Bethany Decker Murder – Welcome to the chilling story of the murder of Bethany Decker and the whereabouts of her killer, Ronald Roldan. This article delves deep into the heart-wrenching narrative of Bethany Decker, a young woman whose life was cut short, and the subsequent investigation that led to the arrest of her murderer.
The story is so intriguing that it has caught the media’s attention. In fact, NBC’s crime show “Dateline” has dedicated an episode titled “Bethany Vanished” to recount this tale. Let’s find out who killed Bethany Decker and where the killer is now.
Who Is Bethany Decker?
Bethany Decker, born May 13, 1989, was a vibrant young woman from Fredericksburg, Virginia. She pursued higher education at George Mason University in Fairfax, majoring in global and economic change. Bethany was not just a student; she was a multitasker who effortlessly balanced her studies with a full-time job. Her life took a significant turn when she became pregnant with her son, Emile Decker, the child of an Army National Guardsman, Emile.
As Emile’s military duties called him away to Afghanistan for extended periods, Bethany juggled her responsibilities, including her studies and child care. During Emile’s deployments, their son stayed with Bethany’s in-laws in Columbia, Maryland. The strains in their marriage started to emerge as 2010 ended, leading Bethany to find solace in a separate apartment in Ashburn, Virginia.
This is where she encountered Ronald Roldan, a Bolivian immigrant, and their lives took an unexpected turn. However, Bethany’s family soon noticed alarming signs in Roldan’s behavior as he became increasingly abusive, possessive, and controlling. To help Bethany escape this tumultuous relationship, her parents initiated a plan. By the end of the year, Bethany found herself pregnant with a child.
Emile returned from deployment in January 2011, and the couple embarked on a one-week vacation in Hawaii. Unfortunately, after their return, Bethany vanished, leaving her family and friends concerned about her well-being.
Bethany Decker Murder Story
Bethany’s life became more complex as her relationship with Ronald Roldan grew. Roldan had a history that included multiple children from different women. He met Bethany while living in the same apartment complex, and they became close. What started as a friendship grew into an affair, even though Roldan was married then.
As their relationship continued, Bethany began to experience Roldan’s controlling nature, leading her parents to advise her to leave him. Despite the turbulent nature of their relationship, it persisted until Bethany became pregnant. In January 2011, Emile returned from deployment, and they went on a trip to Hawaii. After their return, Emile last saw Bethany before she went back to their apartment in Ashburn, Virginia. Ronald Roldan claimed that he saw her there later that day, and no one else is known to have seen her after that.
In the weeks following her disappearance, Bethany’s family and friends began receiving unusual messages from her Facebook account. These messages seemed suspicious and uncharacteristic of Bethany, causing growing concern. It was on February 19 that Bethany’s mother, Kim, took matters into her own hands and reported her missing.
The following investigation revealed that Bethany had not used her bank accounts or cell phone since her disappearance. She had also yet to report to work or attend her classes, deepening the concerns about her whereabouts. The focus of the investigation initially turned towards Emile and Ronald due to their involvement in Bethany’s complicated romantic situation. The U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID) contacted Emile, stationed in Afghanistan, for questioning.
Emile cooperated with the authorities and returned to the United States for an interview. He was thoroughly questioned and even took a polygraph test. On the other hand, Ronald claimed to have seen Bethany on the day of her disappearance but soon moved out of their apartment as their lease expired. He suggested that Bethany might have returned to her family. Still, investigators grew more interested in him as they discovered his criminal record and inconsistent responses regarding the timeline of events on the day of Bethany’s disappearance.
Investigation and Arrest in Bethany Decker Murder:
The investigation into Bethany Decker’s disappearance took various twists and turns. Bethany’s husband, Emile, was thoroughly questioned and even took a polygraph test. However, suspicion eventually fell on Ronald Roldan due to his criminal record and his inconsistent responses regarding the timeline of events on the day of Bethany’s disappearance.
A critical development came when Ronald entered a new relationship with Vickey Willoughby, who also worked at a Virginia restaurant. This relationship quickly turned violent, leading to a horrifying altercation. During this altercation, Vickey, in self-defense, shot Ronald twice, but he managed to grab the gun and shoot her, causing her to lose an eye.
Ronald Roldan faced multiple charges related to this incident, and he accepted a plea bargain in 2016, pleading guilty to assault charges and receiving a prison sentence of six to eight years. As if this case was not complicated enough, Ronald’s involvement in Bethany’s disappearance resurfaced when he was charged with abduction by force or intimidation in November 2020.
In a surprising turn of events, Ronald decided to confess to the murder of Bethany Decker. He stated that during an argument, he pushed her, causing her to hit her head on a windowsill, which resulted in her death. Instead of seeking help, he panicked and disposed of her body in a Christmas tree disposal bag, which he placed in their apartment complex’s trash compactor.
On November 17, 2022, Ronald Roldan pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Bethany’s case despite her body never being found. This plea led to his sentencing on February 21, 2023, where he received a 40-year sentence with most of the sentence suspended. However, there is a condition that he will serve the full term if he commits another crime or violates specific conditions, including having no contact with Bethany’s family.
Who Is Ronald Roldan?
Ronald Roldan, born in the early 1980s, is a Bolivian national who moved to the United States at 11 years old. He crossed paths with Bethany Decker when he moved into her apartment complex. At that time, he had at least four children from three different women. When Ronald tragically lost one of his children, supposedly due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Bethany supported him during this difficult time.
Their relationship grew closer despite Ronald being married to another woman. However, as their relationship deepened, Bethany realized that Ronald was controlling and became advised by her parents to leave him on several occasions. Even after their relationship began fizzling, Ronald refused to leave her apartment. Her parents even changed her phone number, but Ronald bought her a new one.
Ronald Roldan’s life turned dark on the day of Bethany’s disappearance, January 29, 2011, when he admitted to seeing her that afternoon, making him one of the last persons to see her. Following her disappearance, Ronald moved on and began a relationship with waitress April Snyder. When their relationship turned sour, Ronald spat on her face, threw her belongings onto the front lawn, grabbed her arm, and pushed her down the stairs.
He faced charges for this conduct but paid $2,500 in compensation, which was dropped. Ronald then entered a relationship with Vickey Willoughby, who worked at Malones Restaurant in Manassas, Virginia. As their relationship progressed, Vickey questioned him about his involvement in Bethany’s disappearance, leading to his anger and defensiveness.
Where Is Killer Ronald Roldan Now?
In February 2023, Ronald Roldan pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case of Bethany Decker despite her body never being found. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with most of the sentence suspended. However, a condition of his sentencing stipulates that he will serve the full term if he commits another crime or violates specific conditions.
As of the time of writing, Ronald Roldan is being held at the Greensville Correctional Center, a prison facility located at 901 Corrections Way in Jarratt, Virginia. His release date is scheduled for November 24, 2031. This chapter of his life, which started with a tumultuous relationship and a tragic event, has led to a lengthy prison sentence.
In conclusion, the case of Bethany Decker’s murder and the subsequent confession by Ronald Roldan remind us of the complexities and mysteries that can surround such tragic events. While justice has been served, the memory of Bethany Decker lives on, and her story is a testament to the determination of investigators and the pursuit of truth and closure.