SoCal family with Bay Area ties deals with tragic loss after father fatally shot while camping

CALABASAS, Calif. (KGO) -- A camping death mystery in Southern California has devastated a family that was set to move to the Bay Area.

Tristan Beaudette, 35, was an accomplished scientist and loving father.

RELATED: Previous shootings reported at Calabasas park where father was killed

The Irvine resident and chemist was camping with his two daughters Friday morning at Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas when he died after being shot once in the upper body.

Neighbor Scott Blakeslee said he saw the family before they left on their trip. "They had their bikes on top of the car and ready to roll," recalled Blakeslee.

On Monday, investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office confirmed Beaudette was shot while in his tent as his 2 and 4-year-old daughters were inside.

Family members we reached out to say they're not ready to talk on camera. They describe Tristan as an avid outdoorsman who loved to camp.

RELATED: LASD investigating shooting death of man at family's campsite in Calabasas

Beaudette had ties to Northern California, having received his PhD from Berkeley. Relatives say the family was about to move to the Bay Area at the end of the month for new jobs.

A GoFundMe page to support his wife Erica and the two young girls is close to surpassing $100,000.

"I'm just literally devastated," said Blakeslee. "There's nothing you can describe losing a family member like that, particularly a family man like this."

There have been other shooting incidents in the area in the past but investigators say there is no evidence to suggest any of those are related to this killing. Some of the campsites will remain closed for the week as officials continue to search for a suspect and a motive.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Erica and their two daughters. Click here if you'd like to help.
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