UPDATE (September 14, 2017):
DAMASCUS, MD — The body of Lauren Wallen, a pregnant teacher who had gone missing on September 3, was discovered in a shallow grave on Wednesday. Authorities have now arrested her boyfriend in connection with the murder.
Tyler Tessier, who was believed to be the father of Wallen’s unborn child, sat with the missing 31-year-old’s parents at a press conference on Monday, tearfully asking for anyone with information to come forward.
In what appeared to be an emotional moment, Tessier said:
“Laura, if you’re listening, it doesn’t matter what’s happened. It doesn’t matter what type of trouble. There’s nothing we can’t fix together.”
Police have since described Tessier’s behavior at the news event as a “calculated decision.”
Officers say they’d been looking at Tessier as a “person of interest” in the case early on. The couple last appeared together on grocery store surveillance video on September 2.
Tessier is also reported to have texted Wallen’s sister on September 4, claiming he was not the father of Lauren’s baby.
In addition, Tessier reportedly gave inconsistent answers under questioning, moved to three different residences in the past two weeks, and admitted to removing the front tag on Wallen’s car, as well as getting rid of her iPhone and driver’s license.
Tessier’s text request to a friend for a ride to an open field surrounded by woods in Damascus — in order to “clean up a mess” — prompted police to get a search warrant for the area. Once there, they dug up Wallen’s remains.
ORIGINAL STORY, (September 8, 2017:
COLUMBIA, MD — Police in Maryland are searching for a missing pregnant teacher who failed to show up for the first day of school, according to CBS Baltimore.
Authorities say that 31-year-old Laura Elizabeth Wallen, who is four months pregnant, last contacted family members by text message on Monday.
Police have not revealed the context of the text message, but indicated that it was troubling enough to signal to the family that they needed to contact the authorities.
Friends and family say that the teacher was excited about her pregnancy and never gave signs that anything was wrong.
Wallen failed to show up for the first day of classes Tuesday at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, where she teaches history and law.
Students have described their teacher as a “favorite” to media, and have taken to social media to help find her using the hashtag #BringWallenHome.
Relatives are reportedly baffled by her disappearance, and by the fact that she left her dog behind.
Detectives described Wallen as having blonde hair and blue eyes, weighing around 200 pounds and standing 5-foot-5 inches tall.
Police are also searching for her black 2011 Ford Escape with Maryland license plate M522473.
The investigation continues.
Main photo: Laura Elizabeth Wallen [CBS News (screenshot)]