The boyfriend of Laura Wallen, the 4-months-pregnant Maryland teacher who was discovered in a shallow grave in Damascus, Maryland, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of killing her. The motive has not been revealed by police, who suspect Terrier dumped her body in a field near an acquaintance’s property.
Tyler Tessier on Monday appeared at a press conference alongside Wallen’s family to plea for her safe return. Police how say that his participation was staged – with the family’s approval and cooperation – so that investigators can gather clues about the missing woman.
Wallen was four months pregnant with Tessier’s child when she was reported missing by family. A social studies teacher, she didn’t report to work on Aug. 31 and was reported missing on Sept. 5.
Tessier was considered a “person of interest” in the case, but is now the primary suspect behind bars for her slaying.
Here are five facts you should know about Tessier:
1. Tessier Was Believed To Be the Father of Lauren Wallen’s Unborn Child, But Police Say He Allegedly Sent Text Messages From Her Phone Stating That He Wasn’t
- Wallen, 31, was in her third year of work as a social studies teacher at Wilde Lake High School in Maryland’s Howard County.
On Labor Day, Sept. 4, Wallen’s sister received several texts from Laura’s phone “stating that the child she was carrying was not Tessier’s and suggesting it might be that of a previous boyfriend,” the Washington Post reported. Although they haven’t revealed how, police suspect it was actually Tessier that sent the messages.
2. Appearing At a Sept. 11 News Conference With Wallen’s Family, Tessier Appealed to Wallen Directly, Saying ‘There’s Nothing We Can’t Fix Together’
Tessier appeared alongside Wallen’s parents on Monday, Sept. 11, and directed his plea directly to his girlfriend, addressing her by name:
“Laura, if you’re listening, it doesn’t matter what’s happened. It doesn’t matter what type of trouble. There’s nothing we can’t fix together.”
Wallen’s family offered a $25,000 reward to anyone who could help locating and bringing her back.
3. Following Tessier’s Arrest, Police Said His Participation in the News Conference Was a ‘Calculated Decision’
Although they do not have a motive in Wallen’s death, according to The Baltimore Sun, Tessier was a “person of interest” in the investigation. Detectives conferred with her parents in allowing him to appear at the news conference. Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manager said the move was a “calculated decision,” according to The Washington Post.
4. Tessier Had Been Living at Three Different Locations Since Wallen’s Disappearance
Police allege Tessier has been living at three different spots during the week prior to his Sept. 13 arrest and say they have interviewed the individuals that he lived with. Neither their names nor what they told police has been released.
5. Detectives Say Tessier Admitted To Removing the Front Tag On Wallen’s Car and Disposed of Her License and iPhone
Tessier’s suspicious moves tracked by Howard County detectives appear to be what turned him from “person of interest” to full-blown suspect. Tessier had texted an acquaintance on Prices Distillery Road in Damascus, where he had visited previously, to ask for a ride to Baltimore on the night of Sept. 10, The Baltimore Sun reported. That person – who police haven’t unidentified and who is not a suspect – declined his request.
The person’s property has “open fields and woods,” police said, and after obtaining a search warrant, they scoured the area Wednesday. They discovered tire tracks and newly dug-up dirt on a nearby property, where they also discovered Wallen’s body.