Aric Babbitt, 40, and 36-year-old Matthew Deyo died in a “murder-suicide” after being put under investigation over allegations of sexual contact with several boys.
Police attempted to speak to the couple at their home in South St Paul, Minnesota, USA, after a 16-year-old boy claimed he was involved in a sexual relationship with them.
However, neither man provided a statement – and it is reported they instead borrowed Deyo’s brother’s gun and left the city.
Nine days later, after the couple failed to contact family for over a week, a kayaker discovered their bodies on a beach on Lopez Island, Washington – almost 2,000 miles away – with both having suffered gunshot wounds to the head.
The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that coroner Randall Gaylord has since ruled Deyo shot his husband, before turning the gun on himself on August 24.
A suicide note was reportedly found alongside the bodies – and Babbitt’s sister, Sara, later revealed the family had received a letter from the pair.
In a text message sent to loved ones, she reportedly alluded to the sexual abuse investigation – saying the pair “felt like they didn’t have an out and ending their lives was best for them”.
She said: “We received a letter from them in the mail yesterday.
“We are all devastated and in a lot of pain.”
Babbitt and Deyo had not been charged with any crime, but were being investigated after their alleged victim went to police on August 14.
The teenager, who cannot be named, claimed the couple bought him gifts and had sex with him – while Babbitt, who taught children as young as six, had agreed to mentor him when he came out as gay to his family.
Documents seen by the Star Tribune also revealed the boy said the pair gave him underwear and took him to a jazz concert and handed over pictures of himself naked with Babbitt, telling police he didn’t want ‘to do this, but felt unsure about how to say no’.
At least two other victims also reportedly came forward – and Babbitt was suspended from his teaching role.
During a subsequent search of the couple’s home, officials also found a hidden camera in the bathroom and a computer folder named ‘Kiddies’.
The coroner recorded a verdict of murder in Babbitt’s death, while Deyo was ruled to have died by suicide.
The investigation into the alleged sexual abuse is ongoing.