Neola Robinson told police that she'd last seen her husband on Memorial Day 2010, when he'd left their Tarrant County home and run off with another woman. That wasn't entirely far-fetched. Ervin "Shorty" Robinson had already been married several times when he and Neola got together. Still, something about the story just didn't seem right.
"For him to disappear is not like him at all," the co-owner of TJ Machine & Tool in Azle, where Robinson worked as a welder, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram after filing a missing persons report two weeks after he failed to show up for work. "His work was his life. He has a 401(k), a paycheck and tools here."
Add to that the fact that he'd left behind his money, clothes, and Harley, and everyone who knew him -- his sister, his co-workers, his friends at the local bar he'd been frequenting for years -- knew there'd been foul play.
They were right. The Texas Rangers revealed this week that Robinson had not, in fact, run off with another woman. He'd never really even left the mobile home he shared with Neola in Pelican Bay, a half hour northwest of Fort Worth. They found his body Tuesday, buried in the couple's front yard.
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Law enforcement officials aren't saying yet exactly how or why Robinson was killed, just that his wife did it. Texas Rangers arrested 62-year-old Neona Robinson on a murder charge. She's being held in the Tarrant County Jail on a $150,000 bond.
The reaction of neighbors was mixed. "I actually heard her tell someone at a bar, 'You shouldn't sit by me, I might kill ya,'" one neighbor told the Star-Telegram. "She laughed, then everybody pretty much just stopped talking to her."
Another wasn't so sure Robinson had it in her. "How was it that this handicapped woman was able to dig a hole big enough to bury a body, let along drag a body to it, and in the front yard? And then for it to go unnoticed for three years?"
Crazier things have happened.