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Ex-student: Murdered wife was my girlfriend

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 09. 2012 11:13PM

Murder victim Natalie LaFlam Perriello of Grantham is pictured with Joshua Towle on Towle's Facebook page. 

A former student of the Grantham woman allegedly killed by her husband two weeks ago claims on his Facebook page he was romantically involved with the 42-year-old mother of four.

'She's my girlfriend ... she was murdered the night before she was going to see me, the day after looking for a new house for us,' Joshua Towle, 20, posted two days after Natalie LaFlam Perriello was shot seven times inside her home April 26.

Perriello's husband, James, 41, allegedly confessed to police he murdered his wife because he believed she was having an affair with Towle. He said he secretly tape-recorded his wife earlier in the day and confronted her before the shooting with what he believed was evidence of her affection for Towle, police testified.

Perriello said his wife told him she had fallen out of love with him, according to police testimony at a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

'My wife was having an affair and I just lost my cool,' police said Perriello admitted when he called 911 to report he just shot his wife.

Perriello is charged with second-degree murder and is being held without bail at Sullivan County jail. He has entered no plea on the charge as the case now goes before a grand jury.

Towle did not respond Wednesday to messages left on his phone and sent to him on Facebook

A woman who answered the phone at LaFlam Perriello's parents' home in Meriden Wednesday night had no comment.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery A. Strelzin would not comment on claims posted on Towle's Facebook page or discuss the nature of Towle's relationship with LaFlam Perriello.

However, the Valley News, a newspaper based in Lebanon, reported Towle confirmed he became romantically involved with his former Canaan Elementary School teacher in the weeks before her death.

According to the newspaper, Towle said the relationship began four months ago when he was living in California and developed through phone calls, text messages and Facebook posts while he lived in California. He said he returned to New Hampshire on April 21; LaFlam Perriello picked him up at a Concord bus station and took him to Lancaster, where the two spent the night, the newspaper reported.

Towle's Facebook account reveals he and LaFlam Perriello frequently chatted and includes a photo of the two embracing.

'If you can't change the people around you, then change the people around you,' LaFlam Perriello posted April 3.

'Maybe ... are you gonna fail me?' Towle responded.

'Hahaha ... no. I will just insist on some extra credit work,' she replied.

LaFlam Perriello and her husband had been to marriage counseling on the day she was shot. Police said all four of the couple's children were in their Grantham home at the time of the shooting; LaFlam Perriello's 3-year-old son was in bed with her. A bullet narrowly missed the boy.

LaFlam Perriello taught computer technology and personal finance at Lebanon High School. Before that, she taught 14 years at Canaan Elementary.

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