Teacher disappears after flat tire

October 28, 2008 9:51:16 PM PDT
Investigators are trying to locate a schoolteacher who went missing after calling her husband to say her car had broken down with a flat tire on the side of a Long Island highway.Leah Walsh was reported missing sometime after 6:30 a.m. Monday after her 2005 black Ford Focus was found with a flat tire on the northbound shoulder of the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway near Bethpage.

The 29-year-old woman's purse was found nearby, but little other evidence has turned up.

Police questioned the husband for several hours. He left the precinct in Levittown around 9:00 Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, Walsh told Eyewitness News, "I just want my wife back." He said he last saw his wife around 6:00 when she left for her job.

Leah Walsh teaches autistic children at a private school, but she never made it to work.

Officials in the Glen Cove school district notified police and called relatives when she failed to arrive.

Her father went looking for her. He found her vehicle on the expressway with a right flat front tire and a DOT sticker marked 6:30 a.m.

"Typically, they leave a sticker on the driver's window, which tells them that the car was disabled, found in a disabled way, and that there was no one present. It's assumed that person went for help," Det. Sgt. Tony Repalone said.

Later Monday, William Walsh and some highway workers found her pocketbook near the vehicle, which authorities said is cause for concern.

Walsh said he last heard from his wife in a text message, but declined to elaborate because of the police investigation.

Police have impounded her car, but investigators said they have found no clues about what happened to her.

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