Local News

Bragg soldier Bordeaux died of blunt force head injuries

Posted October 17, 2014 12:57 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2014 1:09 p.m. EDT

— A Fort Bragg soldier whose body was recovered in May – more than two years after she disappeared – died from blunt force injuries to the head, according to an autopsy released Friday.

The official finding from the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh is consistent with a search warrant indicating that Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux's alleged killer hit her multiple times in the face before burying her in a shallow grave in a deeply wooded area of Cumberland County.

Bordeaux, 23, was reported missing April 16, 2012, two days after she was last seen leaving a Fayetteville bar called Froggy Bottoms. Investigators recovered her remains May 14 near the Interstate 295 corridor – about 4 miles from the bar, which has since closed.

Nicholas Michael Holbert was arrested and jailed on first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping charges.

Fayetteville police have remained quiet about their investigation, but search warrants say Bordeaux and Holbert had been together at the bar for several hours. They reportedly got into a fight in the parking lot, and he knocked her unconscious, drove her to where he lived behind the bar and hit her several more times in the head.

Detectives think Bordeaux was dead when Holbert allegedly dumped her body in the woods, Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock has said.

Holbert, 27, had been interviewed by police on several occasions, and Medlock said he "shared vital information" and was at the scene with detectives when they found Bordeaux's remains.

Medlock, however, has not said whether Holbert confessed to the crime, only that police were able to close their case "with the help of a citizen."

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

Originally from St. Cloud, Fla., Bordeaux was a combat medic at Fort Bragg.