Matthew Taylor Coleman and his family were packing for a camping trip on August 7 when he decided to take his two kids away from their Santa Barbara home and murder them.
His wife, Abby, is now seeking answers.
Abby, 35, proceeded to call the police, as she was left at home. She informed authorities how she and her husband had not been arguing and that there was no marital strife, according to the FBI’s report. She then informed cops that she did not believe that the children were in any danger, and that she believed Coleman would eventually return home with the kids (Kaleo, 2, and Roxy, 10 months).
Police say Coleman, a 40-year-old surfing instructor, took the children into Mexico in the car. Authorities allege how two days later, he took the kids to a ranch, where he killed them with a spearfishing gun and returned to his hotel hours later. He was promptly arrested when he attempted to cross the border back into the United States.
Abby now is wondering what set her husband off and led him to commit such atrocities to their family.
“Abby is devastated,” a family friend tells PEOPLE in its latest issue, on stands this week. “She is confused, stunned and just destroyed inside. She never had any idea he thought all these things. She thinks he just snapped. Something must have happened in his brain.”
Coleman allegedly told police he was motivated by the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to charging documents. These incorrect beliefs allege Donald Trump has secretly been fighting a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles at the highest levels of political power and influence.
In the 10-page complaint that was filed in the U.S. District Court last Wednesday — FBI special agent Jennifer Bannon wrote that Coleman claimed to be “enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife, A.C., possessed serpent DNA and had passed it on to his children.”
“M. Coleman stated that he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them,” Bannon wrote.
Coleman is now being held in protective custody in an undisclosed federal prison. His wife just wants to understand what happened.
“She hopes to be able to ask him for answers face to face someday,” says the friend, “but for now, she’s just grieving. We all are. It’s an absolute nightmare.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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