Her body was wrapped in a patterned blanket, buried in a shallow grave of freshly moved soil in the Fairfield woods.

Beneath the body of Valerie Tieman were a bag of potato chips, a bottle of perfume and a note that “reportedly has an apologetic tone.”

Those details have emerged from an autopsy report composed by the state Medical Examiner’s Office, obtained Monday by the Morning Sentinel under a public records request.

The report, while revealing new specifics about the discovery of Valerie Tieman’s body on Sept. 20, also raises questions about the items and note found at her burial site. A police affidavit in support of a murder charge against her husband, Luc Tieman, made no mention of the items and the state Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the criminal case, wouldn’t comment on the new details in the autopsy report.

Timothy Feeley, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said in response to a request for comment Monday that Luc Tieman had not yet undergone a psychological examination and that the defendant hadn’t requested a Harnish hearing to determine bail. Tieman remains at Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

“The next step is to seek an indictment from a grand jury,” Feeley said via email.


Stephen Smith, Luc Tieman’s defense attorney, did not immediately return a call Monday placed to his office at Lipman & Katz of Augusta.

According to the autopsy report, Valerie Tieman’s cause of death was “gunshot wounds of head and neck,” and she was “shot by other person(s).”

When her body was found, it was “clad in damp clothing consisting of brown boots, bright yellow/green socks, a grey T-shirt, blue jeans and a navy shirt, according to the report, which is dated Oct. 5. The report was signed by Clare Bryce, a medical doctor and deputy chief medical examiner who performed the autopsy Sept. 21, the day after Tieman’s body was found.

Sept. 21 also is the day that Luc Tieman was arrested and charged with murdering her and burying her about 400 yards from where they had lived with his parents at 628 Norridgewock Road in Fairfield.

Valerie Tieman, 34, had been reported missing by her parents in South Carolina Sept. 9.

Luc Tieman, 32, later told police he had last seen her Aug. 30 in their pickup truck in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Skowhegan when he went into the store. He said when he came out of the store, she was gone and he suspected she had run off with another man, but police later found no evidence supporting that claim.


The day her body was found in the woods behind where the Tiemans had been living until recently with his parents Luc Tieman then told police his wife had overdosed on heroin as he watched.

But friends and family came forward, saying Luc Tieman was unfaithful to his wife even while suggesting to women that his marriage was ending. One woman said he intensely courted her around the time his wife disappeared.

Valerie Tieman, 5-foot-9-inches tall and 123 pounds, had been shot twice, according to the autopsy report. She suffered a perforating gunshot wound of the head with an “indeterminate range entrance wound of the right parietal scalp” with an exit wound in the region of the right forehead, according to the autopsy report. She also suffered a “penetrating gunshot wound of the right posterior neck,” according to the autopsy.

The report did not say what type of caliber gun or bullet might have been used, nor any additional details about the “apologetic” note.

Substances apparently were found in Valerie Tieman’s system, according to a toxicology report that accompanies the document. They include Buprenorphine, a “Schedule III controlled synthetic opioid that has both analgesic and opioid antagonist effects” that is used for pain treatment and as a pharmacotherapy for opioid dependence, and Tramadol, a “synthetic opioid receptor agonist used for the management of moderate to moderately severe pain,” the report states.

The Medical Examiner’s Office did not return a call and email seeking comment and clarification about autopsy report details, including the toxicology report.


Memorial and funeral services were held for Valerie Tieman in both Fairfield and South Carolina, where her parents live. At the Fairfield memorial, held Oct. 2 at Fairfield United Methodist Church, she was remembered as a vivacious woman who loved theater, acted with the Recycled Shakespeare Company and was deeply religious. Her funeral was the previous day in Taylors, South Carolina.

Amy Calder — 861-9247


Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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