An American surfing school owner suspected of murdering his children in Baja California was arrested on Tuesday as he tried to re-enter the United States.
Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, the owner of a surf school in Santa Barbara, California, was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents as he was crossing from Tijuana to San Diego after the mother of the two children reported them missing.
Coleman traveled with his two children, a one-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy, to Rosarito on Sunday where he checked into the Hotel City Express. CCTV footage showed that he left the hotel with the children around 3 a.m. Monday. Around 6:30 a.m., he returned to the hotel alone.
An hour later, the children’s bodies were found in the undergrowth near El Descanso ranch, a little over 20 kilometers away from the hotel. The boy had been stabbed 17 times and the girl 12, Baja California Attorney General Hiram Sánchez Zamora told a press conference. The wounds were inflicted with a wooden stake and possibly a harpoon, Sánchez said.
Consulate authorities are processing the paperwork for the identification and return of the children’s bodies to the U.S. Coleman could be extradited and face murder charges in Mexico.