Montgomery County police say Laura Wallen, the missing Howard County teacher, was killed by her boyfriend.
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.
Authorities also viewed a text message Wallen sent to either her sister or friend on September 2, the day she vanished, in which Wallen said Tessier was taking her to an open field in the middle of nowhere and she didn't know why.
Wallen's sister had previously said she received a "troubling" text message from Wallen on Monday, Sept. 4, but attempts to reach her failed.
"She's always willing to put her students first, so I know if one of us was in this situation, she would've been head-on attacking it and in the streets just like we are", Saquan Maxwell, who organized the community effort, told ABC Washington, D.C., affiliate WJLA-TV Saturday. "The acquaintance declined" to assist him, said the chief.
Her father Mark Wallen went to her condo but could not find her and became anxious for her safety.
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During a press conference held Monday, Tessier appeared saddened and beside himself as he spoke about his missing girlfriend to the public.
Around the same time, Tessier texted one of his acquaintances to help him "clean a mess", police said. The worker called the police, who found Wallen's Ford Escape.
Wallen's family said she was four months pregnant and excited about her baby - who she posted a sonogram of proudly to her refrigerator.
"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.
Bond review today at 1:00 pm in Rockville District Court for Tyler Tessier, charged with first-degree murder of Laura Wallen.
"We had a real sense of dread that this was the way it was going to end up", said Chief Tom Manger with Montgomery County Police.
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Wallen's father, Mark Wallen, had offering a $25,000 reward for anyone who provided information that would lead to her safe return.
Wallen then sent her sister a photo of a field in Demascus.
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 a year ago at Wilde Lake.
"And again, this was a calculated decision by the detectives to allow him to speak at the press conference". "It was done with the approval and knowledge of the victim's family", Manger said. He said that detectives wanted to see what Tessier would say.
"It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Wilde Lake High School teacher Ms. Laura Wallen was found deceased tonight by Montgomery County Police". Tessier also admitted to throwing out Wallen's driver's license and iPhone, Manger said.
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