Closings and delays due to Michael

Search for missing female soldier at pond called off

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Diving crews have halted their search of a pond several miles from the bar where missing Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Bordeaux was last seen.

The two-acre site, located off Dobbin Holmes Road in Fayetteville, is about eight miles miles from the Froggy Bottoms bar at 6326 Ramsey St., where the 23-year-old U.S. Army health service specialist was last seen around 1:20 a.m. Saturday.

Divers initially started searching the pond Wednesday afternoon and resumed the search Thursday morning. But by Thursday afternoon, police said the search at the pond had been called off.

In a news release, police said “no new leads” were developed during the search.

A police investigation began Monday afternoon when a missing persons report was filed after Bordeaux never showed up for duty.

Crews on Wednesday also searched the region from the bar up the street to the I-295 corridor — the last area where Bordeaux’s cell phone pinged from a tower.

On Thursday, police released the original missing persons report. [See the document here.]

WTVD reports the man who filed the report, 28-year-old John Neighbors, is a member of Bordeaux’s unit.

Police have called Bordeaux’s disappearance “suspicious,” but have neither identified a suspect nor upgraded the case from a missing persons investigation. In the original news release, police said Bordeaux “may be in danger.”

According to WTVD, 25-year-old Nicholas Holbert was identified as a person of interest in the case.  Holbert exclusively told the station he was at the bar with Bordeaux and drove her home that night, but that he has nothing to do with her disappearance.

Holbert said when he drove her home, Bordeaux 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,” Holbert told WTVD.

Holbert, who helps tend to customers at the bar and lives in a lean-in behind the establishment, said he dropped Bordeaux off about 1/4 of a mile away from her apartment on Water Trail Drive.

Holbert believes he’s been targeted by police because he is a registered sex offender. At the age of 16, he was reportedly convicted of indecent liberties with a 5-year-old child.

Kelli Bordeaux’s husband of two years, Mike Bordeaux, was not at the bar with her the night of her disappearance. Police said he has been cooperating with detectives. The Orlando Sentinel reports he was in Florida visiting his father.

At a news conference held by Bordeaux’s sister on Tuesday, Olivia Cox said it was “totally out of character” for her sister to not show up for work.

Pfc. Kelli Marie Bordeaux, a native of St. Cloud, Fla., joined the military in July 2011 and was assigned to the 44th Medical Brigade in November.

Bordeaux is described as standing 5’1″ tall and weighing 102 lbs.  She was last seen wearing a pink tube top with spaghetti straps and black shorts.

Police established a special hotline for anyone with information on Bordeaux’s whereabouts. They’ve asked anyone who was at Froggy Bottoms the night of her disappearance to call as well. The number is (910) 433-1114.