The last time Emily Lambert was seen alive was around 11:30 Saturday night, and she was leaving the motel bar at the Best Western in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Lambert, a third-grade teacher at Richardson ISD's O'Henry Elementary, had traveled to New Mexico to spend the weekend her boyfriend. According to her parents, who spoke with her on the phone hours before her disappearance, she seemed to be having a good time.
Carlsbad police found Lambert's body on Tuesday afternoon in a deserted area just outside of town. It wasn't long after homicide investigators started poking around that their suspicions turned to her boyfriend, 33-year-old Robert Earley, who had filed the initial missing-person report.
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According to an arrest affidavit obtained by Fox 4, Earley and Lambert were fighting on Saturday night because a man had been hitting on Lambert at the bar.
It started as an argument but escalated into physical violence, police say. Lambert bit Earley; Earley punched and kicked her until she lost consciousness. The fight resumed when she woke up, and he struck her several times over the head with an air pump. Then, he looped a rope around Lambert's neck, wedged the other end into the car door, then dragged her to the spot where she was later found.
Earley was arrested at 1 a.m. Wednesday on charges of murder and tampering with evidence. He's currently being held on a $1 million, cash-only bond.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.