SKOWHEGAN — Inside Valerie Tieman’s shallow grave, police, in September 2016, found a Mason jar containing flower stems, a wedding band and a handwritten note on an index card.

Valerie Tieman

The note opened with the words “To my one and only Joy-Joy. Flower. Forever.”

Maine State Police Sgt. Scott Bryant read from the note in court Tuesday morning on the second day of the murder trial of Luc Tieman, 34, of Fairfield. Tieman, who served in Iraq and reportedly suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, is charged with intentional or knowing murder in the death of his wife, Valerie Tieman, in August 2016 and faces 25 years to life in prison if he is found guilty of murder.

The words in the note read: “I love you Valerie Joy T. I’ll love you forever. Rest in peace. My heart in Jesus,” with an X and an O, “hugs,” exclamation points, and an apparent reference to Luc Tieman’s marriage nickname “Luc-e” the bear.

The grave note contained language similar to that in other notes found among Valerie Tieman’s possessions taken from the Tieman home at 628 Norridgewock Road in Fairfield by a Waterville Walmart loss prevention and theft specialist at the request of Valerie’s parents in September 2016, according to testimony Tuesday.

Those notes dated March 2, 2015, apparently saved by Valerie as marriage mementoes, contained the words “joy-joy,” “Our lives connected by Jesus,” “I love you forever,” and “Luc-e” Bear.”


Bryant testified Tuesday morning that Valerie Tieman’s body was found wrapped in an orange, black and white blanket with the Mason jar “near her head.”

Under the body, Bryant testified, police found a potato chip bag, a box of SweeTarts candy, a plaid shirt and a blue-and-gold woven knit hat.

Beneath the body police also found a bottle of Gucci perfume called Guilty.

During the search Sept. 20, 2016, behind Tieman’s parents’ house on Norridgewock Road, it took game warden Alan Curtis and his search dog, Sig, only four or five minutes to detect human remains.

A patch of black fabric and a part of a shoe or boot were visible 250 yards down an all-terrain vehicle trail. Sig indicated the presence of a decomposed body.

“It was buried,” Curtis testified Tuesday morning.


The body was that of Tieman’s wife, Valerie.

Police described interviews with Luc Tieman that started Sept. 13, 2016, and culminated in an extended exchange with State Police Detective Chris Crawford on Sept. 20, the day Valerie’s body was found and a day before Luc Tieman was arrested and charged with her murder.

A 90-minute audio recording of the Sept. 20 conversation between the two men was played for the jury Tuesday afternoon. Tieman stuck to his story of Valerie having left his truck at the Skowhegan Walmart store on Aug. 30, 2016. Police and prosecutors allege that Tieman had killed her five days earlier and buried her body behind his parents’ house.

State police Detective Chris Crawford and Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea take part Monday in the trial of Luc Tieman, who is accused of murdering his wife, Valerie Tieman. The trial is being held in Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan.

In the recording, Tieman and Crawford talk about a pool party in Waterville that Tieman had attended Aug. 24, 2016, and the girlfriends that he reportedly had outside of his marriage to Valerie. Crawford presses him in exchanges that took place before the body was found later that day. They discuss marital problems and Valerie’s drug use and the fact that one of the women he allegedly was seeing had texted Valerie, telling her of her husband’s infidelity.

Tieman at times shook his head Tuesday as he listened to the recording. At other times he appeared to be crying softly, grabbing tissues from a box on the defendant’s table. At other times he appeared to be unaffected by the testimony, taking notes or just sitting there at the table.

In the recording, Crawford tells Tieman that the last time anyone heard from Valerie was Aug. 24, 2016, and police say she was killed Aug. 25, but Tieman said she disappeared Aug. 30.


“I’m not going to lie to you,” Crawford can be heard telling Tieman. “Honestly, it doesn’t look good. I don’t think she’s alive. We need to find her.”

Halfway through the recording Crawford tells Tieman that investigators have found a woman’s body behind his parents’ house. At that point it had not been identified, but Crawford tells him of the note and the name “Luc-e.”

“I didn’t do anything to her,” Tieman says. “I didn’t do it.”

Tieman then changes his story, saying he went to Winslow to buy heroin for Valerie.

“I watched her put the needle in her arm,” Tieman is heard saying, sounding like he is crying.

“She had a smile on her face,” he says, now clearly crying.


He said he got some tools and dug a trench and buried her. He said he never called an ambulance for his wife.

Investigators with the Maine State Police and Maine Warden’s Service look for evidence in the death of Valerie Tieman, whose body was found Sept. 20, 2016, in the woods behind 628 Norridgewock Road in Fairfield.

State police Sgt. Bryant told the jury of eight men and six women before Justice Robert Mullen on Tuesday morning that investigators slowly unearthed the body once it was located, saving the soil for further evidence collection.

Inside the 3-foot-wide shallow grave police found the Mason jar containing flower stems and a wedding band near Valerie Tieman’s head. Bryant said he took off his own ring and held it next to the one found in the grave. “It was larger than mine,” he said.

Investigators found blood evidence on Walmart receipts inside Luc Tieman’s red Chevrolet pickup truck and on the fender and bumper of the truck, as well as in the back seat and on the truck’s glove box handle and door handle, Bryant said.

State police, under direct examination from Assistant Attorneys General Leane Zainea and Leanne Robbin, also identified the gun used to shoot Valerie twice in the head and neck as having been a .45-caliber Citadel handgun.

The killing is alleged to have taken place Aug. 25 — 15 days before Valerie’s parents reported her missing and five days before Tieman claimed his wife disappeared Aug. 30 from the Walmart parking lot in Skowhegan, but he did not report her missing.


An autopsy report from the state medical examiner’s office says opiates were found in Valerie’s blood, but that she died of two gunshot wounds, one to the head and one to the neck, from a semi-automatic pistol found by police in Luc Tieman’s parents’ home in Fairfield.

Tieman maintained his innocence the entire time, right up until pleading not guilty to the murder charge in November 2016 and agreeing to go on trial before a judge and jury.

The trial is scheduled to continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367


Comments are not available on this story.