The Los Angeles Times describes the campground at Malibu Creek State Park as a popular one "frequented by hikers." On Friday it was also the scene of what police believe was a homicide. Tristan Beaudette, 35, was shot dead around 4:45am in the presence of his 2- and 4-year-old daughters, who were unharmed. "The theory we are working with is he was shot inside the tent," says Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Rodney Moore. "The children were inside the tent, too." Officials say he was struck at least once in the upper torso. The Malibu Times reports Beaudette was a scientist employed by a pharmaceutical company who had gotten his PhD in chemistry from UC Berkeley. His wife Erica, a doctor, was preparing to take an exam on Saturday morning.
A GoFundMe started for the family, which has raised $66,000 as of this writing, says "this was their final step before taking well-deserved time off together as a family prior to their relocation to new jobs in the Bay Area." CBS Los Angeles reports that police have no suspect or motive. A statement from the family reads in part: "Tristan was happiest out in nature, and spent every chance he could hiking, biking, snowboarding and camping with his family. Married to his high school sweetheart, Tristan was a supportive and generous husband, a full partner in every sense of the word. ... The grief and trauma this loss has caused our close-knit family is indescribable." (Read more camping stories.)