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Investigators at slain teacher's home

October 31, 2008 5:30:25 PM PDT
Investigators will return to a home on Long Island this morning -- to search for more clues in the murder of a special education teacher who vanished Monday. Donation information from Leah Walsh's family
Walsh's parents are asking that people not send flowers. They ask that instead, people consider a donation to the school where Leah worked:

School for Language and Communication Development
100 Glen Cove Avenue
Glen Cove, NY 11542

Detectives searched the Bethpage home of Leah Walsh last night as well. Police say her husband, Bill admitted that he strangled her Sunday during a fight over his infidelity -- then concocted a ruse to cover his tracks.

He's now charged with murder.

Sources tell Eyewitness News the red flags started popping up all over the place on Wednesday. Police say there were several inconsistencies in Bill Walsh's alibi. That's because, they say he knew all along, his wife was dead at the bottom of an embankment.

At a news conference on Thursday police said Walsh was confronted by his wife after spending the weekend in Atlantic City. According to police Leah Walsh confronted her husband about infidelity. Sometime after that Walsh allegedly choked his wife to death. Police added Walsh then went to McDonalds and did his laundry before taking the body and dumping it at the North Hills Country Club.

"Dragged her across the cold ground and left her in weeds, leaves, in a wooded area," said Det. Lt. Jon Azzata.

Authorities add Walsh then 'ditched' the car, flattened the tire, before returning home and making a tearful plea to Eyewitness News that he wanted his wife back.

Police say Leah Walsh did not disappear Monday, but she was killed by her husband.

"Mr. Walsh will not enjoy one nano-second of freedom for the rest of his life," said Nassau County Police Commissioner, Lawerence Mulvey.

Walsh is charged with second degree murder, and being held with no bail.

"We allege that William choked his wife to death, dumped her body in North Hills, staged a scene to make it appear her car was disabled on the highway," adds. Cmsr. Mulvey.

Police said Walsh's story just didn't add up, and detectives learned the couple was having marital problems, and Bill Walsh learned Leah was going to leave him.

Prosecutors said in court Walsh signed a seven page written confession with how he did the murder, and how he tried to cover it up.

Walsh's defense attorney, Karl Seman says his client is innocent. According to Seman, Walsh has been grieving for days and has not eaten or slept.

"The only evidence against him is a confession that was a result of at least nine hours of continuous non-stop interrogation. And if we know anything about recent events confessions are unreliable especially when trickery is involved," said Karl Seman.

Walsh is due back in court November 3rd.

Twenty-nine-year-old Leah Walsh, a special education teacher was reported missing after failing to arrive for work at at the School for Language and Communication Development in Glen Cove on Monday morning. She works with autistic children.

The school where Leah worked, released the following statement:
"We send our condolences and prayers to Leah's family. We want them to know that we will honor her memory and if we can support them in any way through this terrible time, we are here."

Ellenmorris Tiegerman, the school's founder and executive director, released a statement Thursday calling Leah Walsh an "extraordinary" teacher who "loved her students and ... was extremely dedicated to their families."

Police said the school contacted Walsh's mother, Mattie Hirschel. Hirschel then called her husband, Howard Hirschel, a school bus driver who happened to be driving children on the northbound Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway in Bethpage when he noticed his daughter's car, a 2005 black Ford Focus, disabled on the side of the highway.

Instead of calling police, he phoned the missing woman's husband, William Walsh, and summoned him to the scene and continued on to deliver the children to their school.

When Walsh arrived, he called 911, police said. Police helicopters, canine units and officers on horseback searched for hours in the area, which is near the massive Bethpage State Park, but all they found was the woman's purse, located in a nearby ditch.

William Walsh, who told police he was a mortgage broker, was questioned by detectives on Tuesday, but they emphasized it was a routine part of the investigation.

Earlier in the day, Walsh said, "She loves her children. She wouldn't just leave them. Something had to have happened."

Early Wednesday morning Leah's naked body was found in a wooded area on the property of the North Hills Country Club, about 50 feet from the north service road of the highway.

The discovery on the North Service Road, near Shelter Rock Road, is 13 miles from where Leah Walsh's car was found abandoned with a flat tire early Monday morning.

Soon after detectives searched for clues outside of the Walsh's home in Bethpage.

Before he knew the search for Leah was over, Bill Walsh's brother said while the couple had disagreements, Bill had nothing to do with Leah's disappearance.

One detail that did not seem like a big deal at the time was the driver of the van of who initially spotted Leah's abandoned car on the side of the road, says he now remembers seeing a man run from that car and get into a yellow vehicle.

Sources now tell Eyewitness News Bill Walsh drives a yellow car.

Leah and William had been married for three years; they have no children, police said.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson & Emily Smith
WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick & Scott Curkin

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