ASHBURN, Va. — The disappearance of Bethany Decker has mystified investigators in Loudoun County for nine years. On Monday, authorities announced a major development in the case: prosecutors are charging Decker's former boyfriend with abduction.
Deputies brought Ronald Roldan back to Virginia from North Carolina, where he has been serving time there for attacking another woman.
Decker was a 21-year-old student at George Mason University who was reportedly five months pregnant when she disappeared on Jan. 29, 2011, according to Loudoun County authorities. Despite extensive searches and a major investigation, she has never been found.
A former boyfriend, Ronald Roldan has now been named in a Virginia warrant as a suspect in her abduction. Roldan has been serving time for beating and shooting Vickey Iarussi in North Carolina in 2014.
Deputies from Loudoun County are being sent to North Carolina to take him into custody and return him to Virginia to face an abduction charge, according to a spokesman from the Loudoun County Sherriff's office.
"As we move forward with a warrant for arrest surrounding the disappearance of Bethany Anne Decker, our detectives are determined to find justice for Bethany and her family," Sheriff Mike Chapman said in a written statement.
A criminal complaint from Loudoun County General District Court offers some further details into the case, and the investigation that followed.
Decker was last heard from on the afternoon of January 29, 2011, when she called her work to try to pick up a shift that evening, but never showed up. The complaint says a coworker recalled speaking with her, and her phone records verified the call.
Roldan told police in an interview that he was unaware where Decker was going, and wasn't able to provide details about what she was wearing when she left.
According to the criminal complaint, Roldan left the apartment and withdrew cash from an ATM. He came back to the apartment to meet up with his ex-girlfriend and watch their two children, the complaint says.
When the ex-girlfriend, identified as Danielle Olvera, came over to drop off the kids, she asked where Decker was, according to the complaint. Roldan said she had left. When Olvera returned hours later, Decker had not returned and could not offer an explanation as to where she was, the complaint says.
In February of 2011, the complaint says Decker's Facebook page was used to contact Decker's husband and at least one of her friends. Those who got messages from the account said the person using the account could not answer basic questions about Decker's life or a recent trip to Hawaii, the complaint says. Authorities obtained records from Facebook through a search warrant that showed Roldan's IP address was used to access the account. Roldan is suspected of using Decker's account to prevent family and friends from discovering her disappearance, according to the complaint.
Decker's family reported her missing on February 19, 2011. There was no activity on her cell phone or bank accounts. She had no contact with her friend or family.
A search of Roldan's mother house found a key that belonged to her vehicle, according to the complaint.
Iarussi, the woman who survived the 2014 attack by Roldan that put him in prison in North Carolina, said she believes he killed Decker and disposed of her body.
“He just told me that he can make people disappear," she said. "And that I better be quiet and I better not go to the police. I'm just very thankful that he's going to still be locked up and behind bars, because then he can't hurt anyone else.”
At the time of her disappearance, investigators told WUSA9 that Decker lived in an apartment in Ashburn where Roldan was the last person to report seeing her on Jan. 29, 2011.
Authorities called him a "person of interest" as the investigation stretched out over the years.
Iarussi said she is hopeful that Roldan's extradition to Virginia may spark the memory of witnesses who could have information that could give investigators the evidence they need to find Decker’s body and elevate the charges against Roldan to murder.