FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – A Central Broward man faces a charge of murder in the second degree in connection with his wife’s death and disposal of her body. Broward Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives said when Ernest Gordon reported his wife, Wanda Gordon, 42, missing on November 7, she was already dead.
Broward Sheriff’s Office Missing Persons Unit detectives searched for Wanda and investigated the circumstances surrounding her disappearance before the case was transferred to Broward Sheriff’s Homicide Unit on November 23. Further investigation revealed that at around 12:50 a.m. on November 5, Wanda returned from Fort Lauderdale Beach to her home where she lives at 2856 N.W. Eighth St. in unincorporated Central Broward near Fort Lauderdale with her husband, Ernest Gordon, 44, and her three children.
Based on statements and information from an historical data search warrant for Wanda’s mobile phone, investigators believe she arrived home at approximately 1 a.m. on November 5. Detectives said the records also show the phone left her residence at about 4 a.m. and traveled west to a rural area near U.S. 27 at the Broward/Palm Beach County line, where it remained until 4:50 a.m.
Through their investigation, detectives confirmed Ernest was in the area and encountered a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) officer. The FWC officer, who was working an off-duty detail providing security at a construction site, conducted a traffic stop on the driver who entered a restricted construction area. The officer ran the license plate and eventually identified the driver as Ernest Gordon. The officer told Ernest sometimes people come to the location and dump their garbage. The officer took a picture of the trash bags in the back of the GMC pick-up Ernest was driving and let him go after warning him about illegal dumping.
Using the victim’s cellphone data, homicide detectives said Ernest left the area and drove to Tamarac. For two days (December 2 and December 3), investigators searched in the heavily wooded area of 10601 State St. in Tamarac, where Wanda’s phone was last known to be located. Following the extensive search in sometimes waist-deep muddy water, investigators recovered the victim’s cellphone and discovered skeletal remains and several articles of clothing.
On December 9, homicide detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Ernest. BSO V.I.P.E.R. (Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response) detectives arrested Ernest at approximately 6:30 p.m. on December 10, at his girlfriend’s home in Lauderhill. Ernest has denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance and death.