The Father Slept in a Tent at a Campsite With His Daughters Then They Got Drenched in His Blood

The tragic case of Tristan Beaudette

Tristan and Erica Beaudette with their two daughters at the beach — image from

It was early in the morning.

There was an unusual knock on Erica’s door. Erica opened the door. Then, she received gut-wrenching news that completely shattered her life.

Tristan was found bleeding inside his tent. His two daughters were drenched in his blood.

“Deputies say they found him bleeding and dying inside his tent. His two and four-year-old daughters were with him but unhurt. His death in a tent with his toddler daughters nearby is so devastating and so puzzling.”

Tristan Was an Outdoorsman

Tristan Beaudette was a thirty-five-year-old avid outdoorsman from Orange County, California.

He lived with his wife, Erica Wu. The couple had two young daughters, who were two and four. Tristan loved anything outdoors, whether going to the beach, hiking, camping, etc.

Outdoors was his happy place. His two daughters both fell in love with nature and adventure just like their father.

Erica, on the other hand, was quite the opposite.

The two met in high school through mutual friends. Tristan didn’t have a date for a school dance. So the friends paired him up with Erica. And Tristan went out of his way to give Erica a good time at the dance.

Thereafter the two began dating.

They were inseparable.

Erica went to study at Stanford University. She became a doctor.

Tristan became an accomplished polymer chemist who held a patent related to vaccine delivery. And even with all the accolades, he was still a humble man.

The Beaudette Family Went Out on Father’s Day

The Beaudette Family (Tristan, Erica, and their two daughters) — Undated image from

It was Father’s Day 2018.

Tristan and Erica, along with their daughters, went out to enjoy the day at the beach.

Erica was by herself, sitting in a beach chair, reading a book. Tristan and the girls dug in the sand and made sand castles.

At certain points, Tristan and the girls got up and ran to the water before they ran back to shore, trying to escape the waves.

The laughter and squeals were evidence that they were having so much fun.

Erica felt content and happy to share such a moment.

But remember, Erica was the opposite of Tristan regarding the outdoors. She was often anxious about things going wrong. And it all started when she lost her father as a child.

The experience was very traumatic for her.

So Erica developed paranoia.

She believed that her life could be ruined by something horrible at any moment, no matter how good it appeared.

However, in the beach moment, Erica shoved her paranoia aside. She put her book down, got up, and ran into the waves to be with her family.

Little did she know that something terrible would happen a few days later.

Tristan and the Girls Went Camping

The date was June 21st, 2018, a few days after Father’s Day.

Tristan and the girls packed up and headed to a beautiful campground in Malibu, California, for a summer weekend of fun, hiking, camping, and adventure.

Erica stayed behind because she was studying for a major exam.

Meanwhile, Tristan and Erica looked forward to relocating to San Francisco Bay Area in about a week.

Erica’s instincts had warned her that something was going to go wrong. And she hoped that her husband would cancel the trip.

But Tristan assured her that the campsite was very safe.

And there would be other people around nearby.

Tristan and the girls soon arrived in Malibu. Then Tristan called his brother-in-law, Scott McCurdy. Scott had two little boys. And they were all going to go camping for the weekend together.

Erica woke up early the next morning.

She was nervous about the exam but also felt anxious for her husband and children. Then Erica heard a knock. It was too early for anyone to knock on her door.

Erica opened her front door.

She knew something was wrong as soon as she saw who was standing there.

It was her elder sister. She looked exhausted and upset. And she gave Erica heartbreaking news.

Erica ended up not taking her exam that day.

She got into the car with her sister, and they drove to Malibu.

What Had Happened?

Tristan, Scott, along with their children arrived at the entrance of Malibu Creek State Park.

They checked in with the park rangers. Then they were directed to their respective campground, which they had booked earlier.

Tristan and Scott got to their designated spot. But Tristan quickly realized their spot wasn’t as good as they’d envisioned.

It was located right near the portable toilets. There was a lot of foot traffic in front of their site. Then the site was also on a slope.

Tristan and Scott talked to the park rangers. The rangers agreed to change their campsite.

Tristan and Scott got a perfect spot tucked away at the base of a huge canyon.

There were no portable toilets nearby hence no foot traffic. And the land was also flat. So the two men pitched their tents while their children ran around playing.

Scott and Tristan then lit a big fire in a pit between their two respective tents.

Then everyone sat around the fire. They grilled hot dogs and made s’mores. The two dads told funny jokes and creepy stories to the children.

Before long, the children were exhausted.

Scott and Tristan put their children to rest in their respective tents. Then the two men shared cocktails around the fire.

Tristan and Scott Later Retired to Their Tents

Scott shared his tent with his two sons, while Tristan shared his tent with his two daughters.

Scott suddenly woke up before sunrise the next day. He had heard a loud sound but couldn’t comprehend what it was.

Then Scott heard one of Tristan’s daughters crying. Tristan’s daughter kept crying, so Scott checked what was happening.

Scott walked over to Tristan’s tent and called for Tristan to wake up to comfort his daughter. But Tristan didn’t respond.

So he opened Tristan’s tent.

It was still a little dark; Scott couldn’t see properly. But he could tell that Tristan was still sleeping right in the middle of the tent.

His daughters were both awake and sat positioned on the two sides of their father.

When they saw Scott, they just started saying, “Wet, wet, wet.”

Scott shook Tristan to wake him up. That’s when he realized that Tristan wasn’t sleeping. He was dead.

His two little girls were sitting in a pool of his blood.

It turned out that someone had fired a gun at Tristan’s tent. One of the bullets shot Tristan in the head.

A few hours after Tristan was murdered, Erica’s sister showed up at the door to tell Erica the devastating news.

The Aftermath

A forty-two-year-old man named Anthony Rauda was arrested and charged with Tristan’s murder.

Anthony had a long criminal record.

He was living illegally in the park at the time of Tristan’s murder. And he was found in possession of a gun that matched the one used to kill Tristan.

It’s believed that Tristan’s murder was random.

It was discovered that this shooting was not the first in/around the camp. There were about six other shootings prior.

Two of these happened at the camp where Tristan was killed. The shooters were never caught because the police just didn’t investigate.

So Anthony would also be charged with the other shootings. His trial is still ongoing.

Erica takes a day off and lets her daughters miss school on each of Tristan’s lifedays. Then the trio spends the day doing something Tristan would’ve loved.

Sources: MrBallen,