More than 10 years after her disappearance, Bethany Decker’s ex boyfriend, Ronald Roldan, pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Thursday. His sentencing is set for February 21, 2023.
Bethany Decker was 21 years old when she disappeared near Ashburn, Virginia in January 2011. Ronald Roldan, her boyfriend at the time and father of her unborn child, was the last person known to have seen her.
According to court documents, Roldan was living at her apartment when she disappeared, while her husband was away at military training. Despite numerous searches, Bethany was never found.
In November 2020, Roldan was indicted by a grand jury in Loudoun County, Virginia for the abduction and murder of Bethany.
The Disappearance of Bethany Decker
21 year old Bethany Decker was last heard from on the afternoon of January 29, 2011, when she called her work to confirm her schedule for the week.
On January 28, 2011, Bethany and her husband Emile Decker spent the night at her grandparents’ house after getting back from a week long vacation together in Hawaii where they tried to work out their marriage.
In September 2010, Bethany moved out with Roldan and they lived together in the Orchard Grass Terrace apartment complex in Ashburn, Virginia. She soon discovered Roldan to be an abusive and controlling partner, and her family urged her to get out of the relationship.
Bethany was about five months pregnant when she went missing, and Roldan is believed to be the father of her unborn son.
On February 2, 2011, Emile’s month long leave ended and he returned to Afghanistan, but Bethany wasn’t at the airport to send him off.
On February 19, 2011, Bethany’s family reported her missing to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office after repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact her, and after her friends realized someone was impersonating her on Facebook.
Bethany left behind all her personal belongings, including her passport and clothes. Investigators found no activity on her bank accounts, cell phone or email since January 29th, the day she returned home from her grandparent’s house.
Her Hyundai car was found parked in the parking lot of the apartment complex. It was noticeably dusty and one of the tires was flat.
Roldan was brought in for interrogation, and claimed that he last saw Bethany on the afternoon of January 29, 2011. She reportedly left the apartment without saying where she was going or when she’d be returning while he was occupied in the kitchen.
In March 2015, Roldan was charged with attempted murder after a domestic violence attack on girlfriend Vickey Willoughby in her home of Pinehurst, North Carolina on November 12, 2014.
He shot her three times, hitting her in the head and leg. Willoughby subsequently survived the gunshots but lost an eye to the head wound.
In May 2016, Roldan pleaded guilty to two reduced charges, a felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and a felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury.
On November 9, 2020, Roldan was indicted by a grand jury in Loudoun County, Virginia for the abduction of Bethany Decker and an additional charge of second degree murder in December 2020.
It should have been capital murder with the death penalty.