and kill his children and then moved the spear around, stabbing them with it, according to court documents obtained by Heavy.
Coleman was charged in a federal criminal complaint with foreign murder of United States nationals on August 11, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release. Prosecutors said in the criminal complaint that Coleman confessed to the murders.
According to the criminal complaint, Coleman said “he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them.” Coleman told investigators 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 onto his children.” He told federal investigators “he was saving the world from monsters.”
According to the criminal complaint, Coleman said he “knew it was wrong, but it was the only way course of action that would save the world.” The affidavit does not provide any other details about Coleman’s QAnon and Illuminati beliefs, and his Facebook and Instagram profiles do not include any posts about QAnon or the Illuminati.
Coleman is the latest murder case tied to the QAnon conspiracy theory. According to NBC News, “QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that originally formed around the idea that President Donald Trump is leading a secret war against the ‘deep state,’ a group of political, business and Hollywood elites who, according to the theory, worship Satan and abuse and murder children. These baseless claims emerge from posts by an anonymous user on a fringe internet forum who goes by ‘Q.'” The QAnon movement evolved out of PizzaGate and other conspiracy theories.
In 2019, a Seattle QAnon follower, Buckey Wolfe, was accused of killing his brother with a sword because he thought he had turned into a lizard or reptile. Also in 2019, Anthony Comello was accused of killing a mob boss in New York and came to court with a QAnon reference written on his hand. In 2020, a Florida woman, Neely Petrie-Blanchard, was accused of killing a fellow QAnon follower who she believed could help her in a child custody dispute, NBC News reported.
Here’s what you need to know about Matthew Taylor Coleman:
1. Matthew Taylor Coleman Left for Mexico With His Children Without Telling His Wife Where They Were Going & She Reported Them Missing to Santa Barbara Police
Coleman’s wife, Abby Coleman, reported her husband and their two children missing to police in California because she was concerned for their well-being, the Santa Barbara Police Department said in an August 10 news release. According to Telemundo 20, Mexican authorities said the children were taken to the country without their mother’s consent.
“On August 8, 2021, the Santa Barbara Police Department took three missing persons reports from a mother, who indicated her husband and children have been missing for approximately 24 hours. The mother was concerned for the wellbeing of her husband and their two children,” Santa Barbara Police said in a statement. “During the investigation, Santa Barbara Police obtained evidence that the father and the two children had possibly traveled to Mexico. Santa Barbara Police have been working directly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Border Patrol regarding this investigation. Because this investigation potentially involved the jurisdiction of another country, the FBI is the lead investigating agency.”
The FBI’s Los Angeles field office said in a statement, “The FBI is working with police in Santa Barbara following a report they received about three missing persons – one adult male and his two children who are believed to have crossed the southern border into Mexico. A joint investigation is underway among the Santa Barbara Police Department, the FBI in Los Angeles and San Diego, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexican authorities.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a statement:
An affidavit in support of the criminal complaint outlines the investigation that started on Saturday when Coleman’s wife contacted the Santa Barbara Police to report that her husband had left the couple’s residence in a Sprinter van and she did not know where they had gone. The next day, Coleman’s wife filed a missing persons report. Using a computer application, Coleman’s wife was able to determine that Coleman’s phone had been in Rosarito on Sunday afternoon, the affidavit states.
The same phone-locating service was used on Monday and showed that Coleman’s phone was near the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the affidavit. The FBI dispatched colleagues in San Diego to contact Coleman, who entered the United States in the Sprinter van without the children. When the children were not found, FBI agents contacted law enforcement officials in Rosarito and learned that Mexican authorities that morning had recovered the bodies of two children matching the description of Coleman’s children.
Coleman made his first appearance in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles on August 11, 2021, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A magistrate judge ordered Coleman to be held without bond and set his arraignment for August 31, 2021.
During the missing persons investigation, Coleman’s wife told the FBI her husband did not tell her where he was going and was not answering her text messages, according to the complaint. She told investigators she didn’t believe the children were in any danger and didn’t think he would harm his children. She said they were not having relationship problems and did not have an argument before he left.
2. Coleman Was Seen on Hotel Surveillance Video Leaving the Hotel With His Kids & Then Returning Without Them, Authorities Say
According to The Associated Press, the Baja California attorney general said Matthew Coleman was seen on surveillance video checking into a hotel in Rosarito on Saturday, August 7, 2021. The video showed Coleman leaving the hotel before dawn on Monday, August 9, 2021, and Coleman returning alone later that morning. Coleman left the hotel for good on August 9, the attorney general told the AP.
Coleman is being held in federal custody in the United States and could face charges of aggravated murder in Mexico, according to the AP. It was not immediately known if Coleman has hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf. He could not be reached for comment by Heavy.
According to Telemundo 20, Coleman and his children were staying at the City Express Hotel in Rosarito. They arrived at the hotel without a reservation, according to the news station. According to NBC News, Coleman tried to flee through the San Ysidro border crossing.
“You see a prepared person; hence it is very clear about the intentions of the acts that were being carried out,” Sanchez, the Baja California attorney general, told Telemundo. Sanchez said Coleman could face 60 to 120 years in prison if convicted of murder in Mexico.
Coleman told the FBI he drove to Mexico with his children in the family’s Mercedes Sprinter van on August 7. He said because he didn’t have a car seat, he put his youngest child in a box. He told investigators that on the morning he killed his children he drove to Rancho Del Cielo and pulled off to the side of the road. He used a spear fishing gun, piercing his daughter in the heart, according to the complaint. He said when his son didn’t die right away, he “had to move the spear around, thereby cutting his hand in the process.” The FBI agent said injuries consistent with his statement were seen on his hand.
Coleman told the FBI that after he killed his children he moved their bodies about 30 yards away and put them in brush. He then drove a “couple of miles” and “discarded the spear fishing gun and blood clothes near a creek,” the FBI said. “He threw bloody clothes into a blue trash bin somewhere off the side of a road in Tijuana, Mexico.”
When Coleman was booked into the Santa Ana jail, a jailer asked him why he had a Band-Aid on his hand and he responded it was from “hurting his children,” the FBI said. According to the FBI, the murder weapon, bloody clothes and a baby’s blanket were recovered by Mexican police.
The FBI said photos from the crime scene showed the children with “large puncture wounds in their chest cavities,” according to the criminal complaint. According to court documents, the children were found dead in a ditch, and the pictures matched photos provided by Coleman.
3. After the Birth of His Daughter, Coleman Posted on Instagram That ‘She Has Been Hand Picked by God to Slay the Giants in the Land’
Matthew Coleman and his wife, Abby Coleman, have been married since January 2017, according to his Instagram. He wrote in a post on his first anniversary, “In marriage, we’re given someone that is there to daily celebrate the other in a way that none other can do. Not cause you got a promotion, or achieved something special, but just because you’re you. We get an opportunity to mirror back the glory that we see and, in doing so, release each other into the full and free expression of who we were designed to be.”
Coleman added, “Now to brag about my beautiful wifey a little… she cooks brisket like a true Texan, goes surfing with me even when it’s cold and teaches me to always see the good, regardless of the circumstances. Not to mention a 6 time prom/homecoming queen.”
In March 2018, Coleman announced on his Instagram that his wife was expecting their first child, writing, “Well folks, we’re havin’ a baby. Little nugget of love joy bomb bursts into life this September. Amping!” Their son, Kaleo, was born in October 2018. Coleman wrote on Instagram:
It’s our absolute joy to introduce our son, Kaleo Skye Coleman (pronounced Kah-leo). Born at our home at 6:50pm on Wednesday evening in the middle of a tropical thunder storm, his birth was fast, fiery, and more electric than I could have ever imagined. So proud of his mama for being such a fighter, and through the blood, sweat and tears, coming out a champion with prize in hand.
When thinking of what to name our son, I kept returning to this image of Jesus being baptized, as a dove descended on him and God’s words shone on him, “This is My Son, the dearly loved, in whom is My delight.” Kaleo in Greek means, “called” or “appointed.” In Hawaiian, the “sound” or “voice.” Skye means “winged” or “heavens”. And Coleman means “dove”. My declaration over Kaleo is that he is appointed to bring the sound of heaven’s dove… and a voice that speaks to a generation, this is my beloved in whom is all My delight. Thanks to everyone for all your prayers, support and love through this joyful season. We are over the moon.
After the birth of his daughter in October 2020, Coleman wrote on Instagram, “This past Saturday morning, a few seconds before sunrise, we welcomed little Roxy Rain into our family. At 6:49am, in the quiet of our home, she was pulled out of the water and welcomed into our arms. Roxy means ‘bright dawn’ and “Rain” is a symbol for God’s blessing, abundance and fruitfulness towards our family in this season.” He added:
While waiting for her to come, I kept feeling this sense that she was going to be born at a very pivotal time in history and that she would represent a dawn, or even awakening, to years of great blessing for our family and nation.
Another picture that came to me was of God reaching down into a river bed and picking up a small stone (rock), examining it intently. Just as David had done before slaying Goliath, God examined the stone and was confident that it was just the perfect one for the battle. Although it was small, smooth and somewhat harmless looking, he knew that it would become great when placed into the palm of a skilled hand. My declaration over Roxy Rain is that she has been hand picked by God to slay the giants in the land. That she has been born with everything she needs to fully accomplish God’s plan for her life and that she will be a great blessing wherever she goes.
Coleman continued, “And can’t help but give a shout out to my fearless wife for bringing us baby Roxy in just a few hours. What a fighter! So excited for everyone to meet our precious new addition to the family. Thanks for all the love, meals, and constant support during this season. 🙏”
In May 2021, Coleman posted a photo with his wife, son and daughter and wrote in the caption, “My treasures!” His most recent Instagram post was from July 16, 2021, and it included a video of him surfing with his son on the board with him and the caption, “Baby steps!”
4. Coleman Posted on Social Media Often About His Faith & He Wondered in a Facebook Post if There Will Be ‘a Type of Great American Renaissance Following the Years of Covid, Censorship & Political Divisivenes’
Coleman often posted on social media about his Christian faith, along with surfing, skateboarding, other outdoor adventures, traveling and his family. His most recent public post on Facebook is from November 2020 and includes his thoughts on coronavirus and the state of the world.
Coleman wrote, ” While worshipping with friends this weekend, I had an unexpected wave of thoughts and images come over me… which well, brought me a lot of hope. The first image was one of this historical timeline where the period of the ‘dark ages’ (5th-15th century) was contrasted next to the illuminated creative explosion of the Renaissance (meaning Rebirth – 15th & 16th centuries). The crazy thing about history is that you don’t know what your season will be labeled as until years down the road. And more so, sometimes your time period isn’t labeled by what happens DURING it, but rather by what happens AFTER it. While people were living in the Dark Ages, they weren’t thinking, ‘it really sucks living in the Dark Ages.’ It wasn’t until years after the Renaissance did people start to identify that period as the Dark Ages. And really the main reason for getting that label was due to the striking CONTRAST that it had with the explosion of art, music, inventions, and discoveries that occurred during the Renaissance.”
Coleman added, “What if we are about to enter the greatest Renaissance period that the world has ever seen? What if we are on the verge of entering into an unparalleled explosion of creativity, art, music, inventions, discoveries, entrepreneurship, cures, community and revelations of God’s love… to the point that our current period will eventually be seen as another ‘Dark Ages.’ What if there is a type of Great American Renaissance following the years of Covid, censorship, and political divisiveness… that will empower each person’s heart to come alive and explode with innovative ideas, new business models, new music sounds and never seen ways to build an amazing community? What if 2020 is just the ‘birth pains’ of what is on its way in 2021 and beyond?”
He concluded, “Its almost as if God is praying over us… “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope…”(Ephesians 1:18) Much love and hope to everyone!”
5. Coleman & His Wife Founded the Lovewater Surf School in Santa Barbara
Matthew Taylor Coleman and his wife, Abigail Droogsma Coleman, founded the Lovewater Surf Co. in Santa Barbara, California, in 2011, according to its Instagram page. The company, with a motto of “for the love of surf,” offers surf lessons, after-school coaching and surf camps, according to the Instagram profile.
The company’s website says, “Since 2011, Lovewater Surf School has been inspiring families, travelers, couples and kids with a love for riding waves. Our family run, grassroots vibe combined with coaching expertise and a team of joyful hearts, have made us known for having the #1 surf lessons in Santa Barbara and Ventura, California. Lovewater Surf School’s Santa Barbara surfing lessons, nonprofit & corporate events, after-school programs and summer surf camps provide a little something for everyone, regardless of your past experience, age or skill level. See you in the water!” The website adds:
In 1981, in the heart of Santa Barbara, Matt was born to a small business owner father and a artist mother. Over his childhood he quickly adopted a love for the ocean. Whether it was surfing down at Hendry’s Beach, spearfishing Mesa Lane, or sailing to the Channel Islands with his family every summer, it became clear that the ocean was a playground that was always open and ready for adventure.
While spearfishing and sailing were both fun, surfing quickly became Matt’s passion. After years of competing on Point Loma’s National Champion surf team, he moved to San Sebastian, Spain where he taught english, befriended the Basque people, and found a launch pad for a surf mission to 20+ countries around Europe and the world.
After two years teaching and traveling, Matt returned to his hometown to pursue higher education, receiving his Masters from UCSB in 2009. With a desire to give back to his community, Matt went on to teach high school, coach a surf team, and spend 10 years directing a local non-profit which used surfing as means for mentoring the community’s youth.
After a decade working in education and the nonprofit sector, Matt finally took the step to found Lovewater Surf Co., a company committed to passing on the love of surfing to people of all ages, ethnicities and life backgrounds. Today, as experienced educators and mentors, Matt and Abby enjoy finding ways to better lives through surfing, experiential education and community based projects.
According to his Facebook profile, Coleman studied history at Point Loma Nazarene University and earned his master’s degree in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara. His wife, Abby Droogsma Coleman, is originally from Texas.
Along with his work at Lovewater Surf, Coleman was previously the chapter of the Christian Surfers United States’ Santa Barbara chapter, according to a 2009 newsletter. “His passion to serve comes from seeing himself in the young surfers, where he came from, the importance that CS role models played in his own life and a desire to pass on that heritage of serving Jesus in love,” the Christian Surfers newsletter says.