Slain pregnant high school teacher remembered for giving students hugs

Slain pregnant high school teacher remembered for giving students hugs

A Maryland high school teacher who disappeared last week was found dead and her boyfriend charged with murder, police say.

Wallen, 31, a history teacher at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, was last heard from September 4 at her condominium in Olney.

Her partner, Tyler Tessier, who played an active role in her search, was arrested and charged Wednesday evening in connection to the said to be calculated crime, police in Montgomery County said.

Manger said that Tessier allegedly drove his girlfriend's vehicle to the Columbia area and admitted to disposing of her front tag, her driver's license and her iPhone.

A family member said they last her from her when she sent a troubling text message on Sept.4.

Laura Wallan and her unborn baby were discovered in a shallow grave, Maryland authorities said Wednesday. "Laura, if you're listening, it doesn't matter what's happened", he reportedly said.

He continued, "We just want her back". He said the acquaintance declined to help.

Tessier had participated with Wallen's family in a news conference Monday about her disappearance.

Police said a breakthrough was made in the case when they determined Tessier had gone several times to the field where Wallen's body was later found, and saw that it matched with the photo she had texted her friend. Police think those texts were actually sent by Tessier.

Police had information from local witnesses that Tessier had been frequenting the area where Wallen's body was found in Damascus.

"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.

Police are still unsure of the motive for Wallen's murder and said the investigation is ongoing.

When her sister asked where she was, Wallen told her she was "waiting in a field". He said she was an "outstanding teacher" and said the school community was in shock.

They had planned an event called a "gathering of hope" for Wallen's safe return.

Her boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, had stood with her parents Monday at a news conference and made a soulful plea for her safe return.

Laura Wallen's father, Mark Wallen, said at the news conference, "I wanted to let Laura know that we're out there looking for her and we're not giving up on her", and added that she had been "superexcited" about the school year.

The cause of death is unknown, Manger said.

Wallen's body was found in a wooded area in Damascus, a shallow grave.

Now it has emerged that police were suspicious about his involvement at the time and allowed him to carry out that press conference. He allegedly told police that he had removed and disposed of the front license plate, as well as throwing away Wallen's driver's license and cellphone in a dumpster.