BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The family of missing pregnant Howard County teacher Laura Wallen is now offering a reward after sending out an emotional plea for her safe return.
Wallen, 31, is four months pregnant. Her family and friends became alarmed last week when she didn’t show up for the first day of classes at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia.
Laura’s father, Mark Wallen, said in a press conference on Monday that this was one of the toughest moments of his life.
Her boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, says he can’t sleep and is desperate to find out where Laura and unborn child are.
“There’s nothing we can’t fix together. Myself and your family,” says Tessier, addressing Wallen.
“If somebody has her, please understand that you’ve taken away a huge person in so many people’s lives,” he says.
Wallen’s parents held hands when they announced a $25,000 reward for her safe return. They heard from her on Labor Day in what’s described as a “troubling” text message.
“I wanted to let Laura know that we’re out there looking for her and we’re not giving up on her. She is still alive somewhere,” says Mark Wallen.
Police now say they don’t suspect foul play, but won’t reveal much about their investigation.
WJZ reported last week when detectives recovered Wallen’s SUV from an apartment complex near the Mall in Columbia, less than one mile from Wilde Lake High School.
“Leading up to the weekend that she’s been missing, I mean, I don’t believe anybody has any inclination to think that something was wrong,” says Tessier.
Detectives are waiting for forensic results from Wallen’s home in Olney and her car. They’ve also recovered her computer.
“I pray that she’s safe and she comes back,” says Tessier.
Wallen’s students even searched for her. The community is not giving up hope, even though so many questions remain unanswered.
The lead detective also revealed that subpoenas have gone out for Wallen’s cell phone records. He says he’s not sure whether she left on her own or whether someone was helping her.
Wallen’s father says she’d recently been fundraising at businesses and homes in the Wilde Lake area for the school’s senior class. Police continue to interview friends and colleagues.