A Florida man who claimed to authorities his wife disappeared over a month ago is now accused of murdering her and disposing of the body, authorities said.
During the course of the investigation, however, detectives learned Wanda and Ernest Gordon and their three children arrived home from Fort Lauderdale Beach just before 1 a.m. on Nov. 5, deputies said.
Detectives obtained a historical data search warrant for Wanda Gordon's phone and allegedly tracked the device leaving the couple’s residence around 4 a.m. the day of their return to a rural area near the Broward County and Palm Beach County line, where it remained until shortly before 5 a.m.
During that time, authorities said, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer working off-duty security at a restricted construction site stopped Ernest Gordon, who was driving a GMC pickup truck with garbage bags in the bed.
"The officer ran the license plate and eventually identified the driver as Ernest Gordon," the sheriff's office said, adding that the FWC officer told the suspect "sometimes people come to the location and dump their garbage."
The officer then allegedly took a picture of the trash bags in the back of Ernest Gordon's GMC pick-up truck and let him go with a warning about illegal dumping.
Wanda Gordon’s phone data shows it next traveled to a rural area in Tamarac, where investigators searched a heavily wooded area on Dec. 2 and 3.
“Following the extensive search in sometimes waist-deep muddy water, investigators recovered the victim’s cell phone and discovered skeletal remains and several articles of clothing,” the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said.
Officials said the murder suspect has denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance and death.