New information in search for Bethesda woman’s body 20 years after murder, disappearance

Montgomery County police released new details Thursday in the cold case murder and disappearance of a Bethesda, Maryland, woman in 2000.

Authorities say they’ve received “credible information” that 45-year-old Alison Thresher was murdered by Fernando Asturizaga, a convicted child sex abuser who hanged himself in 2018, and buried her somewhere in the area of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

According to police, detectives have searched 300 acres of the USDA center in Beltsville but haven’t found any human remains.

They ask that anyone who may have discovered or noted anything unusual in the area pertaining to this case call them at 240-773-5070.

In 1999, Thresher began to raise concerns about what she called an inappropriate relationship between her daughter and Asturizaga, who started sitting for the children while the Threshers were in the process of getting divorced.

Alison Thresher was last seen by her parents the night of May 23, 2000. She was reported missing by her sister two days later on May 25, 2000.

Asturizaga was serving a nearly 170-year prison sentence for sexually abusing Thresher’s daughter Hannah when he was found dead in his jail cell April 12, 2018, hours after being named a person of interest in Thresher’s disappearance.

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