The Euless boyfriend of a Richardson first-grade teacher who was found dead this week on a New Mexico ranch beat her and dragged her body with a rope secured to his car, according to a New Mexico criminal complaint obtained by the Star-Telegram on Wednesday.
Robert Glenn Earley, an oil-field worker, was arrested early Wednesday just hours after the partially clad body of Emily Rebecca Lambert, 30, was found near Loving, N.M., southeast of Carlsbad.
Earley, 33, who was in the Carlsbad area working for Advanced Solids Control, had reported Lambert missing on Sunday.
He was in the Eddy County jail in Carlsbad Wednesday night with bail set at $1 million. He faces charges of murder, tampering with evidence and being a fugitive from justice, authorities said.
Lambert was a first-grade teacher at O Henry Elementary in Garland, which is in the Richardson school district. She was in her first year of teaching, a district spokesman said. She has two daughters, 4 and 5, from a previous marriage, according to a TV report.
In an interview with KDFW/Channel 4, Lambert’s parents said she and Earley had been dating just a few months.
Earley told investigators who interviewed him on Tuesday that Lambert arrived in Carlsbad to visit him about 11:30 a.m. Friday. They spent the day together and had a few drinks at the Blue Cactus Lounge in the hotel where he was staying.
On Saturday, the couple went to Carlsbad Cavern, ate at a restaurant in Roswell, N.M., and stopped to look at a rig site between Roswell and Artesia.
When they got back to Carlsbad Saturday afternoon, Earley stopped at a mall and bought Lambert a see-through black dress.
She wore the dress to the hotel bar late Saturday night where the couple argued after a man flirted with her, Earley told investigators.
In his initial interview, Earley said that after leaving the bar, the two argued in the parking lot and she later got into a truck with another man. Earley said he got into his Hyundai Elantra and pursued them.
At some point, Earley said, the truck stopped and a man got out armed with a pipe wrench. The man swung the wrench at Earley, but Lambert, who also had gotten out of the truck, was hit in the face.
Earley told detectives that he got back into his car and drove away.
They asked Earley if he would take them to the place where the vehicles had stopped and Lambert had been hit, and he agreed. He took them to a ranch on Potash Mines Road near Loving. That evening, detectives found Lambert’s body behind a barn.
Earley then changed his story, telling detectives that after the pair left the bar early Sunday, they fought. She bit him, and Earley punched and kicked her several times in the mouth. She lost consciousness.
Earley picked her up, loaded her into his car and drove toward the ranch. When Lambert regained consciousness and began fighting with Earley, he said, he hit her with an air pump several times, knocking her out again.
He then took a rope and looped it around Lambert’s neck, put her body out of the car and with the rope caught in the passenger door, dragged the body to the ranch.
Earley told detectives he drove back a few hours later to see if she was alive but found her dead, according to the complaint.
He reported her missing at 12:10 p.m. Sunday and later called her parents to say she was missing.
Earley was arrested about 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Earley’s criminal history in Tarrant County, dating to 2000, includes misdemeanor convictions for evading arrest or detention, theft (two), driving while intoxicated, making a false report to police and failing to identify as a fugitive (two).
Earley also has two state jail felony convictions for theft of property and one for DWI, court records show.
Two additional cases were filed in January and haven’t gone to court, records show. On Jan. 29, he was arrested in Hurst on suspicion of DWI and possession of a controlled substance under 1 gram. The court records show bail was set at $10,000 for the DWI charge and $5,000 for the drug charge.
Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.