Missing pregnant teacher found dead

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WMAR) - Montgomery County Police reported Laura Wallen, a pregnant high school teacher who went missing last week, has been found dead. 

According to Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger, Wallen's body was found in a wooded area in Damascus. 

Police have arrested her boyfriend, Tyler Tessier.

Tessier was present with Wallen's family during a press conference on Monday. Police had already identified him as a person of interest in the case. Detectives asked the family to invite him to speak as part of the investigation. 

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During the press conference, Tessier pleaded for Wallen to come home.

"There's so many people, so people that miss you," he said Monday. "There's so many people that were out looking. We haven't slept, we haven't eaten. We're just looking and praying that you're safe and I'm asking that you can just let us know that you're safe."

Despite his emotion police suspected Tessier was involved in Wallen's disappearance. 

"The decision to allow him to participate in that news conference was a calculated decision to made by the detectives in this case with the expressed purpose of hearing what he had to say," Manger said. "It was done with approval and knowledge of the victim's family."

See also: Students mourn loss of Wilde Lake High School teacher

Police have not determined a motive in the case, though during Wednesday's update, police said Tessier was living at several addresses, including one in Damascus. 

Investigators determined Tessier was the last person to see Wallen alive. Police said Tessier and Wallen were seen together at a grocery store on Saturday, Sept. 2. Police believe Wallen was killed the next day. 

According to police, her sister received a troubling text from Wallen the day she went missing. She told her sister that Tessier had taken her to an open field and she didn't know why. She then texted a picture of the location to her sister.

Wallen's sister received a text from her on Labor Day, but police believe that message was sent by Tessier.

The suspect admitted to disposing of Wallen's cell phone and driver's license. 

Police also said Tessier drove Wallen's Ford Escape and left it in Howard County near Wilde Lake High School.

Wallen, 31, was a teacher at Wilde Lake High School. She was four months pregnant.

RELATED: Towson student creates video tribute to missing teacher

WATCH update from Montgomery County Police:

 

Editor's Note: During a police briefing Wednesday night, the Montgomery County Police Chief indicated Wallen had sent a text message to a friend on Saturday, Sept. 2. It has since been revealed that message was actually sent to her sister.

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