Boyfriend Charged With Murder After Missing Pregnant Teacher Is Found Dead

missing pregnant teacher found dead
WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore/YouTube

When a pregnant teacher went missing in Maryland last week, dozens of people showed up to help search for her as her family pleaded for her safe return. Sadly, the 31-year-old social studies teacher, Laura Wallen, was found dead, and her boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, has now been charged with the first-degree murder.


Tessier was charged late Wednesday, shortly after Wallen's body was discovered buried in a shallow grave in a field. The cause of death is still unknown, pending the autopsy report, but Wallen was four months pregnant when she died. The couple had been dating for 10 years, and Tessier is believed to be the father of Wallen's unborn child.

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On September 2, the couple was seen together on a grocery store surveillance camera. According to Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger, later that day she sent text messages to friends saying Tessier had taken her to an unfamiliar open field. "I'm not sure why we're up here, but he's taken me to this place in the middle of nowhere," she texted. At her friends' urging, she sent them photos of their location.

But Tessier hadn't brought Wallen someplace remote to propose to his longtime love. Police believe she and her unborn baby lost their lives in that field. When classes started at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland, on September 5, Wallen wasn't there to teach. That's when her family reported her missing.

pregnant teacher murdered by boyfriend

Tessier appeared alongside Wallen's family during a press conference on Monday, asking the public to come forward with any information they may have about Wallan's disappearance. Police later revealed Tessier was already a person of interest at the time of the press conference, but asked the Wallen family to allow him to speak as part of their investigation. 

Tessier allegedly asked a friend for a ride and to help "clean up a mess" on September 3. The friend refused. Police claim Tessier admitted to driving her car to another town and removing the front licence plate. 

But the breakthrough in the case was when police figured out that Tessier had visited the field where Wallen's body was later found several times. A big clue? The field matched the photos Wallen had sent to her friends. 

boyfriend charged in pregnant teacher's murder

At the time of his arrest, Tessier had been living in three different locations, one of which was with another woman. Police have not released a motive in this case. 
"This is just one of those tragic cases where you have an absolutely innocent victim and just a senseless, senseless killing," Manger said. "We were sad when we found the body that confirmed our fears."
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