Hours before police could arrest a South Florida doctor for the brutal murder and mutilation of his ex-wife, detectives witnessed his family carry his lifeless body out of a Miami home after an apparent drug overdose.
The headless body of Kimberly Lindsey, 49, a school nurse, was found in a sugarcane field in Clewiston, Fla. on Friday after she was reported missing five days earlier, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Palm Beach Post. She had also been shot in the chest and her fingertips cut off.
"This is one of the more heinous crimes I've seen in a while," Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at a press conference, adding that Lindsey's head and fingertips have not yet been found.
Authorities say Lindsey did not show up for work at West Palm Beach’s Bak Middle School of the Arts on Monday, prompting police to visit her home where they found significant blood indicating foul play.
Based on DNA evidence, police soon began 24-hour surveillance on her ex-husband, Albert Lambert, 52, an emergency room physician.
On Sunday, undercover detectives saw Lambert's sister and boyfriend attempt to carry a sheet-wrapped body from the sister's Miami home.
“We hope they were taking him to the hospital but you never know,” Bradshaw told reporters.
Paramedics tried to revive Lambert, but he was pronounced dead at a Miami hospital due to a narcotics overdose. His death has not been ruled a suicide.
The former couple, married for nearly 22 years, had three daughters together and had been divorced since February.
Just days before Lindsey's disappearance, a judge had found Lambert in contempt of court after he said he would "disappear or go to jail" before he paid any contested alimony or child support.
"The bottom line is we were going to charge him with first-degree murder, no doubt,” Bradshaw said at the press conference.
“We don’t believe there’s any other people involved in this," the sheriff told the Palm Beach Post. "Think about it: he’s a doctor — who’s got better skill to do that?”
In a public plea for help in finding her missing mother, Lindsey's oldest daughter called her a "self-made, independent woman" and a mother who was a "nurturing" and "loving."
Bak Middle School officials say that the clinic where Lindsey worked will be named in her honor and grief counselors will available for students, teachers, and parents, reports NBC 6.