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Posted at 4:44 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Police discuss missing Va. woman

By Caitlin Gibson

In response to increasing concern from family members of Bethany Anne Decker, 21, a pregnant Ashburn woman missing for over a month, Loudoun Sheriff's Investigators joined Decker's family at a press conference Wednesday to step up public outreach efforts in the hopes that she will be found.

Decker, a student at George Mason University who is believed to be about 5 months pregnant, was reported missing by family members on Feb. 19. But witnesses last saw her enter her apartment on Jan. 29, according to authorities.


Decker. (LCSO)

Loudoun County Sheriff's Investigators said that Decker was reported missing after her family tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to contact her. At first, family members thought that Decker was just busy with school and her part-time job as a waitress, according to Kimberly Nelson, Decker's mother.

Authorities said they found Decker's car parked near her apartment on Orchard Grass Terrace, with no signs to indicate her whereabouts. There was also no sign that she had packed bags or had planned to leave her apartment, though her lease was due to expire at the end of January, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Her cell phone, bank account, facebook account and credit cards have not been used since Jan. 29, investigators said.

Decker and her husband, U.S. Army Private Emile Decker, have a 17-month-old son who has been living with his maternal grandparents while Decker attended George Mason University full-time.

Nelson said she last had contact with her daughter on Jan. 28.

"She was up in Maryland at my parents' house, and we were on speakerphone with her up there," said Nelson. "That was the last time that I'd spoken with her."

Nelson said the family was close and Decker was in frequent contact with her siblings, parents and grandparents through telephone conversations, texting and Facebook.

"We were quite concerned after it had been awhile where she hadn't contacted us," she said. "And her friends started contacting us too, saying we haven't heard from her, we haven't seen her."

Decker and her husband were on vacation together in Hawaii at the end of January while Emile was on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, according to Decker's family. Emile re-deployed on Feb. 2, just days after Decker was last seen. Family members said that they thought it was unusual that Decker did not come to the airport to see her husband off.

Decker has never run away or disappeared before, Nelson said.

Emile has been in touch with the Loudoun Sheriff's Office and is cooperating in the investigation, authorities said. Investigators said that they have not yet found any indication of foul play, and have no identified suspects or persons of interest in the case at this point.

Family members and investigators described Decker as a white woman, about 4'11" tall, weighing 130 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about Decker's disappearance is asked to contact the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-777-0475.

By Caitlin Gibson  | March 2, 2011; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  Loudoun  
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Comments

"who has been living with his maternal grandparents"

Does the reporter mean "living with his paternal grandparents?" If the baby was living with his maternal grandparents, that would mean he is living with Bethany Anne's parents. Wouldn't she come visit her son often enough to sound the alarms before a month went by?

This story is very confusing.

Posted by: itsme1 | March 2, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunate, but now there are lots of people with broken hearts and the person who is responsible for this will eventually be revealed. Too bad, but emotions outweigh commmon sense on some occasions. This case is obvious, however, more facts need to be collected.

Posted by: ioweioweoff2workigo | March 2, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Women have cellphones/black berrys surgically attached to their bodies. They can't get through 3 hours without touching base with family & friends let alone a month. They HAVE to communicate constantly. It's in their genes.

Credit cards not used for a month. Not a good sign. People seem to pay for every little thing with plastic these days.

I don't say that to be funny. I say it because bad news is in store for the family. Of course I'm happy to be proven wrong. But unless some creeps have kidnapped this woman like that poor Smart girl & eventually release her, foul play has occurred.

Lots of sick men out there.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | March 2, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

And what cellular phone tower did her phone connect to before its battery (and possibly its owner) died?

Posted by: blasmaic | March 2, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

"Decker and her husband were on vacation together in Hawaii at the end of January while Emile was on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, according to Decker's family. Emile re-deployed on Feb. 2, just days after Decker was last seen. Family members said that they thought it was unusual that Decker did not come to the airport to see her husband off."

Anybody interview the husband? Seems strange he was home when she disappeared. Also 5 months pregnant, got pregnant while husband on deployment? Lots of strang things going on here.

Posted by: billecaps | March 2, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Where on earth is the Post getting its writers these days? This is a poorly written piece! I had to keep scrolling through to figure out what the author meant. Wow! @Taxidriver - wth are you babbling about? Will keep the family in prayer but something's not right with the husband. Who leaves the country with their wife missing?

Posted by: wisewunn | March 3, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

This is a strange piece. The husband is deployed in Afghanistan and came home on leave?

The wife is 5 months pregnant so this means was she CHEATING while her husband is putting his life on the line for all americans including her!

If this is true, the husband may have something to do with her disappearance since he was home during the timeline of her missing? It's going to come to light and the truth will be revealed.

Posted by: Lovelylady2 | March 3, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Not to defend the husband (and I thought the article was confusing as well) but the Army normally does 1 year deployments and soldiers are allowed a 2 week R&R where they are able to come home on leave. Many of the soldiers try to plan their R&R halfway through the deployment but it doesn't always work out that way. Could have been she got pregnant right before he left and he was allowed his R&R 5 months into the deployment.
I do think it is suspicious that he would leave with his wife missing... Even if the Army would not allow him more time home, he could have just gone UA if he cared and just suffered the consequences.. The military is kinder and gentler these days and I am sure someone is his command (had they been notified) would have extended his leave.
Sad, but many times the culprit ends up being someone close to the victim. She doesn't sound like someone who would just disappear on her own. Very sad....

Posted by: lawyer77 | March 3, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I'll say it again for the English-impaired.

A woman who has not used her cell for over a month is dead.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | March 3, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

You do what the Army tells you to do. It ain't a democracy. You ain't working for Sprinkles cupcake store.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | March 3, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

An anonymous commenter on another article has said that she was living with someone other than her husband and that person was father of the child.
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Pregnant-Virginia-Woman-Missing-More-Than-a-Month-117201403.html

Posted by: DiggDigg | March 4, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

When a woman goes missing, look at the husband/boyfriend first. Or someone she knows. See if there is any hanky panky going on. That's who is usually responsible for their murder. Not total strangers.

A woman's life can change in an instant. Some bad luck and their life is over. Car has a flat tire on the highway late at night. Guy pulls over. Men are brazen & bold - doing stuff in broad daylight. Or sneaking into homes and kidnapping girls.
The drive that makes them want to do this stuff is very powerful.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | March 4, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

You people are sick. Stop treating this girl's life like a Lifetime movie and go deal with your own.

Posted by: Liesel216 | March 7, 2011 2:44 AM | Report abuse

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