Cops Let Suspect Speak at Appeal for Missing Teacher

He has now been charged with her murder
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2017 5:08 AM CDT
Boyfriend Charged With Murder of Pregnant Teacher
This image provided by the Montgomery County Police Department shows Laura Wallen.   (Montgomery County Police Department via AP)

The search for missing Maryland teacher Laura Wallen has ended with the discovery of her body in a shallow grave—and the arrest of boyfriend Tyler Tessier. Police found the 31-year-old's body in a field in Damascus, Montgomery County, on Wednesday afternoon and arrested Tessier the same day, the Baltimore Sun reports. Wallen, a social studies teacher who failed to show up for the first day of classes at Wilde Lake High School last week, was four months pregnant, and investigators say it will be up to the county attorney's office whether Tessier will also be charged with the murder of their unborn child, reports FOX 5. Wallen was last seen on surveillance video leaving a grocery store with Tessier Sept. 2.

Police believe she was killed the next day, when Tessier asked an acquaintance for help to "clean up a mess." On Sept. 4, her sister received messages from Wallen's phone. Police believe they were sent by Tessier, who has admitted disposing of her iPhone and driver's license. On Monday, Tessier appeared with Wallen's parents at a press conference and made a tearful plea for her safe return. Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger says Tessier was already a suspect at the time and police made a "calculated move" to let him speak. "This is one of those tragic cases where you have an absolutely innocent victim," says Manger, who has not disclosed a motive. "Just a senseless killing." (More Maryland stories.)

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