SKOWHEGAN – Jury selection began Thursday for a Fairfield man accused of murdering his wife and burying her in a shallow grave.
Luc Tieman, 34, claimed his wife had walked out on him, but authorities later determined she had been shot to death in August of 2016.
Police first learned of the disappearance of Valerie Tieman, 34, when her parents called to report her missing.
When they talked to her husband Luc, they heard various stories. In one case he claimed they had gone shopping at the Skowhegan Walmart and she was gone by the time he returned.
A case that concerned people who knew the couple. Valerie had been active in the local theater scene. Emily Fournier told us at the time it appeared they had a strong marriage. “They always seemed like the perfect couple. You know, I keep saying, she thought of him as the sun and the moon. And he always worshiped her and they were just so cute together”.
But as the investigation continued, a darker picture emerged. Luc Tieman’s friends claimed he told them his marriage was ending and he had been seeing other women. A case that took another sharp turn when authorities decided to carry out a search warrant at the Fairfield property where the Tieman’s had been living with his parents.
“I can tell you she was found in the backyard about two to three hundred yards from the home,” said Maine State Police Spokesman Stephen McCausland.
Valerie Tieman’s body was discovered in a shallow grave. She had been buried in a blanket with a bottle of perfume, a bag of potato chips and a note.
Officials said Tieman later told them he had actually watched her overdose on heroin before she stopped breathing and that’s when he took her outside to bury her. But doesn’t explain her real cause of death. The medical examiner determined Mrs. Tieman had been shot in the head and neck.
Luc Tieman is an army veteran who reportedly suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder.
Whether that will play a roll in his defense will be answered once a jury is seated and testimony gets underway.