Police in Montgomery County, Maryland arrested Tyler Tessier for the murder of missing teacher Laura Wallen. The SUV wasn't far from Wilde Lake High School, where Wallen teaches in the Social Studies department.
Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said: "The decision to allow him to participate in that news conference was a calculated decision made by the detectives in this case for the express objective of hearing what he had to say".
Police said that Tessier made several visits to the area where Wallen's body was found, CBS affiliate WUSA-TV reports.
Manger said that Wallen sent a text message to either her sister or a friend on September 2, "saying that Tyler had taken her to an open field up in the Damascus area", Manger recalled.
"This is just one of those tragic cases where you have an absolutely innocent victim and just a senseless, senseless killing", Manger said. He said the acquaintance declined to help. Manger said that Wallen was last seen that night, when surveillance video at a local Safeway supermarket recorded her in the store with Tessier. Police now accuse him of burying her in a shallow grave after allegedly taking her to a remote field, a move that so troubled her she sent a text to a friend who advised her to take a photo of it.
Police in Maryland say a pregnant teacher who was missing for more than a week has been found dead. "Myself and your family", Tessier said, addressing Wallen, before adding that he hadn't been able to sleep or eat since she went missing.
Tessier was living at three different locations during the week, and police said they have questioned the people he stayed with.
Manger said Wallen had texted her friend that Saturday night.
The nearly daily hugs from Wallen had students referring to her as "Wallabe with the jellyfish hugs", said Moore, 18, who took Wallen's world history class as a senior previous year at Wilde Lake. "She made sure that I did what I had to do".
"Laura is in the loving arms of God now", her father, Mark Wallen, told a News4 reporter via text message on Wednesday.
Two days before his arrest, Tyler Tessier pleaded for his girlfriend's safe return at a news conference.
Wallen has worked at Wilde Lake High School since 2014. Police officials said that Wallen's body was found after detectives executed a search warrant of the friend's farm. Police said the picture Wallen sent was of a large field with a tree line and that the photograph appears to be the same field where the clandestine grave was discovered. 4 - stating that the child she was carrying was not Tessier's and suggesting it might be that of a previous boyfriend, Manger said. Police located the vehicle backed into a parking space after an employee of the complex found her driver's license in front of a dumpster.