George Mason University student Bethany Decker has been missing since Feb. 19. Photo courtesy of Gabby Styles

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the disappearance of George Mason University student Bethany Anne Decker, a senior global and environmental change major. A search warrant was executed at the Centreville home of Decker’s current boyfriend according to a Connect2Mason article.

Decker, who is believed to be about five months pregnant, was reported missing by her family on Feb. 19. Decker’s boyfriend and the reported father of her unborn child last saw her on Jan. 29 at her Ashburn apartment, according to the search warrant from the Loudoun County courthouse, which was posted online by reporter Michelle Sigona. Police found her car at the apartment complex.

“The family doesn`t really know what to say,” said Peter Byrnes Jr., the Decker family attorney, on “Nancy Grace.” “This is one of those kinds of depressing things where they don`t really know what to say. They`re praying together and just keeping the message tight. That’s what they’re doing.”

Byrnes said it wasn’t uncommon for Decker “to go off the grid for a little bit” which is one reason why her disappearance wasn’t reported until Feb. 19. According to the Washington Post, authorities said Decker was not reported missing right away because her Facebook account was active, although family had not been in contact with her.

“It was reported that Bethany Decker had also had an ‘inactive’Facebook account, but that it had reappeared online and someone ‘posing’ as Bethany had been ‘chatting’ with her friends,” the warrant says.

“When enough people hadn’t heard anything and she wasn’t returning calls, the family got concerned,” Byrnes said. “So it wasn’t like there was a three-week delay. It was more like things weren’t adding up, and that’s when the family realized, we might want to do something about it.”

A Facebook group created to bring attention to her disappearance had over 1,200 members, but on Wednesday administrators of the group sent an e-mail stating that the group would be shut down.

“Pray for and Support Bethany Decker/Littlejohn and Her Family is being shut down. Sorry, everyone, but I have gotten multiple messages about this event causing harm to the investigation,” the e-mail said.

Mason police are not involved in the investigation.

A Mason spokesperson told NBC Washington that Decker had registered for classes and had paid tuition, but did not show up at all this semester.

Decker’s husband, Emile Decker, is serving with the National Guard in Afghanistan.

According to Fox 5 News, the two have been married for about a year and a half and have a 17-month old son, Kai. Loudoun County investigators said they have not identified any suspects or persons of interest in the investigation and that Decker’s husband and boyfriend are both cooperating with investigators.

News of Decker’s disappearance came as a surprise to friends of Decker, who say they hope all the media attention surrounding Decker’s disappearance will bring her home soon.

Gabby Styles, an integrative studies major who has known Decker since their freshman year in 2007, said in an e-mail interview that she first heard the news of Decker’s disappearance on the 5 o’clock news.

“I just froze,” said Styles “I couldn’t believe it… It was and is so surreal to know that she is missing. I see these missing person clips all the time on T.V. and I never thought it would happen to someone I was friends with.”

“I had known things weren’t going so well this year for her,” said Erica Terrini, a Virginia Commonwealth University student who had been good friends with Decker since sophomore year of high school. “She’s in a really difficult situation and doing her best to go through school and take care of her son, Kai, and still stay in touch with her friends and family . . . I was kind of shocked [she was reported missing] because it seemed I had just spoken to her not too long ago.”
Terrini described Decker as motivated, upbeat, witty and an all around good friend.

“She’s so open and understanding,” said Terrini. “I could really just count on her for anything.”

Styles and Terrini are glad that Decker’s disappearance has gotten so much media attention and urge anybody that might know something about Decker’s whereabouts to come forward.

“There may be someone out there that has seen her in a store and saw her face on T.V. . . . Having so much news about her will keep her fresh in everyone’s mind,” said Styles. “I am just thinking that she really needed a vacation and turned off her phone and took a break from everything. I am still very hopeful that she will come back safely from wherever she is and everything will be ok.”

Decker is 4 feet 11 inches tall, 130 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Any information concerning her whereabouts should be reported to Loudoun County investigators at 703-777-0475.

Broadside Editor-in-Chief Emily Sharrer contributed to this report.