Friends and Family Concern Fuel Missing Ft. Bragg Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Investigation: Did Seeking Divorce And A New Man Cause Her Disappearance?

Fayetteville, NC- Ft. Bragg, NC- St. Cloud, Fl-

For those superstitious types out there, it came as no surprise that Friday the 13th yielded a tragedy.

PFC Kelly Bordeaux, an Army medic with the 44th Medical Brigade stationed at Fort Bragg, NC  had been “going through it”.

While she was away at boot camp, just about the two largest shocks to the system one can get, with no ability to do anything about, landed at her doorstep.

Kelli’s Father Paul passed away unexpectedly on Friday May 13th, 2011 and her husband Mike Bordeaux cheated on her with a mutual friends wife in the couple’s marital bed.

Kelli’s family and friends decided not to tell Kelli about her father out of concern it would hamper her ability to complete basic training- a move she made as a newlywed to advance her ability to train for work in the medical field.   A few days later she got the dreaded news.

While Kelli was at “basic” the knowledge that her husband Mike cheated on her and had begun drinking heavily caused her Mother Johnna to do some booting of her own.

Mike was given a one way ticket to California to return to his Mother’s home- and out of hers.

As Kelli settled into Army life, she decided to give her marriage to Mike another shot.

Perhaps her status as a soldier empowered her to think her increased level of discipline was transferrable via osmosis.

Mike and Kelli moved into an apartment in Meadowbrook and for a while the couple struggled to overcome the obstacles infidelity and Mike’s prior felony conviction for cocaine possession presented.  Mike worked a part time job in construction in Spring Lake while Kelli was on base.

Kelli realized that she married Mike as somewhat of a “transitional guy” after a long term relationship with a fellow St. Cloud man, Justin Thompson.  Kelli was committed to her career choice with the Army and while she believed he loved her, Mike was not ready for the level of responsibility she needed to support both her and their vows.

Despite his protestations to the contrary, Kelli asked Mike to leave their apartment toward the end of March, this time flying home to Kissimmee to stay with his Father and Step Mother on Cardinal Rd.

Kellli and Thompson began speaking again shortly thereafter. He came to visit her and stayed the weekend of another noteworthy calendar date- April Fools.

It was that weekend Justin and Kelli met the man claiming to be a bouncer at Froggy Bottoms Bar, Nicholas Holbert.

Holbert, a convicted sex offender classified as high risk was released from prison in 2009 after serving 7 years and 3 months for a combination of counts of indecent liberties of a child and causing injury or gross bodily harm to a 5 year old.

Holbert was arrested on April 21st for failing to register his move to a lean- to behind Froggy Bottoms and for driving an uninsured and unregistered vehicle.  He is currently in Cumberland County Jail.

Also in the Cumberland lock up is Froggy Bottoms Bar owner Stephan Wayne Cantrell.  Cantrell told the press that Holbert did not drink and did not work at the bar- but would not give his own name.

Fayetteville PD quickly learned why.

Cantrell was arrested for a failure to appear on a DUI charge in 2001.

He was a man hiding from his past in plain sight.

Cantrell was living in a home with his girlfriend Mandy Rai Murphy, who is listed as the alcohol permit holder and owner of both Froggy Bottoms and Poindexter’s Saloon.

Cantrell is alleged to be behind over $400,000 in child support which he owed to two women in Massachusetts and his former wife Cynthia in Colorado.

He is awaiting extradition in Cumberland County Detention on a federal fugitive from justice warrant for undisclosed charges out of Boston.  A misdemeanor hold for worthless checks appeared on his VINE profile over the weekend.  His connection to Holbert is unclear outside of the fellow bar patrons that have been interviewed also believed Holbert was employed by Cantrell as a bouncer or some sort of security personnel.

Adding to the mystery who’s who quagmire that is Froggy Bottoms, on Friday April 20, a week after Kelli was last seen there, a man showed up claiming to be her Dad.

Described as 6’2” with 2 missing teeth, glass eye and a 10 gallon hat in the company of a blonde woman, the unidentified individual proceeded to interview bar employees and patrons.

Not Padilla- before the thought even glances your brow, folks.


Truth In Lending Healing

In the hopes that Mike Bordeaux would accept the couple’s separation as final and begin to assist Kelli in seeking an amicable divorce, she told him the truth during a phone call over the phone Easter weekend.

She wanted him to know that she had begun dating, encouraged him to do the same, but it was very important to her that their friends and family knew about their separation.  Although it was not reciprocated, Kelli took her fidelity to her husband during their marriage seriously, and she wanted it clear- she was no cheat.

Kelli told Thompson she had confiscated Mike’s key, removed him from their bank account, and they were headed for divorce.

“..We were very happy.  We were not headed for divorce..” –Mike Bordeaux


Not so- says friends of the couple who agreed to speak to on the condition of anonymity. Although they HAVE shared their concerns raised during Mr. Bordeaux’s misrepresentations during several media appearances last Friday directly with investigators, they are not prepared to speak publicly in an open criminal investigation.

While Bordeaux originally stated he left Fayetteville to visit his family and purchase a vehicle, the source(s) went on to say that detectives recently told him they are unable to verify his whereabouts for portions of the weekend that Kelli disappeared. His Father and stepmother were apparently away that weekend.

BOC has been able to confirm that Bordeaux’s account shows that he purchased a vehicle while in the St. Cloud area checks out.  However, he purchased the truck for $1000 cash, and registered it solely in his name, on April 10.  Three days prior to the fateful and ominous 13th.

It did not occur over the weekend Kelli disappeared according to 1st Class Auto Sales in Orlando.

The maroon 1994 Chevy S10 is exempt from mileage declaration, but a source inside the investigation has confirmed that during a recent interview with police, the odometer reading was 385,000.  The last confirmed reading according to the VIN report in 2009 was 305,000.  The source also added that investigators questioned  Bordeaux about a request they were told about him attempting to gain access to Kelli’s bank account.  When confronted Bordeaux’s response was that “they had bills that needed to be paid.”


Bouncer OR Bounced Her?

Maybe both, maybe neither.

Holbert told Kelli he had to work as a bouncer the night of the 13th, but agreed to pick her up and drop her off.

Justin Thompson had tickets to a concert in the Orlando area that evening. He  and Kelli texted back and forth all night.

The last two known images of Kelli Bordeaux were texts she sent to Thompson from her home and from the bar, respectively.

The timeline of her texts, which have been obtained exclusively by do not support Holbert’s public comments that the pair left after 1 am when Kelli announced she was tired and wanted a ride home.

In fact, it was 12:46 AM when Kelli texted to Thompson the word “driving”.  A few minutes later  another text asking Justin to call her ASAP, and then nothing again until the infamous “I got home safely call me tomorrow” text that nobody seems to believe was sent by Kelli.*

Thompson called her as soon as he got it but her phone went directly to voice mail.

Here is the problem- bar patrons at the “Bottoms” think the 1:20-1:30 AM timeline is correct.

Did Kelli think they were heading out but got waylaid?

Thompson was arrested on April 17 on a failure to appear warrant when he was interviewed by Osceola County as requested by Fayetteville Police . While he has had a few of his own dalliances with the law,  He has cooperated fully with detectives, was able to provide a verified alibi for the night Kelli went missing and is not considered a suspect.  Fayatteveille homicide detective Jeff locklear cloned the texts from his phone.

Thompson was also so concerned about not being able to reach Kelli the following day as her last text requested,  he called FPD.    Thompson was told she would not be considered missing based on the information he provided, she was an adult and he was not a relative which would be required to file a missing person report should one become necessary.  He called again on Sunday as well as a call to her CO at Ft. Bragg,  and a report was finally filed.

Justin Thompson and Mike Bordeaux have never met and while Mike was aware Kelli had begun dating someone, he was not aware he was now living miles away from him.

Bordeaux said in his interview that although he and Kelli were happily married with no problems, he did not consider the fact that the two last had contact at 3 PM on Friday April 13th,  and he did not learn his wife was missing until Monday Morning the 16th, odd.  He went on to say that he was busy visiting his parents with whom he had been staying with for weeks, and he felt Kelli was just “doing her thing.”

Bordeaux was contacted by the manager of the apartment building seeking permission to let police and Army personnel into the residence as Kelli did not report for duty that morning.  He gave his permission and headed to Fayetteville.

Police inventoried the home and located Kelli’s purse, car keys and identification.  Friends say Kelli typically only took her debit card and house key which she carried in her shorts pocket when she went out.  Kelli’s cavalier was parked in the usual spot, in the usual way, backed-in.

What he has also left out of public interviews is that he claimed to investigators that at approximately 1 am on Tuesday morning April 17th, he was awakened by a call to his phone from his wife Kelli’s iphone.

There was nobody on the line he says.  The husband of a missing soldier, his wife, calls his cell after over 12 hours of frantic worry by her platoon, family, friends and police and he waited to alert LE until the following morning.

He did however call her phone back and get her voice mail as everyone has since the early hours of the 14th.  Fayetteville detectives told Bordeaux it was some sort of malfunction- Kelli’s phone has been off since shortly after she was last seen.

When Kelli’s only brother Matt Henson arrived in Fayetteville the day after his and Kelli’s other sister Olivia Cox, Bordeaux was inside the apartment where he has remained.

Over the weekend, 500 volunteers arrived to help search for PFC Kelli Bordeaux. FPD  Lead Investigator Jeff Locklear  says new leads bring the focus back to the area.

No Soldier left behind is military branch and gender neutral.  They mean it.


I so want to know if Kelli sang that night at Froggy Bottoms.  Bar staff and patrons interviewed say she did not.

Maybe she did, privately to herself.

Private to Private.


Jacqueline Beaufort contributing Editor

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  1. TJ says:

    What’s the deal with Fayetteville? Two womens bodies discovered, a 26 and a 30 year old. Rapes, murders, missing women….sounds like a great place to stay away from! This makes me wonder if the perp who made Kelli disapear is still on the loose? Up till now I’ve had bad vibes over the husband but now I’m not so sure.

  2. redly says:

    They found mickey shunick’s bike today. It looked like it had been hit by a car — so maybe a bad guy incapacitated her by hitting her bike or someone hit her by accident and then panicked and tried to hide the crime.

    So many women can be described as petite and blond that I am not convinced that is a telling similarity.

  3. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Rut-row, F’ville police chief retiring very soon, hope this doesn’t stall any aspect of Kelli’s investigation!

    Katherine Bryant appointed interim police chief in Fayetteville

  4. Sunshine says:

    No update? How sad…..

  5. redly says:

    Sunshine — I suspect they have a fair idea of who did it and are trying to gather the evidence needed to make their case. Finding the body would be a huge help. That is what I am hoping (outside of some miracle where she ran away etc) anyway.

  6. Sunshine says:

    I agree redly. I just wish they could hurry up. I bet every day is totally brutal for her mother and siblings. That’s all. These cases are all so terribly sad. I cannot imagine in my worst nightmare how these families and loved ones are coping.

  7. SouthernMom says:

    Very sad there isn’t new information available on the search for Kelli. If Blink will allow, I’d like to post a link for the Mickey Shunick timeline:

    And also from Gather (not super reliable MOO) here:

    My thoughts on the damage to the rear tire of her bike, if LE truly believed this was just a “hit and run then ‘ditch’” case, I feel they would have made that information public asking the public to report any new damage to vehicles in the area that would appear suspiscious or indicate some type of collision occuring in that timeframe. MOO. I think LE believes the damage could be from transporting or dumping the bike or they would have stated otherwise. Again MOO.

    Prayers for both Kelli & Mickey and their families.

    I am allowing latitude on this because I am 3 pieces behind in 3 different cases so I know I cannot get to this in the near future. Does not make it any less important.


  8. Mary says:

    My prayers are for Kelli and her family…!!
    and I hope my comment is not taken as rude….
    but, my son is a soldier at Fort Bragg too… and has been for a few years…
    He barely heard of her when we talked when she came up missing….
    and he made an interesting point…..
    “If it were a male, no one would even bother looking..”
    and he is right….
    So what set off people to go looking for Kelli… other than she didn’t show….!!
    Men and women go AWOL all the time…. but someone must have known something to alert authorities enough for a search….!!

  9. Tar Heel Gal says:

    A fresh news article today on Kelli’s case from central NC TV station, only thing I hadn’t heard was that the Froggy Bottoms bar had actually closed. Guess Mr. Cantrell’s co-owner/girlfriend couldn’t carry on without him:
    Fayetteville police still following leads in missing soldier mystery (6-14-12)

  10. sunshinegirl says:

    Anything new Blink? :-(

    You can expect me to update the moment their is, but no.

  11. sunshine/sunshinegirl says:

    You might be interested to know, if you don’t already that NH is scheduled for Court on 7/2/12 for all of his pending charges per the Cumberland County Court public records. Though, I still don’t think he is the suspect.

    Thank you I have his feed on dockets and I agree, he is not.


  12. cosmo says:

    who is the suspect?

  13. sunshinegirl says:

    NH has new court dates. Not that it matters…..unless my gut feeling is wrong and he is the perp. I almost wish he would get released because if he did something, it might be easier to investigate him if he were out of jail and maybe he would lead LE to her……no?

    Wonder what MB has been up to???????

  14. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Saw on the news last night the community was having an event for Kelli this weekend, a butterfly release:

    Wonder how F’ville LE are coming following up those leads, mmmm? Not a peep in F’ville or central NC news until this butterfly release notice.

    Ms. Blink, hugs and healing thoughts to your mom and you and your family from my little heart in NC. Take care of you and yours, ma’m.
    Hugs from NC

    Ty Kindly Tar Heel

  15. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Missing Person spouse sighting! Kelli’s husband Mike was with her sister at the butterfly release in her honor this morning down in F’ville (click on 2nd picture to enlarge):

    Whew, makes me swoon to see Mike Bordeaux and that other guy wearing heavy jeans this steamy AM, it’s broiling already in the Chapel Hill area and I know F’ville is as hot or hotter! Linen shorts are your friend, fellas. ;)

  16. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Comments from Kelli’s husband, sister, others in write-ups from the 2 major central NC news stations post-butterfly release this morning:

  17. Sunshinegirl says:

    Wow. No updates. How sad….. :-(

  18. Word Girl says:

    Thanks,Sunshine. It looks like holbert is going to court 9/4 on two fraud counts.

  19. Sunshine says:

    Actually 8/28 and 9/14 and its for not reporting his address and his vehicle issues. No fraud charges.

  20. Word Girl says:

    Oops I clicked on ‘Christopher Lee Holbert”

    I’m following a Christopher Lee who got Diversion for 3 child molestation charges and is running for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

  21. Sunshine says:

    Oops. I figured it was just a boo boo.

    Wish something would happen in this case. :-(

  22. Johnna Henson says:

    I have no idea who you think you are to publish so much wrong information about my daughter Kelli some of your dates and some of your information is WRONG!!!!

    Ms. Henson, please allow me to correct anything you feel is inaccurate. It is my sincere hope that she will be found.

  23. Word Girl says:

    Hi, Johnna. I just want tell you that my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry that Kelli is missing and I know I would be extremely distraught if this was my daughter. How you even manage to do one day is beyond me and tears at my heart.

    I want to stand by you and help in any way possible to find Kelli. If you know of something I can do to help, you can let me and others know here.

    I’ll keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

  24. Word Girl says:

    Judge denies Cantrall’s plea to get outta jail after paying only $10k of his 480,000 debt. One of his ex-wives said she believes he owns two other bars.

    Judge said he needs to pay 50k to each of two wives before he will reduce the 2.5 year sentence to 1 year.

    Judge Dawley is the BOC hero of the day. Pay careful attention to his words. He does his homework.

    He will raise that money however. Hugely bad legal representation on his behalf, imo.

    I wonder if they also know about his fundraising abilities for the less fortunate?



  25. Word Girl says:

    Judge Dawley did not rubber-stamp the District Attorney’s plea bargain for Cantrall. That’s a victory and is testament to some vision in the prosecution of crime.

    NOW, bring Kelli home!

  26. redly says:

    Looks like 50K total or 25K to each of the wives. And he would still have to do a year in the slammer. Boggles my mind how anyone making a normal income could get up to 480K owed.

    Seems like the investigation may be completely stalled.

  27. Sunshine says:

    Wow another month goes by and nothing…… How sad. :-(

  28. cosmo says:

    unbelievable … people are totally capable of getting away with murder undetected in this country. very sad.

  29. AM says:

    This is horrible, as a close personal friend to the family. If you want to be a journalist, you fail horribly. At least get your facts 100% straight before you post them. The untruths are horrible. Do you have any idea what it’s like to talk to someone one day and the next they’ve vanished like off the planet. NO trace at all? I understand google only goes so far but seriously. No. Smh. Such a disappointment. Stop paying attention to the media and do some investigative journalism.

    AM- I have relied on several very close sources and public intel. What do you feel is wrong in my coverage? In fact, if you were to review my coverage, it has way more investigative facts than anywhere else. Sadly , it has not progressed the case.


  30. cosmo says:

    when the family of the victim doesn’t want help something is wrong.
    another dead girl. another cold case. moving on…

  31. Mary says:

    any thoughts of the General Sinclair be involved with Kelli’s disappearance..? His crimes went into 2012.. His name is very famaliar.. was it mentioned here..?

  32. TMC K9 SAR says:

    Seriously- you are going to solicit on my site? Btw, it is a woman that is missing you putz.

  33. Jane says:

    NBC17 reported 11/20 “Some remains were found at Ft. Bragg Tuesday and the Army’s CII is investigating.” Of course that peaks the curiousity as to whether this could be Kelli’s remains. It made me also wonder if this may be the result of a tip after the November 19th Fox coverage.

    It is a male.

  34. Sunshine says:

    Wonder if this poor girl’s family will ever know what has happened to her. :-( . So sad. I just keep praying for all of these missing people and their loved ones. What a scary world we live in. :-( .

  35. Tar Heel Gal says:
    Still no sign of Kelli Bordeaux one year later

    Just saw this headline tonight from one of our central NC news stations about Kelli. However, this excerpt from the short article is hopeful??
    “….Police still aren’t releasing many new details in the case.

    However, they say they have some new leads.”

    Praying for something to break for this family and her colleagues and friends. Hugs from NC.

  36. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Dear Ms. B, here’s another more fleshed-out new article from the Fayetteville Observer about Kelli, with a scary note about Nick Holbert, the guy who transported Kelli that fateful night and LE’s apparent primary suspect–he’s getting out soon on the parole/registration violation!!! Yikes!
    Searching for Kelli Bordeaux, one year later

    (Comments from lead investigator): “….After sifting through evidence, looking into leads and tips, and questioning Kelli’s friends and family, there is one person about whom he feels he has unanswered questions: Nicholas Holbert.

    Holbert was among those whom police questioned in the week after Kelli’s disappearance. His car was searched, and twice he was brought to the police station for questioning.

    That was when authorities learned that Holbert had never registered his change of address, as required for sex offenders. In October, Holbert was charged with violating the registry guidelines and returned to prison. He is scheduled for release May 10, state records show.

    “He’s been less than truthful with us about the events of that night,” Locklear said. “Nick Holbert could answer a lot of questions for us.”

    Holbert, who is imprisoned in Warrenton, declined to be interviewed for this story.”

  37. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Just saw this on our central NC local news, it’s obviously a formality that the Army needs to do, but it makes me sad to see the words…
    Army declares missing soldier Kelli Bordeaux dead

    Wonder where Nick Holbert is these days? He was supposed to be released on May 10.

    Hugs from NC

  38. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Oh my!! Breaking news on Kelli! RIP, young lady.—man-charged/59493/

  39. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Update with comments from Kelli’s sister….at least now they know.—man-charged/59493/

    Hugs from NC

  40. Jessica Harrospm says:

    Is it only me that thinks the wrong man is being charged with her death? What lead do they have that a sex offender of a child would kill Kelli? He seems like he was being honest with the police and yet the husband has been caught in many lies. Kelli wanted a divorce and was dating yet he told police that they were happily married. She took him off her bank account yet he was caught trying to withdraw from it to pay bills. She kicked him out and he went to cali to stay with his father and step mother which is his so called aliby yet they were not even home that weekend. He says she called him after she went missing yet he didnt think it was important to notify anyone until the next day. He claims he didnt know she had a boyfriend but she had told him and witnesses to her testified she had. Seems to me like there was an angry husband out for revenge and this was more than just a random murder. Maybe someone else can shed some light on these events but he had a car and could have made the drive and the fact that she wanted a divorce and moved on could have made him snap. All in all rest in peace to her family.

  41. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Latest update from local NC news. Details on how Holbert says he killed her. Sooo many thoughts for Kelli’s mom, spouse, siblings, friends, family. Damn. Dear Ms. B, hope you don’t mind me keeping folks updated, but I’m checking our news frequently.

  42. N. Cahela says:

    Blink, Seeing how Holbert has now confessed to killing Kelli and lead them to her remains, can you explain why you felt he was not a suspect in the beginning?

    Because he was cleared by LE- I got that info directly from them.

  43. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Busy day baking for family get-to-gather tonight, just saw the “film at 11″ on this new update on Holbert’s confession to a PI, wow.

  44. GeorgiaDad says:

    When I was in training, we had a saying, “It is better to be lucky than good.” That seems to apply in several areas of this case.

    NH’s statement that she became spooked and asked him to let her out before reaching her apartment would normally be quite suspicious. In this case, however, there was a strained marriage and out of town husband who could possibly have a motive. NH got lucky, at least for a while.

    LE apparently was not able to build any kind of meaningful case, but a PI, apparently operating on instinct, befriends the killer and solves the case for them. LE got lucky.

    It is not my intent to bash LE, as I suspect there was no real evidence to find. Since KB was known to have traveled in MH’s car, the presence of her DNA in his vehicle, and even on his clothing, would not be unexpected at all. It is hard for me to see how they could have “cleared” him, however.

    I do not believe the version of events listed in his arrest warrant, specifically that he hit her in the head and knocked her out and then took her back to his lean-to to hit her in the head some more, and then drove her somewhere else to dispose of her. Although MH, based on his previous arrest, has little impulse control, the story seems to be missing something such as a sexual assault.

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