Two Minnesota men found in an apparent murder-suicide on Lopez were part of a criminal investigation involving a 16-year-old boy.
Aric Babbitt, 40, and his husband Matthew Deyo, 36, were found dead on Aug. 25 on the beach at the 3500 block of Fisherman Bay Road, which is near Lopez Village. The cause of death for both individuals was from gunshot wounds.
According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Babbitt was on paid leave from his teaching position at Lincoln Center Elementary in South St. Paul, Minn., and the school district was conducting its own an investigation into alleged sexual activity with a minor.
According to Dakota County court documents, a 16-year-old boy and his parents reported sexual assault to the local police department on Aug. 14. The victim turned in polaroids of him naked with Babbitt, who he described to police as his former teacher, volunteer work supervisor and mentor. The 16-year-old reported that Babbitt agreed to become his mentor when he came out as gay to his family.
Court documents state that in April, Babbitt and Deyo offered to take the 16-year-old to a jazz concert and treat him to a hotel stay. At the hotel room, the victim told police that he was given marijuana and alcohol and instead of going to the concert, they all had sex. Another sexual incident allegedly occurred a few weeks later.
According to the victim, the two men asked the boy and his friend to follow them on the social networking site Tumblr, where there were nude photos of Babbitt and masturbation videos. They also allegedly gave him a password for their porn subscription.
Police also interviewed a third victim, who said he was sexually assaulted by Deyo as Babbitt watched.
After obtaining a search warrant of the couple’s St. Paul home on Aug. 16, officers found a camera hidden in a bathroom clock.
According to the Pioneer Press, on the day of the search “investigators attempted to speak with Deyo and Babbitt and explain the nature of the investigation; neither agreed to provide a statement.”
Murder-suicide on Lopez
After the bodies were found on Aug. 25, deputies went door to door in the neighborhood and witnesses reported hearing two gun shots the night before around 8:30 p.m.
A suicide note was found stating both of the deceased had visited Lopez Island years ago with their dog and loved the island.
According to San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs, the incident is currently classified as a murder-suicide because one person executed the shooting. The sheriff said he is fairly confident that he will be able to make an official ruling as to the cause of both deaths after he hears back from the medical examiner.
“We’ll get to the bottom of it, once we start getting more information,” said Krebs.
Autopsies will be conducted by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office.