Three years later, Loudoun investigators continue search for missing woman

Three years after a pregnant George Mason University student disappeared from her Ashburn home, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office investigators still hope for a lead that might help them find her.

Bethany Anne Decker was 21 and about five months pregnant with her boyfriend’s child when she vanished in January 2011, authorities said.

At first, her family thought the young waitress was too busy with work and school to return their calls. But they reported her missing Feb. 19, 2011, after her grandparents stopped by her apartment on Orchard Grass Terrace. They found no sign of Decker but saw her car parked nearby.

“We’re still looking at every lead, examining what we have so far and trying to get as much information as we can,” Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said. “We hope that we can get something additional out there from the public.”

Kimberly Nelson, Decker’s mother, said at the time of Decker’s disappearance that it was unlike her to be out of contact with family members or to run away. Decker, whom authorities described as estranged from her husband, also had a young son from her marriage.

Chapman said authorities found no records to indicate that Decker left the country. They also found no records of her giving birth to her second child.

Her bank accounts, cellphones, e-mail and Facebook page have shown no activity since her disappearance, authorities said.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Nelson said that she thinks her daughter is alive and that she hopes constantly for good news.

“Every day, when the phone rings, if it’s an unknown caller . . . could that be her, or somebody calling about her?” Nelson said in the interview.

Nelson has also told reporters that she wants Decker’s boyfriend, Ronald Roldan, to take a polygraph exam. Nelson and Decker’s husband, Emile Decker, took polygraph exams in 2011 while cooperating with investigators, she said.

Chapman said Decker’s young son, now 4, is living with his father, who has since returned from deployment with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. The family continues to work with investigators to solve the case, he said.

“She’s still missing, and what we’re trying to do is remind people that we haven’t forgotten about this,” Chapman said. “There is a family that is in pain still, and we want people to know that we are still actively following through on this investigation, and we want any information we can possibly get from the public.”

Anyone who has any information about Decker or the case is asked to contact Detective S. Schochet at 703-777-0475. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are asked to call Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

Caitlin Gibson covers Loudoun County for The Washington Post.
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