GAITHERSBURG, MD (WJZ/CNN) – Police in Maryland say a missing pregnant teacher has been found dead, and her boyfriend has been arrested in connection to her murder.
Laura Wallen, who was 4 months pregnant, was found dead Wednesday in a shallow grave. Police say her boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, killed her.
"We had a real sense of dread that this was the way it was going to end up,” said Chief Tom Manger with Montgomery County Police.
Wallen’s family and friends became alarmed last week when she didn’t show up for the first day of classes at the high school where she taught.
Police say Tessier had been a person of interest, even as he held hands with Wallen’s mother on Monday during a news conference and pleaded for his girlfriend's safe return.
Wallen’s parents knew he was a suspect, police say, as detectives looked for inconsistencies in his story.
"The decision to allow him to participate in that news conference was a calculated decision made by the detectives in this case with the expressed purpose of hearing what he had to say,” Manger said.
Investigators believe Tessier may have killed Wallen Sept. 3 then drove her SUV to an apartment complex where he ditched it. He also pretended to be Wallen, police say, texting her sister to say the baby wasn’t his.
Before Wallen’s death, police say she sent a concerning text to a loved one about her whereabouts, and that helped them to narrow down her location to an area in Damascus, MD, where they later found her body.
We are sad to report that missing Olney woman Laura Wallen has been located deceased. A suspect was arrested for her murder 45 minutes ago.
— Montgomery Co Police (@mcpnews) September 13, 2017
"This is one of those tragic cases where you have an absolutely innocent victim, and it's just senseless, senseless killing,” Manger said.
Tessier has been charged with murder. Police say he is the only suspect.
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