Boyfriend Charged In Death Of Howard Co. Teacher

Violet Powell
September 15, 2017

Wallen, 31, of Olney, Maryland, was a social studies and law teacher at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, where she was awarded "Teacher of the Year" in 2016.

Tyler Tessier pleaded for his girlfriend Laura Wallen's safe return at a Monday press conference as he cried and held hands with her parents.

Wallen's boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with murder, Manger said, adding that the motive is unknown.

The court documents go on to describe the elaborate steps Tessier allegedly took to cover up Wallen's death, including texting her sister from Wallen's phone, pretending to be her.

Investigators are not saying what they found inside of Wallen's condo or in her vehicle.

Superintendent of Howard County Public Schools, Dr. Michael J. Martirano, extended his sympathy to Wallen's family.

Students and parents at Wilde Lake expressed shock and grief over the slaying of a teacher who daily greeted her students by opening her arms and wiggling them. "Please keep Ms. Wallen's family in your thoughts".

Manger said Tessier was the last person known to have seen Wallen.

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Behind the scenes this week, detectives were in constant contact with the boyfriend, Tessier, who gave inconsistent stories about his interactions with Wallen before she'd gone missing, police said.

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.

"(Tessier) was not honest with either woman", Montgomery State's Attorney John McCarthy said Thursday, according to the Post. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what type of trouble.

"There's nothing we can't fix together". Investigators believe Wallen was killed the next day, Manger said.

The police chief said that Tessier provided information to detectives that "led them to suspect his involvement in this case", and they allege he drove victim's auto to the Columbia area. Police searched the area on Wednesday with cadaver dogs and found a freshly dug area, according to police, and in plain view saw a purple piece of fabric. Surveillance video showed the two together on Saturday, Sept. 2, at a grocery store near Wallen's home.

Police believed the suspect Tyler Tessier, Waller's boyfriend, was the father of her unborn child, though her sister had reportedly received texts messages from her phone on September 4 suggesting that the baby was not his.

"The decision to allow him to participate in that news conference was a calculated decision made by the detectives in this case for the expressed objective of hearing what he had to say", Manger said, noting that police had the family's approval.

"I am like 95 percent sure Tyler is not the father", one of the texts said, according to police.

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