Local/State

Police, dive teams search for missing soldier

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The search for missing Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Bordeaux led dive teams to a pond off of Dobbin Holmes Road late Wednesday afternoon. The site is several miles from the Froggy Bottoms bar where Bordeaux was last seen early Saturday morning.

Authorities told ABC11 that a tip lead them to the pond, which is in the Eastover area.

A search of the pond turned up no sign of Bordeaux so far. Crews will return to the area Thursday morning.

The tip about the pond was one of many received on a new hotline. People with information about the case should call (910) 433-1114.

"The hotline that was established today has yielded numerous telephone calls with information being relayed to our detectives, who are actively working this case," said Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine. "I feel our people are absolutely working at 100 percent. We've had a lot a lot of assistance from the military, Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, which is enhancing everyone's efforts."

Wednesday morning, police set up a command post and focused on the area from Ramsey Street up the Interstate 295 corridor because that was the last place records show Bordeaux's mobile phone pinged a cell phone tower.

Bergamine said Bordeaux's disappearance is suspicious, as her supervisors at Fort Bragg described her as a reliable person.

"She is not the type of person who would come up AWOL or missing," said Bergamine.

Bordeaux is married. Bergamine said her husband was not with her at the bar Saturday night.

ABC11 spoke exclusively with 25-year-old Nicholas Holbert Wednesday. Police are calling him a person of interest in the case as he may have been one of the last people to see Bordeaux.

Holbert helps out at Froggy Bottoms and lives in a lean-to behind the bar.

Holbert said he was at the bar with Bordeaux and later drove her home, but she didn't want him to pull up to her door.

"As soon as you drive into the entrance to Meadowbrook she said stop right here. So I stopped and she said I'll walk home. I said are you sure? She said yeah. I said I figured she didn't want me to know where she lived or somebody was there and she didn't want to be seen together or what," said Holbert.

Holbert told ABC11 he had nothing to do with Bordeaux's disappearance. He was questioned a second time at police headquarters Wednesday afternoon. Holbert said he believes he's been targeted because of his criminal record. He's a registered sex offender who was convicted as a 16-year-old of indecent liberties with a 5-year-old child.

Holbert has not been charged in Bordeaux's disapearance.

Family members described Bordeaux as 5' 1" tall and weighing 102 pounds. She has blond hair and brown eyes. She was reportedly last seen wearing a pink tube top with spaghetti straps and black shorts.

Tuesday evening, Bordeaux's sister held an emotional news conference in front of the Fayetteville Police Department.

"Being a soldier to Kelly isn't something she'd jeopardize for anything," said Bordeaux's sister, Olivia Cox. "Missing work isn't something that's in character for Kelli. This is an out of character thing to happen to my sister."

Cox said she had no theory about what happened to her sister.

"I just want my sister home," said Cox. "Please give her back," said Cox. "Please just return my sister."

The Army said Bordeaux, whose full name is Kelli Marie Bordeaux, is assigned to the 601st Area Support Medical Company, 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 44th Medical Brigade, as a health service specialist.

Bordeaux, a native of St. Cloud, Fla., joined the military in April 2011. She arrived at the unit in November 2011.

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cumberland county, fort bragg, kelli bordeaux, local/state
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