Local News

Fayetteville police: No new leads in search for missing soldier

Posted April 19, 2012 12:47 p.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2012 5:38 a.m. EDT

— Fayetteville police on Thursday called off their search of a pond for a missing Fort Bragg soldier who was last seen early Saturday.

Police Chief Tom Bergamine said at a news conference that the two-day search led to no new leads in their efforts to find Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux.

Bordeaux, 23, of St. Cloud, Fla., was last seen around 1:20 a.m. April 14 leaving a bar on Ramsey Street in Fayetteville called Froggy Bottoms.

Officials at Fort Bragg reported her missing to Fayetteville police Monday when she didn't show up for duty.

A dive team began searching the pond – 8 miles from the bar – on Dobbins Holmes Road in Eastover, Wednesday after receiving a tip.

They resumed their search Thursday morning, saying it was the only search they had at the time, but called it off around noon.

Bergamine said that detectives are still treating Bordeaux's disappearance as an active missing person's case but that they have "grave concerns" about her well-being.

The police department has set up a hotline, at 910-433-1114, where leads are being passed on to investigators.

"We're fielding calls from the hotline, and we're at a point where it's imperative that anybody who was that that club, Froggy Bottoms, on that particular night – we would like to talk to any individuals who were there or might have seen anything out of the ordinary," Bergamine said.

Police now plan to return to the bar and search the vicinity again. Search teams scoured the area on Wednesday.

Investigators are also following up on who was at the bar Friday night and early Saturday, Bergamine said, but he would not comment on who Bordeaux might have been with that night.

They have said that a man named Nicholas Michael Holbert was the last person to see her.

Police have interviewed Holbert, 25, twice, Bergamine said. Holbert went to police voluntarily, he said.

Other media outlets have reported that Holbert gave Bordeaux a ride home Saturday and that her cellphone reportedly pinged off a tower near the bar and her home – about a half-mile away.

Police, however, won't confirm those details and haven't said whether Holbert is a person of interest or suspect in the case.

Friends said Thursday that he is now scared about what is happening.

A registered sex offender, Holbert is a frequent patron of Froggy Bottoms, the bar's owner said, and often does odd jobs in the area in exchange for food. He has been living in the woods behind the bar after being released from prison, where he spent seven years for indecent liberties with a child and child abuse.

Neighbors who live near the pond that police searched Thursday say that he used to live nearby in a house that is now abandoned.

Bordeaux, a combat medic with the 44th Medical Brigade, has been married for two years to Mike Bordeaux, who has said he was out of town when his wife disappeared, Bergamine said.

The chief said they have no reason at this time to doubt his story.