A Maryland man currently behind bars for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend is now reportedly claiming he only shot her after he feared he buried her alive.
The Washington Post reports that Tyler Tessier, 32, is facing first-degree murder charges for the 2017 shooting 31-year-old Laura Wallen, a beloved Wilde Lake High School high school in Columbia, who was found buried in a shallow grave Damascus, Maryland, off of Prices Distillery Road.
After his arrest last year, Tessier initially denied any involvement in Wallen’s murder. He allegedly said four black men kidnapped Wallen, who was four months pregnant at the time. He later recanted and reportedly said Wallen tried to attack him with scissors, but he got away while she “ran into a wooden post on the porch and collapsed,” court documents state.
“The defendant stated he did not call for help and that he believed she had died from striking her head on the porch post,” prosecutors stated. “When he grew concerned perhaps she was not deceased and that he had buried her alive, he stated he shot her once in the back of the head, to ensure she wasn’t suffering.”
The suspect’s lawyers are now trying to suppress his statements, claiming that Tessier’s rights were violated when authorities interrogated with the presence of his attorney.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Montgomery Police Department announced on September 13, 2007, that Tessier was arrested and charged for the murder Wallen, the mother of his unborn child.
According to authorities, Laura sent a text message to her sister on September 9, 2017, indicating that Tessier had taken her to an open field but she wasn’t sure what for. Her sister asked her to take a pic of the area, and Laura sent back a photo of an open field with a tree line that looked similar to the area authorities later found the teacher’s body at. The following Monday evening, Laura’s father, Mark Wallen, drove over to her Olney condominium to check in on her. No one was home.
On September 10, 2017, the family became increasingly worried when Laura failed to show up for the first day of school at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia.
Police found Laura’s body at around noon in a shallow grave in an open field in Damascus, near Prices Distillery Road the following day. They located a patch in a secluded, wooded area of “freshly dug ground” after cadaver dogs hit on human remains scents.
Tessier had apparently been to the field on several recent occasions prior to the incident, located close to the property where an acquaintance of his lived. He also was the last known person to have seen Laura.
Surveillance footage from a grocery store near Laura’s home captured the pair together on September 2, 2017. Investigators believe that Tessier took Laura to Damascus and killed her the following day.On late Sunday night, Tessier reportedly texted an acquaintance and asked for a ride to Baltimore. He claimed he had to “clean up a mess.” The acquaintance refused to assist him. Tessier later admitted to disposing of the victim’s iPhone and driver’s license.
On Monday morning, September 4, 2017, Laura’s sister received text messages from the victim’s phone. According to authorities, the text stated that Laura was almost sure Tyler wasn’t the father of her unborn child. A following text stated that she hoped Tyler would forgive her. Detectives discovered the texts were actually sent by Tessier himself.
The suspect is also accused of driving Laura’s car to Columbia and abandoning it at an apartment complex close to the high school she taught at.
Additionally, Tessier was living with another woman. Detectives indicated that the woman, whose name is currently unknown, is currently being interviewed.
“This is just one of those tragic cases where you have an absolutely innocent victim, and it’s just a senseless, senseless killing,” Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said during the press conference. “These are the kind of cases that so often have a significant impact on the community where they occur, and that was certainly the case with this investigation.”.
Tessier remains behind bars without bail.
[Feature Photo: Tyler Tessier and Laura Wallen/Police Handout]