Police Raced To Track Down Texas Father Kidnapped And Beaten By Home Intruders

It was all hands on deck as officers with the Titus County Sheriff’s Office worked to find 30-year-old Ernie Ibarra, who was kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night.

Ernie Ibarra, 30, pictured here smiling, was kidnapped from his home, beaten, and eventually murdered, by men hired by his wife.

On Feb. 20, 2015, it was all hands on deck as officers with the Titus County Sheriff’s Office worked to find 30-year-old Ernie Ibarra, who was kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "The Murder Tapes")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "The Murder Tapes")

Officers with the Titus County Sheriff’s Office working a quiet night shift on Feb. 20, 2015 were interrupted when a call came over the radio just after 2 a.m. — a man had been kidnapped, and while his wife and children were unharmed, there was reason to believe he was in grave danger.

At the scene, a disheveled Samantha Wohlford told police that she and her husband, Ernie Ibarra, were asleep when a noise woke her up. Just as she opened her eyes, somebody dressed in all black grabbed her, pulled her from bed, and tied her up.

The intruder slapped her across the face and held a knife to her throat, the woman told the responding officers. Meanwhile, two other men pistol-whipped Ernie, dragged him from the room and began to beat him. The three men were unidentifiable and dressed head to toe in black, Samantha said. She hadn’t seen their vehicle and had no idea who they were or what they wanted.

Samantha told police that after a bit, the men dragged her downstairs too and she saw Ernie bound and beaten as the men told him he would never see her again before taking him outside and leaving. The intruders never bothered the children, and the children had slept through the entire ordeal.

Samantha, who had been able to get to her cell phone, called her aunt to come to untie her. It was her aunt who made the initial 911 call.

A Promising Lead

At the house, it appeared one of the glass front door panels had been kicked inwards and shattered on the floor. There was blood spattered near the sofa in the living room.

Samantha remembered a crucial detail as the officers asked questions and began looking around the house — Ernie had his phone with him. She specifically remembered one of the kidnappers taking it as they left. If they could find the phone, there was a chance they could find where Ernie was being held.

His phone pinged off a tower nearby and officers began conducting traffic stops, but they didn’t find any sign of Ernie in any of the vehicles.

Upstairs in Samantha and Ernie’s house, police noticed something strange. Despite the fact that the man had been pistol-whipped as he was dragged from his bed, there was zero blood to be found.

Find out what police learned as they pressed Samantha for more details on The Murder Tapes at 9/8c on July 13 on ID. Previous episodes are available now on discovery+.

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