A California man is behind bars after police say he brutally murdered his own children with a wooden stake in Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents detained 40-year-old Matthew Taylor Coleman, of Santa Barbara, as he attempted to cross the U.S./Mexico border on Monday. Earlier that morning, the bodies of Coleman’s two children, Kaleo, 3, and Roxy, 10 months, were found on a Mexico farm.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Coleman’s wife and the children’s mother, Abby Coleman, reported her family missing on Sunday after they had been gone for 24 hours without contacting her. Police contacted the FBI after they “developed a theory” that Coleman and children were likely in 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,” an FBI spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. “Currently the adult male is in federal custody and the investigation is continuing.”
Investigators said that a farmworker discovered the children’s bodies at an El Descanso ranch, located near marker 55.4, in between Tijuana and Ensenada. Baja California (Mexican state) prosecutor Hiram Sánchez Zamora said that infant Roxy had been stabbed at least 12 times in between her neck and abdomen.
“To be honest, I teared up. And I immediately notified my manager to call the police to come investigate,” the farmhand said. “I was scared and sad because these are tiny children who don’t know any better. Hopefully, they find whoever is responsible because this is a terrible thing.”
Coleman allegedly stabbed Kaleo 17 times in the same area.
Baja California’s State Security agents, and Investigation Guard agents alerted U.S. authorities that Coleman could be trying to make his way back into the country. U.S. border officers found him at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. He was taken into custody without incident.
Mexican and U.S. officials are working together to return the children’s bodies home to California. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Kaleo and Roxy/Instagram]