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

Those allegations are contained in a police affidavit filed in court and made public Thursday afternoon. Luc Tieman, 32, of Fairfield, has been accused of killing his wife and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on a felony murder charge Friday morning in Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan.

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

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

But an autopsy by the state Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the head.

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



Those details emerged Thursday even as Erin Merrin, Luc Tieman’s ex-wife, 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.

“I was afraid of this outcome,” said Merrin, who is formerly from Oakland but now lives in Texas.

“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.”

Merrin said 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.”


She and Tieman had four children, but courts ruled he was to have no physical contact with them, Merrin said.

A statewide criminal records check Wednesday showed Tieman had one criminal conviction in Maine: criminal mischief, in 2014, for which he was incarcerated for 48 hours and paid $100 in restitution.

A week ago, state police 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 left her in the couple’s red Silverado pickup. 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 and 11:30 p.m., from Aug. 21 to 31, the document states.

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

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

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

Luc Tieman joined the Army in 2004 and got out in late 2012 or early 2013, Merrin said, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“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 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 his parents in Fairfield for the summer.


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

But Allen Harmon posted a message on his Facebook page Thursday about the pain he and his family are feeling, citing a passage from the Bible, “the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”


Harmon recounted how he and his wife left at 4 a.m. for the hospital on Dec. 31, 1981 – hurrying over roads covered with freezing rain and snow – and welcoming Valerie Joy Harmon into the world 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.”

Luc Tieman’s father, Alan Tieman, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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 state Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve 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,” he said.

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

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