Tristan Beaudette was fatally shot next to his young daughters while they were camping last month in California's Malibu Creek State Park

By Christine Pelisek
August 01, 2018 10:59 AM

Gary Beaudette will do anything to see his nephew’s killer caught.

A $30,000 reward was announced earlier this month seeking information in the mysterious death of 35-year-old Tristan Beaudette — who was fatally shot next to his young daughters while they were camping last month in California.

But Gary hopes that more money from the city of Malibu or the county of Los Angeles will become available to entice someone to step forward and help solve the case.

“I really want to catch this person,” Gary tells PEOPLE. “Probably 10 times a day I think about it and those little girls. It tears me up. That is why I feel like I owe him and try to find out who did this.”

“Someone knows something,” he adds. “How much would it take to have a buddy snitch on another buddy? If the reward is high enough, someone is going to snitch on somebody.”

Authorities say Tristan was shot in the head while inside his tent in the early morning hours of June 22 during a camping trip with his kids at Malibu Creek State Park. His two daughters, ages 2 and 4, were in the tent with him but were uninjured.

RELATED: Murder of Young Father Next to His Daughters at Campground ‘Sounded like Four Shots,’ Camper Says

Tristan’s uncle says catching the culprit will prevent “another family going through what we are going through.”

Gary is also hoping that campers there that day will share pictures they took that may have captured crucial clues: “A lot of people take a lot of photos nowadays. Maybe someone was behind when they were taking a picture of their kid who shouldn’t have been there.”

In addition to the reward announced this month, put forward by the City of Malibu and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, investigators last week said they had developed “valuable information” about the killing of the California scientist.

Investigators have also been looking into a possible connection between the homicide and previous reports of gunfire in the area in the last two years, though no tie has been established.

A motive or suspect remains unknown.

Tristan Beaudette (right) with his family
GofundMe

Like Tristan’s uncle, his wife has also urged people to speak with police if they know something.

Calling her husband’s death a “senseless loss,” Erica Wu said in a recent statement that “I may never understand why our time together was cut short, but we had an incredible journey and I am so grateful for every day I had with him.”

The night he was killed, Tristan — who had worked as a researcher at Allergan, a pharmaceutical company — was camping with his girls at the park while Wu, a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Irvine, stayed home to study for an upcoming exam.

RELATED: Young Father’s Murder in a Campground Baffles Police — and Rattles the Community

“We met when we were teenagers, grew up together, married, and had two amazing and beautiful daughters. In everything that he did, Tristan was kind, selfless, and giving, and had a natural ability to connect with just about anyone,” Wu said in her statement.

She continued: “Tristan rejoiced in sharing his love of the outdoors with the girls and believed that campgrounds were the definition of a sanctuary where people could feel safe and secure.”

Tristan Beaudette and his two daughters
Courtesy Beaudette Family

Gary Beaudette describes his nephew’s death as a “nightmare” for their family.

“Tristan was such a great person,” he says. “The thing about Tristan is he was brilliant. That’s not how he acted. He was so down to earth. He was everything you heard: a great dad, a great father, a great son.”

The circumstances of Tristan’s death are unfathomable to Gary.

“I don’t know if they will find a motive,” he says. “[Tristan] didn’t have any enemies. He was a peacekeeper. He had so much going for him. He never got into trouble — worked hard at school, worked hard at work.”

As the days pass into weeks, and soon months, without resolution, Gary says he is fearful the case will turn cold.

“Someone has got to know something,” he says. “I go from sad to angry to very angry. It wasn’t just the family that lost someone special. What a loss to everybody.”

He vows: “I won’t let it go.”

Anyone with information on Tristan Beaudette’s murder or other shootings at Malibu Creek State Park should contact the homicide bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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