Friends mourn loss of Texas teacher

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – Carlsbad Police say a teacher was murdered by her own boyfriend.

The victim is Emily Lambert, a 30-year-old teacher and mother of two, from Dallas.

The suspect is Robert Earley, 33, who had just moved to Carlsbad to work in the oil fields.

Police say Earley, the same man who reported his girlfriend, Lambert, missing from their hotel Sunday is now charged with killing her.

“It was a brutal murder,” said Carlsbad Police Captain Jarod Florez.

Flores said Earley and Lambert got into a fight after drinking at a bar at the Carlsbad’s Best Western Steven’s Inn on Saturday night.

Detectives say Earley punched and kicked his girlfriend, the mother of two young girls, until she was unconscious then loaded her body into his car and took her to a deserted area off Highway 31 near Loving.

According to the arrest warrant, Lambert woke up and tried to fight Earley.

That’s when he allegedly hit her with an air pump, then tied a rope around her neck and dragged her behind his car until she died.

Police say they found Lambert face down wearing only a bra in a field that is about 10 miles from the hotel she was reported missing from Saturday.

Investigators say Sunday morning, Earley went back to make sure Lambert was dead.

On Tuesday night, he led police to Lambert’s body and the area where he dumped her clothes.

“For someone to stumble across a crime scene such as that, it would be disturbing,” said Florez.

Lamberts family says she had been dating Earley for about four months and was in town visiting him.

They say they never had any reason to believe she was in danger.

“I mean, we know him, we met him, had dinner with him. So we don’t know. No, we don’t really have any reason to believe that he’s being untruthful,” said Lambert’s mom Donna Koenig.

Carlsbad law enforcement wants Lambert’s family to know they are thinking of them.

“It’s a tragic event and we give our condolences to the family,” said Florez.

Parents, students and Lambert’s co-workers are in shock. They say she was a well-liked, devoted, fun teacher.

“She was a very, very involved teacher and it’s a very dear loss,” said Monica Alford, a friend of Lambert. “I just keep thinking about her kids. Her kids attend school here and now they have to grow up without a mom.”

“She loved her students,” said O’Henry Elementary School principal Glenda Howell. “She’s a part of our family and so, when part of your family has been lost, it’s very disheartening.”

Howell also said Lambert was “bubbly, very vivacious, always had a smile on her face. In the words of her children, she was nice and they thought she was fun.”

Police say Earley originally told detectives he and Lambert got into an argument at the hotel bar. He said she walked out and he never saw her again.

Earley appeared in court Wednesday and is being held on a $1 million bond.

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