A South St. Paul, Minnesota elementary school teacher and his gay spouse died in a murder-suicide after a teenager accused them of sex abuse.
The bodies of Aric Babbitt, 40, and Matthew Deyo, 36, were found on a beach on Lopez Island on August 25.
Police say Babbitt was shot dead by Deyo who then turned the gun on himself.
Both men were under investigation for sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy. The boy told police Babbitt, a teacher at Lincoln Elementary School, became his mentor after he came out as gay to his family.
On Aug. 14, the teen went to police and alleged that Babbitt and Deyo bought him underwear gifts, plied him with alcohol and had sex with him.
The boy said he didn’t want to have sex with the men but he was unsure how to say no.
The boy provided police with a Polaroid photo of himself naked with Babbitt.
At least 2 other teens came forward to say the 2 men preyed on them.
Police executed a search warrant at the mens’ South St. Paul home on Aug. 16.
The search turned up a hidden camera in one of the bathrooms and a computer folder marked “Kiddies”, according to the Star Tribune.
Babbitt was suspended from his teaching position pending the outcome of the investigation. He was hired by the school district in 2002.
On Aug. 24, the men borrowed a gun and ammunition from Deyo’s brother. Then they flew to Lopez Island in Washington State.
A kayaker discovered their bodies on the beach the next day. Both men had been shot in the head.
A gun was recovered near the bodies along with a suicide note. Police declined to reveal the contents of the note to reporters.
But Babbitt’s sister, Sara, said the family received text messages and a letter from Babbitt, saying suicide was “best for them”.
“We received a letter from them in the mail yesterday,” she told Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
“We are all devastated and in a lot of pain.”
Babbitt’s father, Dana, told the Pioneer Press, “We are devastated by the pain and suffering they have caused, and we pray for the healing of those families involved.”
When pressed for an additional comment, Dana Babbitt said, “We’re going through hell. This is a complete shock to us.”