Local News

Dive team searches pond in Bragg soldier's disappearance

Posted April 18, 2012 9:54 a.m. EDT
Updated April 18, 2012 9:26 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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."