Local News

Mother of missing Bragg soldier holding on to hope

Posted May 4, 2012 6:35 a.m. EDT
Updated May 4, 2012 7:46 p.m. EDT

— The mother of a Fort Bragg soldier who has been missing for nearly three weeks said Friday that the family is holding out hope that she will be found, despite the fact that police have no new leads in her disappearance.

"Until (police) tell me any different, I'm going to keep thinking that she's here, and she's being held and she just cannot get away from whoever has her," said Johnna Henson of her daughter, Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux. "I know Kelli will fight, and Kelli will try any way possible to get back to her family."

The 23-year-old from St. Cloud, Fla., was last seen as she left a Ramsey Street bar called Froggy Bottoms, around 1:20 a.m. April 14. Fort Bragg officials reported her missing when she didn't show up for work on April 16.

Since then, hundreds of law enforcement personnel and volunteers have scoured the area around Bordeaux's home, and the bar. The searches have turned up few clues, according to investigators, but Bordeaux's family is still holding out hope that she will be found safe.

"I can't even say thank you enough to [the people who] take time out of their life to help find my daughter," Henson said.

Although Henson said she hasn't given up hope that her daughter will be found safe, she admitted it's been tough to hold herself together since Bordeaux's disappearance.

"I break down a few times a day, probably more than once or twice," she said.

Henson called her daughter "a fun girl to be around," saying Bordeaux's smile and laugh are contagious.

"She is a very smart young woman, a very driven young woman determined to make something of her life," Henson said. "And she knew how she was going to do that."

Police have said up a special hotline – 910-433-1114 – for tips in the case, and they want to speak to anyone who was in the Ramsey Street area before midnight on April 13 – even if they think they don't have any information that could help.

Last week, investigators also released a photo of Bordeaux taken the night she went missing. In the photo, she is wearing a pink tube top and black shorts. Unseen is a pair of flip flops described as being "bedazzled."

Meanwhile, Virginia-based security firm Black Ops Security Services & Consulting Inc. is offering an $8,000 reward for information leading to Bordeaux's discovery.

The company's owner, Sparky Edwards, is a former Fort Bragg soldier who said he feels a deep connection to the community and to is fellow soldier that he felt compelled to put up his own money in an effort to help bring her home.

Henson, who recently returned home to Tennessee after coming to Fayetteville to join in the search for her daughter, said the last three weeks have been the toughest of her life.

"Leaving Fayetteville, it kept running through my head, and tears just kept rolling down my face when I was driving home," she said. "I couldn't imagine that I was leaving North Carolina not knowing where my daughter was."