A pregnant Maryland teacher who went missing for over a week has been found dead in a shallow grave near a fielded area.
On Wednesday, Laura Wallen's boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, was arrested and charged with her murder. Days earlier, he was holding hands with Wallen’s mother at a press conference, while pleading for the safe return of his girlfriend.
An autopsy report has revealed that the 31-year-old woman was shot in the back of the head, according to CBS Baltimore. Police believe it was Tessier who pulled the trigger.
Tessier was charged with first-degree murder for Wallen's death. The high school social studies teacher, who was named Wilde Lake High’s Senior Class Teacher of the Year in 2016, was four-months pregnant when she died.
Tessier made several visits to the area where Wallen's body was found, CBS affiliate WUSA-TV reports. Police added that Tessier gave inconsistent stories about his interactions with Wallen before she’d gone missing.
As for Tessier’s appearance at Monday’s news conference: Police said it was all part of the plan. "It was a calculated decision made by detectives to have Tessier attend the event and speak," Montgomery County police Chief Thomas Manger said. "It was done with the approval and knowledge of the victim's family."
Police believe Wallen was killed September 3, one day after a surveillance video captured images of her and Tessier at a grocery store together. A day later, on September 4, Wallen’s sister received texts from Wallen saying that her unborn baby might not belong to Tessier, according to the Washington Post. Police think those texts were actually sent by Tessier.
“I am like 95 percent sure Tyler is not the father,” one of the texts said. Another read, “Tyler is never going to forgive me. If he tries to call you, please tell him he’s a great guy because I know I really hurt his feelings.”
On September 2, Wallen texted her sister, stating, “Tyler has me on an adventure in the country. . . don’t know why I’m here but it’s for something.”
When her sister asked where she was, Wallen told her she was “waiting in a field.” The social studies teacher then texted her sister a photo of a large field. Police say it’s the same field in Damascus, Maryland where her body was discovered in a shallow grave.
Laura Wallen's father, Mark Wallen, called Tessier a monster and a liar on Thursday after Tessier’s bail hearing.
[Photo: Montgomery County Police Department]