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. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Dear Ms.B and all–just saw this on one of our local news sites re: results of the lovely Kelli’s autopsy being released. Sigh….it just doesn’t end, does it? Blessings and healing to her mom and hubby and family and friends.

    Hugs from NC

  2. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Whoa. New piece on more of Kelli’s remains possibly found!

    This breaks my heart entirely. This young woman was a woman in service for our Country and they “did the best they could”? So much for the “leave no man behind” when she was brutally murdered less than a mile from her barracks. Shameful. That detective delivered this case to them, recovered this young soldier and went back to find what they missed. He deserves a commendation.

  3. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Indeed, dear Ms. B. As soon as I saw the headline, my heart and mind went to her mom. Then reading the article….so thankful for her family this fellow brought Kelli home to them

    Hugs from chilly NC

  4. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Holbert to plead guilty to murdering Kelli. Rest in peace, young soldier :(

    Thanks Tar Heel, I am thankful there was a plea in this case, but I will wait to see if this monster changes his mind. Still miffed at the lack of responsibility on behalf of the bar manager allowing him to live out back.

  5. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Well, now, your comment is intriguing, Ms. Blink! And, without reading way back, wasn’t the bar manager the guy who got in trouble for (multiple??) child support or alimony miscues? I thought I read they bagged his sorry behind up and shipped him off to jail as well. Agree, Holbert living back there was bad news.

    Hugs from steamy NC

  6. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Well…..looks like this chapter is over. Article details some info on what he says happened that night.

  7. Tar Heel Gal says:

    Kelli’s mother speaks to her daughter’s admitted killer from the stand today. Mother and siblings came from Florida for the proceedings today.

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