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Suspected remains of missing Fort Bragg soldier found; man charged with murder

By Holly Yan, CNN
updated 8:26 AM EDT, Thu May 15, 2014
Police believe they may have found the remains of Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux
Police believe they may have found the remains of Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Army Spc. Kelli Bordeaux disappeared after leaving a bar in April 2012
  • A 27-year-old man faces a murder charge in connection with the soldier's death
  • Fayetteville Observer: The suspect is a registered sex offender
  • A medical examiner's office will officially identify the remains

(CNN) -- Two years after a Fort Bragg soldier disappeared after visiting a North Carolina bar, police believe they have found her remains.

"We are deeply saddened that the discovery of the apparent remains of Army Spc. Kelli Bordeaux now concludes our final hopes of her returning safely," Col. Christian Karsner, Task Force Bragg's chief of staff, said Wednesday.

The remains were found Wednesday near the I-295 corridor in northern Fayetteville, police said.

Nicholas Michael Holbert, 27, has been arrested and will be charged with first-degree murder in connection with Bordeaux's death, authorities said. Fayetteville police said more charges might follow.

Holbert led police to a shallow grave where the soldier's apparent remains were found, according to The Fayetteville Observer.

Holbert, a registered sex offender, allegedly knocked Bordeaux unconscious in the parking lot of a bar before killing her behind the tavern, the Observer reported, citing arrest warrants.

Bordeaux was assigned to the 601st Area Support Medical Company, 44th Medical Brigade and served as a combat medic, Fort Bragg said in a statement.

"Our new hope is that her family, members of her unit and her friends will take some comfort from this news and the degree of closure it may bring, as well as the information that this discovery may reveal," Karsner said.

'Got home safely'

In April 2012, the 23-year-old soldier left the Froggy Bottoms bar early on a Saturday, police said at the time. She had been drinking and was given a ride home by a bar employee, according to a U.S. Army official who spoke on condition of anonymity at the time of that story.

At some point, the Army official said, Bordeaux sent two text messages.

One said, "got home safely."

The official did not know who the text was sent to or the contents of the second text message.

In the months following Bordeaux's disappearance, throngs of police, military members and volunteers scoured the area for Bordeaux.

Bordeaux was described as a "very good soldier, not the type of person that would come up AWOL or missing," Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine said in 2012.

Bordeaux was reported missing when she failed to report for duty, the official said at the time.

Bordeaux's mother, Johnna Henson, has said police told her that someone had gave her daughter a ride to the bar, where Bordeaux sang karaoke.

The medical examiner's office in Raleigh will try to determine the positive identification of the remains.

CNN's Phil Gast and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

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