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Man accused of killing pregnant teacher girlfriend won’t face murder charges for dead baby

The Maryland man accused of killing his pregnant teacher girlfriend will not face charges of murder against the infant, according to Montgomery County Circuit Court documents.

Washington Post reports that Tyler Tessier, 31, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, 33-year-old high school teacher, Laura Wallen, who was 4 months pregnant at the time. Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy announced on Friday that since Wallen was 14 weeks at the time of her death, the infant was not considered “viable,” meaning that the baby couldn’t have survived outside of the womb.

“The defendant is not chargeable in connection to the unborn child.We are bound to follow the law.”

Tessier remains behind bars without bond for Wallen’s death, but according to his attorney, he insists he is innocent of the charges against him.

“Although he has made mistakes in his personal life, he cared deeply about Laura Wallen and never would have physically hurt her,” said Tessier’s lawyer, Allen Wolf.

Timeline


Sept. 9 

Maryland authorities located a vehicle belonging to a pregnant high school teacher who never showed up for her first day of school on Tuesday. Family and friends are still desperately searching for her and say that it’s unlike her to leave without telling anyone.

FOX 5 reports that a black 2011 Ford Escape with Maryland tag M522473, belonging to Laura Wallen, a pregnant teacher who disappeared from Montgomery County, was found in the neighboring Howard County on Friday.

Wallen, a teacher at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, hasn’t been seen since Labor Day. Her family reported they received a “suspicious text” regarding her whereabouts on Monday, but authorities are keeping the details of the text message disclosed. Her father went to the teacher’s Olney condo on Monday evening to look for her, but she wasn’t at home. Her family grew extremely worried when she failed to show up to class the following morning.

Laura Elizabeth Wallen
Laura Wallen [Photo: Family Handout]
“By all appearances, she seems to be just a solid and committed person who would not behave this way,” said Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks. “She has been given awards as a teacher in the past. I think she enjoys a close relationship, not only with her sister, but with her parents.”

One of Wallen’s former students, Saquan Maxwell, told WJZ-TV that Wallen was extremely excited about her pregnancy; she placed sonogram photos on her refrigerator in anticipation of the upcoming birth.

“She told me about her pregnancy and how tired she was. She hung her sonogram up on the refrigerator and she wouldn’t tell me what she was having, but she was telling me she was excited, and she was ready for another school year.”

The teacher’s disappearance remains a mystery. So far, it’s unclear who the father of her child is. Her family reiterated several times that she would never leave without telling anyone and would never leave her dog behind. They also confirmed her excitement over her pregnancy.

Authorities aren’t saying much about the vehicle discovery, but Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, with Montgomery County Police, said all options are being explored at this point, including the possibility of foul play.

“We are urging anyone with information to come forward.We’re exploring all options, talking to friends, talking to family, to fellow teachers, anyone who may have had contact with her.”

Anyone with any information on Wallen’s whereabouts should call Montgomery County police at 301-279-8000.


 Sept. 12

The family of a missing pregnant Maryland high school teacher is frantic to find her; they feel she is still alive and desperately needs help.

Laura Elizabeth Wallen, 31, disappeared sometime between the night of September 4 or the morning of September 5, when she failed to show up for her first day of classes at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia.

Laura’s father, Mark Wallen, told CBS that the teacher’s disappearance is “uncharacteristic” and she would have never left without telling anyone. Authorities said they don’t have evidence that suggests foul play, yet they found her black 2011 Ford Escape in a parking lot around a mile away from where she teaches school. Police said the abandoned car was sitting in an apartment complex in Columbia.

“I wanted to let Laura know that we’re out there looking for her and we’re not giving up on her,” Mark Wallen told CBS. “She is still alive somewhere.”

Tyler Tessier [Handout]
Tyler Tessier, Lauren’s boyfriend and father of their unborn child, said that there was no reason or indication that she would simply walk away from her life. He’s also pleading for Laura return and said no matter what the problem is, they could “fix it together.”

“Laura, if you’re listening, it doesn’t matter what’s happened, doesn’t matter what type of trouble – there’s nothing we can’t fix together, myself and your family. There’s so many people, so many people that miss you.”

“If somebody has her – please understand you’ve taken away a huge person in so many people’s lives,” Tessier continued. “We just want her back.”

Authorities working the case are going through her Olney apartment and computer, looking for clues and evidence that can lead them to Laura’s whereabouts. They’re also interviewing friends and are hopeful they’ll find her, yet Montgomery County Lt. Sean Gagen admitted that as time goes, they’re becoming more and more concerned for the teacher’s safety and her unborn infant’s safety.

“As each day passes, we’re becoming increasingly concerned for Laura Wallen and her baby.”


Sept. 13 

Maryland authorities found the body of a missing high school teacher in a shallow grave in an open field in Damascus on Wednesday. Her boyfriend is charged with her murder.

During a live press conference, the Montgomery Police Department announced that Tyler Tessier was arrested and charged for the murder of 31-year-old Laura Wallen, the mother of his unborn child. Laura was four months pregnant when she disappeared.

According to authorities, Laura sent a text message to her sister on Saturday, indicating that Tessier had taken her to an open field and 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 her at. On Monday evening, Laura’s father, Mark Wallen, drove over to her Olney condominium to check in on her, but no one was home.

On Tuesday, 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 on Wednesday afternoon at around noon in a shallow grave in an open field in Damascus, near Prices Distillery Road. 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.

Prices Distillery Road [Photo: Google Maps/Nov. 2012]

Surveillance footage from a grocery store near Laura’s home captured the pair together on September 2. 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, 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.”

Authorities said that Laura’s cause of death will be determined after an autopsy is performed.

Tessier remains behind bars without bail.


Sept. 14 

The boyfriend of a murdered pregnant Maryland high school teacher was apparently engaged to another woman.

Tyler Tessier, 32, is accused of killing Laura Wallen, 31, and dumping her body in a shallow grave in Damascus, Maryland. Authorities found Wallen’s body on Wednesday, but said that the suspect likely killed her on September 2. The exact cause of death is still unclear, pending an autopsy, but the Montgomery County Police Department labeled her death as a homicide.

Mark Wallen, the victim’s father, said that Tessier asked his permission to marry his daughter. Yet, Tessier was reportedly already engaged to another woman, who he was living with when he allegedly murdered Wallen.

Apparently, both women knew of each other and Wallen wanted an explanation. On August 28, Wallen sent a text message to the “other woman,” asking if they could meet up and discuss the situation.

“It’s important that some things are cleared up and I would imagine that if you were in my position, you’d want some answers as well,” the text message read. “By no means is this an attempt at confrontation, just looking for an explanation, woman to woman.”

It’s still unclear whether the two women met up with each other, but within a week of the text message, Laura was murdered.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Handout]