The dead body of a 31-year-old pregnant teacher was found in a shallow grave on Wednesday in Damascus, Maryland. Laura Wallen had been pregnant for four months and was missing for nine days before her body was discovered by authorities. Her boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, 32, has been charged with Wallen’s murder shortly after her body was discovered in a remote field.
On Monday, Tessier appeared at a press conference with the victim’s parents. The suspect held Wallen’s mother’s hand and appeared concerned about the woman who was believed to be four-months pregnant with his baby.
“If somebody has her, please understand that you’ve taken away a huge person in so many people’s life,” Tyler Tessier said Monday. “I don’t know where she is. I don’t know. I pray that she’s safe and that she comes back. That’s all I care about.”
Now, authorities are under the belief that Tessier buried Wallen in a shallow grave. On Wednesday, September 13, Tessier was arrested only hours after authorities uncovered the dead body of Laura Wallen.
Police say that Tessier’s involvement in the press conference was a “calculated” move by detectives as they wanted to hear what the suspect had to say about Wallen’s disappearance. The police chief said, “The decision to allow him to participate in that news conference was a calculated decision made by the detectives in this case for the express purpose of hearing what he had to say. It was done with the approval and knowledge of the victim’s family.”
Tessier had asked Wallen’s father’s permission to marry his daughter. However, this 32-year-old man already had a fiancée. Both woman knew about Tessier’s past relationships. However, both ladies were originally under the belief that Tessier was seeing them exclusively. Wallen made an attempt to meet up with her boyfriend’s fiancée, as she sent her a text message on August 28.
The text message said, “It’s important that some things are cleared up and I would imagine that if you were in my position, you’d want some answers as well. By no means is this an attempt at confrontation, just looking for an explanation.”
Wallen was reported missing about a week later. Tessier claims to have last seen her alive on September 4. But her family said they haven’t seen the 31-year-old since the first day of September.
On September 2, another text message from Wallen reports that Tessier had taken her to an open field “in the middle of nowhere.”
The police chief said, “In the text, she sent a text message… saying that Tyler had taken her to an open field in the Damascus area, and she says I am not sure why we’re up here, but he’s taken me to the middle of nowhere. The friend said take a picture, and she did.”
An autopsy of Laura Wallen is currently underway.
At around noon on September 13, detectives and members of the Montgomery County Police Department were “searching a wooded area….Cadaver dogs indicated on the area” and, at the conclusion of their search, detectives discovered the body of Laura Wallen “in a shallow grave,” said Manger.
Police claim that they’ve “determined over the past week that he (Tessier) made several visits to that area.”
“The break in the case” came when it was determined that “Tessier had made several trips to an acquaintance’s property…” in Damascus, the chief alleged. Detectives spotted tire tracks and freshly dug ground on another property in the area. They were given permission to search through the dirt, where they found Wallen’s dead body. The police said that the owner of the property has nothing to do with the case or the death.
The police chief added that authorities “can only speculate as to the motive…I know people have speculated, the fact he was in another relationship and the fact the victim was pregnant. That’s all speculation. I don’t know what the motive is in this case.”
Who Was Laura Wallen?
Laura Wallen was a 31-year-old social studies teacher from Olney, Maryland. She “was reported missing Sept. 5, after she failed to show up for the first day of classes. She was four months pregnant,” The Baltimore Sun reported.
Recently, on Facebook, Wallen wrote about helping Hurricane Harvey victims and about visiting a farm. “Weekends on the farm… can’t wait to be loving on all of the animals ,” she wrote. She wrote on a Netflix video, “This looks like a good binge to watch before school starts back up… new school year… new opportunities to watch kids grow and reach for their true potential.”
Wallen is said to be very well-liked at the school where she taught social studies. One of her students, by the name of Lindsay Murray, made a tribute for the deceased educator. “She tells how she used to hug students,” ABC2 reported. “How she smiled. How Lindsay told her stuff no one else knew….Murray said she texted with her days before she went missing. Nothing unusual. Nothing strange. They were so close that Wallen texted a sonogram announcing her pregnancy.”
The television station reported, “Lindsay says Wallen wrote a letter of recommendation for her to enter Towson. She is living in the same dorm and on the same floor as her former teacher. All she wants is to have Wallen come home.”