Local News

Bordeaux murder suspect makes first court appearance

Posted May 15, 2014

— A Fayetteville man arrested in the death of a 23-year-old Fort Bragg soldier missing for more than two years made his first appearance Thursday afternoon in Cumberland County courtroom.

Nicholas Michael Holbert, 27, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the death of Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux, whose remains were discovered Wednesday morning in a heavily wooded area near the Interstate 295 corridor in northern Fayetteville.

District Judge David Hasty ordered Holbert be held in jail under a $250,000 bond on the kidnapping charge and without bond on the murder charge.

Arrest warrants obtained Wednesday by The Fayetteville Observer say that Holbert and Bordeaux arrived together at the now-closed Froggy Bottoms bar in Fayetteville on the night of April 13, 2012, and were there for several hours before getting into a fight in the parking lot.

The warrants continue to allege that Holbert hit Bordeaux, knocked her unconscious, and then carried her in his car to where he lived behind the bar. There, he hit her several more times in the head until she died.

Holbert "shared vital information" with Fayetteville homicide detectives, Police Chief Harold Medlock said Wednesday, and was with them when they found Bordeaux's remains in the heavily wooded area off River Road, approximately 4 miles from the bar.

Bordeaux, a combat medic assigned to the 601st Area Support Medical Company, 44th Medical Brigade at Fort Bragg, was last seen alive on the early morning of April 14, 2012, at Froggy Bottoms, where she had gone to sing karaoke.

At the time, police believed she left the bar with a man she met there the week before, a person identified as a registered sex offender. She was reported missing two days later when she didn't report to work.

The man, whom police identified as Holbert, said he dropped off Bordeaux at the entrance to the apartment complex where she lived with her husband, who was in Florida visiting family that weekend.

Investigators said in 2012 that two text messages were sent from her cellphone after she left the bar, including one that said she had arrived home. Police, however, said they don't believe Bordeaux sent that one.

Bordeaux's disappearance attracted nationwide attention for months and drew volunteers from across the country to Fayetteville to help investigators and the military search for her.

Buddy Berube, an investigator with Marshburn Investigation Agency, said Wednesday night that his firm took a particular interest in the case and wanted to help the Bordeaux family.

They were never officially hired to help in the search, but the owner of the agency was present Wednesday when police located Bordeaux's body, Berube said.

"We started working this case about 22 months ago and started getting leads, and we just went with the leads that we had," Berube said. "We knew that we were making headway approximately a month ago, and it came together like a puzzle."

Berube said his firm worked "numerous hours, too many to count" in its search.

"There is so much emotion because you have recovered someone, a person that was missing," he said. "You are able to send them home, and that was basically what today was like. It was an overwhelming day."


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  • Jane Tuohey May 16, 2014
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    Tunnel vision conclusion? Dollibug you defend the perpetrators all the time, they have attorneys to defend them. How about these innocent people that are getting murdered, they are the ones that need your support...

  • Obamacare returns again May 16, 2014

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    I'm I the only one who thinks the husband was also in on it?

  • storminnorman May 16, 2014

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    It was 4 miles from froggy bottoms, I think I heard yesterday on TV they found her body 1/4 mile from her home.

  • Forthe Newssite May 16, 2014
    user avatar

    wonder what caused him to change is story and finally tell the truth?

  • fishbonefan May 16, 2014

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    4 miles, not 1/4 mile.

  • Michael Clay May 16, 2014
    user avatar

    DOLLIBUG, the artical states that polilce don't believe Bordeaux sent the message that stated that she had arrived home, not Holbert. And, if they know that Holbert knocked her out, took her to his camp and beat her some more and if he took them to the body it stands to reason that they had enough evidence to arrest him.

  • iknowmyschnitzel May 16, 2014

    Dollibug, reread the article. They have said all along that they don't think SHE sent the text messages.

  • dollibug May 16, 2014

    The man admitted he gave her a ride....the article states that there were a couple of messages sent from her phone but they don't think this man sent them. There seems to be a LOT missing from this *story*.....I hope they have PROOF that this man is GUILTY....and is not being another *tunnel vision conclusion*. I guess time will tell.

  • storminnorman May 16, 2014

    They said they found her remains 1/4 mile from her house. What kinda sorry hounds were they using when they were searching for her all over everywhere. I think my dog could find something a 1/4 mile away.

  • youpeoplearesoentertaining May 15, 2014

    Wow, this makes it sound as if something may have been going on between the two....