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Dive team searches pond in Bragg soldier's disappearance

Posted April 18, 2012

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— Fayetteville police on Wednesday searched an area near Froggy Bottoms bar, where a missing Fort Bragg soldier was last seen early Saturday, while a dive team searched a pond about 8 miles away looking for clues in her disappearance.

Fort Bragg officials reported Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux, 23, missing on Monday after she didn’t show up for duty. Fayetteville police chief Tom Bergamine said Wednesday the case is still a missing person investigation.

A tip led investigators to the pond, off Dobbins Holmes Road in Eastover, but search teams have not found what they were looking for, police said. The search will resume Thursday morning, Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine said in a news conference Wednesday night.

WRAL News has learned that investigators questioned a person of interest in the case Wednesday afternoon. Bergamine said they had interviewed Nicholas Holbert, who worked off and on at the bar, but Bergamine stopped short of calling him a person of interest.

"Anybody who was one of the last people in contact with Mrs. Bordeaux early Saturday is someone we want to talk to," he said.

Holbert, 25, has felony convictions from 2002 for indecent liberties with a child and child abuse, according to state Department of Correction records. 

Bordeaux’s cellphone last pinged off a tower near Froggy Bottoms, at 6326 Ramsey St., authorities said, prompting the decision to search the area. Bergamine said officials weren’t searching for anything in particular, only clues that could help locate the woman.

CNN, citing an anonymous Army official, reported that a bar employee drove Bordeaux home. She lives in an apartment about a mile from Froggy Bottoms. 

Bordeaux's mother, Johnna Henson, told CNN that she doesn't believe her daughter ever made it home.

"Supposedly the person that dropped her off (said that) something supposedly spooked her," Henson said. "In the car, he told them one time, that something spooked her, that she didn't want to get out of the car, but yet, she got out of the car. That's the part I don't understand. If something spooked her, why would she get out of the car and go forward?"

Bergamine would not confirm CNN's reports, nor would he comment on whether Bordeaux left the nightclub with anybody.

Police said Bordeaux’s husband of two years did not accompany her to the bar on Friday night, but would not say where Mike Bordeaux was. Bergamine said Bordeaux’s husband has been cooperative throughout the investigation.

Bordeaux’s family members traveled from Florida Tuesday to assist investigators in the search. Her older sister, Olivia Cox, said it was out of character for her sister not to show up for work.

"Kelli is a good soldier. Kelli is not a soldier who would go AWOL," Cox said.

When she went missing, Bordeaux was wearing a pink tank top with spaghetti straps and black shorts. Investigators have not released any information about who she was with that night.

She is 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighs about 102 pounds and has blond hair and brown eyes.

Dive team searches pond in Fort Bragg soldier's disappearance Search is on for missing Bragg soldier

Anyone who might have seen her or has information on her whereabouts should call police at 910-587-3254 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477).

Bordeaux is a combat medic with the 44th Medical Brigade. She joined the military in April 2011 and arrived at Fort Bragg in November.

Cox said she just wants her sister to be found.

"I have a 3-year-old son, and Kelli hung the moon to him. I don't want to have to explain this to him," she said. "I just want her to come home."

62 Comments

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  • Kbo Apr 18, 2012

    Diabolical- drunken people make bad decisions. I've had to forcibly stop drunken friends from going home with guys they don't know. Maybe they gave up and let her have her way. Or maybe the person who works at the bar is the friend she was hanging out with.

  • Diabolical Apr 18, 2012

    True, not all people think about that though. She was obviously lured there by friends. If that's the case. Then her friends are a bunch of a lousy people. You would think your so called friends would make sure you got home safe. Just horrible.

  • Kbo Apr 18, 2012

    Diabolical- she would need a ride if she planned to get too drunk to drive.

  • Diabolical Apr 18, 2012

    Also, if police are investigating her car, then why would she need a ride to the bar?

  • Diabolical Apr 18, 2012

    And the bartender. Last person to see her alive.

  • Diabolical Apr 18, 2012

    I would be looking at the husband. Too many unanswered questions with him.

  • Diabolical Apr 18, 2012

    Pretty young lady and hope she is found safe, but things just do not add up with this. First the husband was in Florida, then he's not. Why would she need to call for a ride to go to the bar? If her husband was at home 3PM. She wouldn't need a ride. He doesn't want to disclose where he was at the time. Why? What's the secret? Infidelity? Was he cheating or was she cheating on him? Then she leaves with the bartender? That makes no sense unless she plans on doing something and had a few drinks. Why not call the husband for a ride? Why get dropped off houses down if you are not looking to do something shady? Only people who have something to hide from their spouse would get dropped off houses down, in fear of the spouse finding out. Grant it their facebook pictures may be bright eyed and cherry people but we don't know what happened behind closed doors. There's a reason she didn't call him and there's a reason she didn't want to be dropped off at her door step.

  • Ven Apr 18, 2012

    Intersting - so TVD is supplying names and all, and of course his story is different. however, the piece about not saying where the husband was is strange too and somewhat aligns with what the POI is saying (dropping her off so not to be seen). One of 2 scenarios here...

  • Coatza Apr 18, 2012

    "Wondering if this woman has any connection to the body just found downtown. WRAl why arent you mentioning about the body found by the creek??? " mpnkosovo

    I believe the body found in the creek was a man, so that would be a great reason why it wasn't mentioned.

  • johnny2times Apr 18, 2012

    Another local news channel reported that the employee that drove her home is a registered sex offender and he told the media that when he drove into the sub-division, he was told to stop a few houses away from where she and her HUSBAND lived...gee I wonder why she wouldn't want to be dropped off at her door? Being taken home from a bar by a registered sex offender(which I doubt she knew he was one) instead of calling your husband....doesn't add up...

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