Columbia, Md. (WJZ)– Days after a Maryland teacher’s boyfriend was arrested and charged with her killing, police released details about why they came to suspect him.
Laura Wallen, who was four months pregnant when she disappeared, was missing for more than a week. The 31-year-old lived in Olney and taught at Wilde Lake High School in Howard County. Her body was found in a shallow grave on Wednesday in Damascus. An autopsy revealed that she was shot in the back of her head.
Wallen’s sister reported her missing on the evening of Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4. Wallen did not show up for the first day of school on Sept. 5.
Wallen’s sister told police at that time that she had last seen her sister on Friday, Sept. 1, and had been unable to contact her since having a conversation via text message on Sept. 2.
The state attorney says his focus is on seating a grand jury and getting an indictment before Wallen’s boyfriend’s, Tyler Tessier, next court appearance.
Notes of love and flowers now fill the doorway to Wallen’s condo.
“I have a daughter that’s four months pregnant and , you know, she’s married and has a happy life and, you know, it just, my daughter lives in this community so it — it’s just so sad,” Elizabeth Culpepper said.
“As far as I know right now we’ve not located any weapon,” said Chief Tom Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department. “The detectives are still working around the clock. Just because an arrest is made the investigation does not stop.”
According to the charging documents, Tessier came back to Wallen’s apartment and walked her dog after he’d already killed her.
People had suspected Tessier from the start.
“More than likely it was probably her boyfriend,” neighbor Joyce Robinson said. “Usually when stuff like that happens and she was pregnant. He probably didn’t want the baby, so he got rid of her.”
Police say Tessier had a fiance and Wallen tried to contact that woman in the days before she was killed for a face-to-face meeting to tell her about the baby. That may have prompted Tessier to carry out his plot.
Police described Tessier as essentially homeless bouncing from Wallen’s condo to that of his fiance in Damascus.
Funeral arrangements for Wallen have not yet been announced.