By Jermaine Ong
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A Santa Barbara man accused of taking his two young children to Mexico and killing them was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, federal authorities announced.
Matthew Taylor Coleman was arrested while trying to enter the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Aug. 10, authorities said.
Coleman, 40, is accused of killing his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter in Rosarito on Aug. 9. On Wednesday, he was indicted on two counts of foreign first-degree murder of United States nationals.
According to federal authorities, the charges against Coleman make him eligible for the death penalty. The U.S. Attorney General will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later date.
On Monday, Aug. 9, authorities said Coleman left the hotel at about 3 a.m. with all his luggage and two children. During that time, authorities believe Coleman drove about 18 miles away to a ranch in the area of Primo Tapia. There, authorities said he attacked his children, before moving them about 32 feet away and leaving them.
Authorities said he left the children there and returned to the hotel the same day at about 9:30 a.m.
At about 7:30 a.m. the following day, an employee at the Cardoso Ranch in El Descanso discovered blood spots leading to the children’s bodies. Police arrived at the scene to find the children’s bodies hidden under some bushes. The children had been stabbed several times each, the Baja California State Attorney General said.
According to court documents, Coleman’s wife contacted police on Saturday, stating she was not worried about the children safety, but was concerned that her husband had not brought a car seat.
The next day, Coleman’s wife used the ‘Find My Iphone’ app and was able to determine that Coleman’s phone had been in Rosarito.
Federal authorities said, the same phone-locating service was used on Monday and showed that Coleman’s phone was near the San Ysidro Port of Entry. FBI agents took Coleman into custody that day.
This story was originally published September 8, 2021, by KGTV in San Diego, an E.W. Scripps Company.