A father from Santa Barbara, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for taking his two young children to Rosarito, Mexico, and killing them with a fishing spear last month.
Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, was charged with two counts of foreign first-degree murder of U.S. nationals. By law, the charges are eligible for the death penalty, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a release.
The attorney general will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later date.
Coleman allegedly killed his 2-year-old son and 10-month old daughter on Aug. 9 with a fishing spear because he "believed his children were going to grow into monsters," according to federal prosecutors.
Coleman previously was charged with the same crimes in a federal complaint filed in Los Angeles. Prosecutors intend to dismiss that complaint. Coleman is expected to make his initial court appearance on the indictment Thursday in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.
Coleman will appear in the United States District Court in San Diego, where the case will be prosecuted. The date has not been released.
You can read the full indictment below:
According to a federal complaint, Coleman admitted to the brutal killing of his two children in a Mirandaed interview, where he referenced conspiracy theories from QAnon and the Illuminati.
He told investigators that killing his children "was the only course of action that would save the world" because his wife "possessed serpent DNA" and had passed it on to his children, according to the complaint.
The two children — also U.S. citizens from Santa Barbara — were found on the Rancho Del Descanso property, in an agricultural community about 35 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. A ranch worker discovered the bodies after his dog led him to the area, according to Mexican authorities.
“The murder of a child is difficult to understand under any circumstances,” said Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “I’m proud of the quick investigative efforts by FBI Agents, the Santa Barbara Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and our Mexican counterparts which led to the arrest of Mr. Coleman as he entered the United States, and I look forward to delivering justice for the young victims and their family.”
The FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Santa Barbara Police Department are investigating this incident.