Published: Fri, September 15, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Cops Let Suspect Speak at Appeal for Missing Teacher

Cops Let Suspect Speak at Appeal for Missing Teacher

A missing Maryland pregnant high school teacher was found dead Wednesday, and a suspect has been arrested in connection with her murder, authorities said.

Laura Wallen, 31, of Olney, Maryland, was last heard from September 4.

Wallen, 31, of Olney, Maryland, was a social studies and law teacher at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, where she was awarded "Teacher of the Year" in 2016.

Wallen's father, Mark Wallen, had offering a $25,000 reward for anyone who provided information that would lead to her safe return.

Police say her boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, killed her.

Tessier also texted an acquaintance asking for a ride to Baltimore and help to "clean up a mess", which the acquainaance declined to do, Manger said.

"If somebody has her, please understand you've taken away a huge, a huge person that's in so many lives", he said at the news conference, emphasizing that there wasn't anything odd in her behavior before she disappeared. Earlier that day, officers and cadaver dogs located Wallen's body, buried in a field, in an area where they believed Tessier had stayed.

Wallen, a popular high school history teacher, was four months pregnant when she died. A missing person's report was filed in her name when she did not show up for work. But police said it wasn't Wallen who sent the text that claimed the baby wasn't her boyfriend's child.

Wallen encouraged Moore to pursue her goal of becoming a Navy pilot, even when the student doubted she could do it.

"She just had the personality that kind of draws your attention", Moore told the Post. "Please keep Ms. Wallen's family in your thoughts". Manger said they don't know about a motive.

"There's so many people, so people that miss you", he said Monday. "There's nothing we can't fix together", Tesser said Monday, facing the camera. "These are the kinds of cases where so often, they have an impact on the area where they occur".

Wallen's family had said they received a "troubling" text message from her about an hour later but attempts to reach her failed.

"I'm probably going to lose my job over this", said another.

Wallen's alleged killer held her mother's hand as he pleaded for her to come home.

Police say that Tessier drove Wallen's auto to the apartment complex in Columbia, where the vehicle was later located. He is charged with first-degree murdering, altering physical evidence and making a false statement to police.

Tessier spoke at a press conference on Tuesday with Wallen's family.

"I just pray that she's safe", Tessier said apparently with tears in his eyes. Police officials said that Wallen's body was found after detectives executed a search warrant of the friend's farm. "It was done with the approval and knowledge of the victim's family", Manger said. Tessier also admitted to throwing out Wallen's driver's license and iPhone, Manger said. He said the two had gone to doctor appointments together and that she was happy about the pregnancy.

Her sister asked, "Really where are you?"

"I'm waiting in a field", Wallen replied. The picture was later used to find the location of her body.

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