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Police Search For Missing Pregnant College Student

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Bethany Decker
Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — A pregnant college student disappears in Howard County. Now police are desperate for clues. WJZ has learned authorities are preparing to interview the woman’s husband.

Jessica Kartalija has the latest on the case.

“I never imagined that today I’d be here in front of all these people, reaching out and saying, ‘Does anyone know where my daughter is?’” said Kimberly Nelson.

Kimberly Nelson’s daughter Bethany Decker, 21, is a senior at George Mason University and is about 5 months pregnant. She hasn’t been seen since Jan. 29. That’s when she was in Columbia, Md. visiting her grandparents, Evelyn and Earl Bales, with her Army husband Emile Decker, 21.

Emile was home from Afghanistan for just a few weeks.The couple had flown to Hawaii to see family and then stayed with Bethany’s grandparents.

The family was asked not to discuss the details of that visit, but when it came time for Emile to fly back to Afghanistan on Feb. 2, Bethany was not there.

“That was a bit unusual,” said Nelson.

For three weeks, the family did not hear from Bethany, even though her mother takes care of the couple’s 17-month-old son.

“She wasn’t necessarily in contact with me everyday but certainly with her siblings or via Facebook; it’s a wonderful way to keep in touch. We could see what was going on. School was starting and other things were going on too so I could understand she would be busy with getting into a new routine,” Nelson said.

It wasn’t until Feb., 19 when the Bales’ decided to stop by Bethany’s apartment when they saw her car was still there, that they realized she was missing and filed a report.

“We just had a feeling. We were concerned and we filed a report,” said Bethany’s grandmother.

Bethany Decker is also a waitress, but investigators declined to say where she works.

Investigators say Bethany’s husband Emile Decker is neither a suspect nor a person of interest. Because he is stationed in Afghanistan, he will be interviewed via web cam.

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