Somewhere between the births of his two children and their murders in Mexico, Matthew Taylor Coleman went from a devout Christian praising God to an alleged follower of QAnon enlightened by the Illuminati.
The 40-year-old California surfing instructor welcomed his daughter Roxy Rain into the world last October with an Instagram post declaring she was "handpicked by God to slay the giants in the land".
About 10-months later, Mr Coleman allegedly stabbed to death Roxy and her two-year-old brother, Kaelo, for possessing "serpent DNA" passed down from their mother that would see them grow into "monsters".
“He knew it was wrong, but [said] it was the only course of action that would save the world," the FBI criminal complaint stated.
While the arrest affidavit didn’t go into further detail on his "enlightenment" by QAnon and the Illuminati, their references in connection to monsters and "serpent DNA" align with the "lizard people" conspiracy.
The lizard-people conspiracy, also embraced by the Nashville bomber who exploded his RV in a downtown street on Christmas Day 2020, claims blood-drinking reptilian humanoids have controlled the world for centuries since they established the Illuminati.
While the lizard people conspiracy predates QAnon, it was embraced and adopted by followers of Q after the election of Donald Trump, who they believe was chosen to battle the deep state cabal of blood-drinking paedophiles who control the world.
“Q” first appeared in obscure online messaging boards like 4Chan with so-called “Q-drops”, cryptic messages purporting to be from either a senior intelligence officer within the White House or Mr Trump himself.
As it has grown in popularity and entered the mainstream consciousness, QAnon has absorbed previously existing conspiracies – like the lizard people or JFK Jr faking his death – into its expanding doctrine.
Mr Coleman has made little mention of either group or conspiracy across his social media accounts since the birth of his children.
Instead, he expressed hope in God and compared the US political climate and global pandemic to the "Dark Ages" ahead of the "illuminated creative explosion" of the Renaissance.
"While worshipping with friends this weekend, I had an unexpected wave of thoughts and images come over me... which well, brought me a lot of hope," he wrote on 23 November 2020.
"What if there is a type of Great American Renaissance following the years of Covid, censorship, and political divisiveness."
At some point, his thoughts appeared to change from God and the Renaissance to "receiving visions and signs" revealing his wife, Abby Coleman, had become possessed by serpent DNA.
Ms Coleman reported her husband and children missing on Sunday, 10 August, after he left the day before without saying where they were going and hadn’t contacted her, according to Santa Barbara Police Department.
They hadn’t had "any sort of argument" and she wasn’t worried that they were in any danger or her husband would do harm, according to the affidavit.
Using Ms Coleman’s "Find my iPhone" app, authorities tracked Coleman’s phone travelling between Rosarito, Mexico and San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego.
The father and children stayed at the City Express Hotel in Rosarito, according to Telemundo 20.
Investigators say that Coleman was seen on hotel surveillance video checking in with two children on Saturday. He was next seen leaving the hotel before dawn on Monday and later returning alone to check out.
While US police headed to the border to conduct a missing person search, Mexican authorities were separately responding to the discovery of "tiny" bodies near a ranch in Baja California.
Rancho Del Cielo welcomes “missionaries from around the world who come to our state with the intention of establishing the kingdom of heavens of Jesus Christ on earth”.
A farmworker said he was shocked to see blood splatter after outside his home on Monday. As he was looking around, one of his dogs led him "two small bodies", one of them still in diapers.
The boy was found stabbed 17 times, while the girl was stabbed 12 times. A bloody wooden stake was found near the bodies, according to the Baja Attorney General Hiram Sanchez.
“To be honest, I teared up. And I immediately notified my manager to call the police to come investigate,” the man, who did not want to be named, told Border Report.
“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 was stopped by authorities as he tried to return to the US at the Tijuana border on Monday. When the FBI learned he was alone and without his children, they contacted their Mexican counterparts and learned of the two dead bodies matching the description of Kaelo and Roxy.
When confronted by authorities, Coleman allegedly confessed to the killing.
According to the affidavit, he had driven to Mexico on Saturday, saying he put the child in a box as the vehicle didn’t have a baby seat.
On Monday at about 5 am, he drove to a road near Rancho Del Cielo, and first stabbed his daughter with a spearfishing gun in the heart, the FBI report stated.
Coleman told officers that the little girl didn’t die immediately, and so he had to “move the spear around”.
He says he then moved the children’s bodies about 30 years away into some brush. They were discovered by the farmworker about three hours later.
He allegedly drove a couple of miles to discard the murder weapon near a creek, while throwing bloody clothes in a trash bin on a road near Tijuana.
Coleman later told prison guards at Santa Ana County Jail that he cut his hand "hurting his children", according to investigators.
Following the deaths, locals who knew the family in their hometown of Santa Barbara expressed their grief and deep shock.
The couple owned the well-known Lovewater Surf School in California. Coleman "seemed pretty cool" to a local surfer, Patrick Woods.
"He surfed out at one of the local breaks near UC Santa Barbara,” Mr Woods told The Daily Beast. “I’ve surfed with him a couple of times and I’ve never had any problems with him, He seemed like he had it together, seemed all there mentally—definitely not someone to, like, travel somewhere and then murder his kids. It’s a total mind-bender.”
US and Mexican authorities are working to repatriate the bodies of the two children.