UPDATE: Raleigh, N.C. — A Fort Bragg soldier whose body was recovered in May – more than two years after she disappeared – died from blunt force injuries to the head, according to an autopsy released Friday. Nicholas Holbert was charged with murder, convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Former Fort Bragg Army Medic, Kelli Bordeaux (23) went missing on April 14th, 2012 having been last seen leaving a Fayetteville, North Carolina bar called “Froggy Bottoms” at 1:20 a.m. in the company of Nicholas Holbert (27); her alleged remains were found by police on Wednesday in a heavily wooded four-mile stretch of woods in Fayetteville. Holbert has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. Bordeaux’s body was located after Holbert provided police with “vital information.” He appeared in Cumberland County Court today, and bail was set at $250,000- he has future court appearances. Reports indicate that the two had gotten into an altercation in the bar lot where Holbert had possibly knocked Bordeaux unconscious and then taken her to the dumping site. He had purportedly told authorities that he had dropped Bordeaux off “near” her residence and voluntarily spoke to the police early on in the investigation; because of his seemingly cooperative efforts, he was deemed to be a “person of interest” and not explicitly named as a suspect.Holbert is a registered sex offender as a result of his prior conviction for taking Indecent Liberties with a Child- he was sentenced to 7 years in prison for that offense; he was taken into custody for failing to provide current registration information about that sentence previously. People who knew Holbert said he was a frequent patron at the bar and had been living in a lean-to behind the establishment which is now closed. Kelli Bordeaux’s sister, Olivia Cox, and friends had released butterflies into the air back in July of 2012 saying they are symbolic of her delicate, beautiful and full-of-life persona. They appear relieved that they now know she isn’t being held somewhere captive and possibly being tortured, but they are still devastated.
COMMENT: Although on some very preliminary information, it appears that the suspect, in this case, has some psychological issues, the death penalty may make its way on to the table in this case if the defendant is convicted; he is presumed to be innocent. The means of execution in North Carolina is by lethal objection- a method that has been subjected to substantial criticism since the recent botched execution in Oklahoma. There are about 153 inmates on death row in N.C. and no one has been put to death in the past eight years.
A combat medic with Fort Bragg’s 601st Area Support Medical Company 44th Medical Brigade, Bordeaux was last seen leaving the now-closed Froggy Bottoms bar on Ramsey Street on April 14, 2012.