Valerie Tieman was killed by two gunshots to the head, even though her husband told police under questioning that he watched her overdose on heroin.

Those allegations are contained in a police affidavit filed in court, made public late Thursday afternoon, against Luc Tieman.

Luc Tieman, charged with murdering his wife, is scheduled to appear Friday morning in Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan. Tieman, 32, of Fairfield, is to be in court at 8:15 a.m., according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

In the affidavit, a state police detective says he spoke with Luc Tieman after authorities on Tuesday discovered a partially-buried woman’s body — later identified as his wife, Valerie — in woods near where they lived. Luc Tieman initially denied knowing anything about the body but later changed his story and admitted it was his wife, according to the document.

Luc Tieman then claimed his wife had a drug addiction and he had watched her overdose on heroin and die, according to the document. He further claimed that his wife smiled at him, stopped breathing, and he left her in her bed at night and later dug a trench outside and buried her.

But the state Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy on the body and determined the cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the head, the affidavit states.


“Fragments consistent with bullet fragments were retrieved from the skull,” the document states.

Those details emerged Thursday even as Erin Merrin, the ex-wife of Luc Tieman, said in an interview with the Morning Sentinel that she was worried when she learned that Valerie Tieman was missing and feared for the woman’s safety.

Merrin, who has four children from her prior marriage with Luc Tieman, said her heart goes out to Valerie’s family and friends in the wake of her death, which police say is a homicide.

“I was afraid of this outcome,” Merrin, of Texas and formerly of Oakland, said Thursday in a statement to a Morning Sentinel reporter.

Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service on Tuesday recovered Valerie Tieman’s body from the woods, a few hundred yards from where the couple lived with Luc Tieman’s parents at 628 Norridgewock Road in Fairfield. She was 34.

Merrin said in her statement that she and Luc Tieman were high school sweethearts at Messalonskee High School in Oakland and married after she graduated in 2003.


“He was a sweet, loving guy during those high school years,” Merrin said. “After we got married, things started to change, even before he joined the Army. There were a lot of domestic violence incidents over the years among other things which I will not go into detail about. If detail is needed, that will all be done in court.”

According to Luc Tieman’s Facebook page, he attended Messalonskee High School in Oakland and was formerly in the U.S. Army.

A statewide criminal records check on Wednesday showed that Tieman had one criminal conviction in Maine: criminal mischief, in 2014, for which he was incarcerated for 48 hours and paid $100 in restitution. Merrin said police are aware of the domestic violence incidents and where they occurred, though she declined to say in what state they were reported.

Merrin said that while she and Luc Tieman have four children together, courts have ruled he was to have no physical contact with the children.

In interviews with the Morning Sentinel, friends of the Tiemans have said that Luc Tieman was unfaithful to Valerie and wooed other women even as he suggested his marriage was ending around the time that she disappeared.

State police a week ago asked the public for help in finding Valerie Tieman, whose parents in South Carolina reported her missing Sept. 9.


Luc Tieman did not report her missing, but later told police that he last saw her Aug. 30 when he went into the Wal-Mart in Skowhegan and she was in the couple’s red Silverado pickup truck. He told police she was not in the truck when he returned from the store.

According to the affidavit, police reviewed surveillance video of the Wal-Mart parking lot where Luc Tieman said he had parked his truck with Valerie in it Aug. 30. The truck was not seen in the video at that location between 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., from Aug. 21 to 31, according to the document.

Police arrested Tieman Wednesday morning and charged him with felony murder. They stopped him in a vehicle on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville, near where he had spent the night in a motel.


Luc Tieman joined the U.S. Army in 2004 and got out in late 2012 or early 2013, according to Merrin, who said they were not living together at the time. He had an E-4 rank and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Merrin.

“We were divorced in 2013 after he came back from his last tour and subsequently got out of the Army,” she said.


Merrin said she never met Valerie Tieman in person and did not know what kind of relationship she had with Luc, but she had spoken with her.

“I last talked to her in late June of this year about Luc having phone/mail contact with the children,” Merrin said. “She seemed very sweet and happy. And eager to help him reconnect with the children.”

According to Luc and Valerie Tieman’s friends, the couple visited Valerie’s parents in South Carolina early in the summer and then moved in with Luc’s parents in Fairfield for the summer.

Erin Merrin provided the Morning Sentinel with a Facebook post that Valerie Tieman wrote to her on June 27 that says:

“So we’re getting a few things from our trip down east coast together to send kids, then calling. They will have something to start talking about …”

Merrin said when she learned Valerie was missing, she was concerned and even sent her a Facebook message. Merrin wrote that if Valerie did not want to contact her family or Luc’s family, she could always contact Merrin.


Merrin sent the following message to Valerie on Sept. 14, five days after Valerie’s parents had reported her missing:

“Hi, I don’t know if you will get on here but if you do and for some reason just don’t want to contact your family or his, you can message me or call or whatever, a lot of people are worried about you and I know this is odd coming from his ex, but yeah I’d like to know you are ok too.”

Valerie never responded to Merrin’s message, and then, several days later, Merrin learned of Valerie’s death.

“My heart goes out to her family, friends and anyone who met and knew her,” Merrin said. “She didn’t deserve this. No one does.”


Valerie Tieman’s parents, Allen and Sarajean Harmon, of Taylors, South Carolina, have not responded to Facebook messages from the Morning Sentinel seeking comment. The police affidavit says Valerie’s last contact with them was via Facebook on Aug. 18.


Luc Tieman’s father, Alan, also did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

But Allen Harmon posted a message on his Facebook page Thursday that reveals the pain he and his family are feeling over the loss of his daughter. He cited a passage from the Bible, “the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Harmon recounted Dec. 31, 1981, when he and his wife left at 4 a.m. for the hospital — hurrying through freezing rain and snow on the roads — and Valerie Joy Harmon was born an hour and a half later.

“Little did we know that this dramatic entrance into this world was setting the stage for so many acts of love and kindness, humor and sorrows and for a grand finale one of the most heartbreaking things a parent could ever experience … the tragic and useless murder of our precious daughter,” Allen Harmon wrote. “So now we are comforted in this the hardest time of our lives by the fact that she is in Heaven.”

Harmon goes on to say that his prayer “through this awful tragedy” is “people will realize that life is short and death is real and the only way to see Heaven and our precious Valerie again is through the salvation Christ has paid for us. If you died today where would you be?”

Meanwhile, Randall Ball, a close friend of the Harmons in South Carolina, says that he thinks they will speak out about their daughter’s killing at some point, but they are now in deep mourning.


Ball said in an email Thursday that during the time Valerie was missing, Ball called Luc Tieman about her disappearance and he didn’t believe what Tieman was telling him.

“Valerie was someone who always had your back if you needed her and would go above and beyond,” Ball wrote.


The felony murder case against Luc Tieman is being handled by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, which prosecutes all homicides in the state.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zainea was at the scene Tuesday when Valerie Tieman’s body was recovered, as was McCausland and John Morris, state commissioner of Public Safety.

McCausland said Thursday that state police searched the property and home earlier this week.


“At this point, this goes into the hands of the AG, and anything new will come out in court proceedings,” McCausland said.

A call to the state Medical Examiner’s Office Thursday seeking information about the cause of death was not returned. A spokesman from that office said Wednesday that no details were ready for release and a call to the AG’s office Thursday was not returned.

A Somerset County Court clerk said Thursday that her office does not yet have the affidavit in the case.

Tieman is being held at Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

The Family Violence Project on Wednesday called out to those affected by the death of Valerie Tieman, offering support to them and anyone else affected by domestic violence. The Family Violence Project, which is the domestic violence resource center for Kennebec and Somerset counties, is available 24 hours a day at 1-877-890-7788 for people to speak with an advocate who can help with confidential safety planning, information and support.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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