Army Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Murdered by Sexual Predator on Sex Offender Registry List

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Swamp Murders on Investigation Discovery featured the murder of Kelli Bordeaux, US Army soldier stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. We learned that in 2012 she went missing after visiting the Froggy Bottoms bar in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The last person to see her alive was Nick Holbert, a man considered a sexual predator and currently listed on the sex offender registry list. He worked at the bar for Stephen Cantrell. Kelli was a combat medic in the Army and was lovingly described by her family as someone with an infectious personality which drew people to her all the time. She was considered the life of the party.

Initially when Kelli didn’t show up for work, the Army sent Fayetteville Police to her home because she was considered Absent without Leave (AWOL). She lived at Meadowbrook apartments in Fayetteville so civilian police had to handle the matter because it was out of the Army’s federal jurisdiction. The Fayetteville Police found her purse and keys at the home but no Kelli. And Kelli’s husband Mike was in Florida with his parents at the time of the welfare check. They eventually learned that Kelli had gone to the Froggy Bottoms on Friday night.

Mike Bordeaux informed police that he did not know where Kelli was. Mike also drove from Florida to Fayetteville the day after learning that Kelli was missing. The Fayetteville Police initiated a missing persons investigation and of course Mike was questioned because it is always wise to speak with those who are closest to the victim in an effort to understand the victim’s current circumstances. Kelli’s family members were questioned as well. And that’s when the police learned that Kelli and Mike Bordeaux have had a rocky marriage. According to the family, Mike cheated on Kelli when she was at military training and she had kicked him out of the house two weeks before her disappearance.

After questioning Mike, the Fayetteville police paid a visit to Froggy Bottoms, the last place that Kelli had been seen alive. While there, they met Nick Holbert who told them he had given her a ride home that night. Nick also told police that she was definitely dating a man named Justin and had been to the Froggy Bottoms with him before. After doing background checks, police later learned that Nick’s boss Stephen Cantrell was wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He owed three different women child support in the State of Massachusetts and was wanted for Driving Under the Influence. He was arrested.

In the meantime, volunteers showed up in droves including Kelli’s brother to assist the family in the search of Kelli Bordeaux. One of those searchers was Justin Thompson who police learned had called 911 to ask for a welfare check the day after Kelli Bordeaux went missing. He was the man that Nick Holbert said was dating Kelli so the police considered him a person of interest. Justin shared that he was at a concert in Florida the night Kelli went missing but he was concerned with some texts that she sent to him Friday night. After not hearing from her, he requested the welfare check on Saturday night. Justin informed police that Kelli had invited him up to Fayetteville after she kicked Mike out because she didn’t want to be alone and they did have a physical relationship. She also told Mike via the telephone that she had moved on with Justin.

Meanwhile, the Fayetteville police learn that Nick Holbert is a sexual predator listed on the sex offender registry list. So they paid him a visit at his current location behind the Froggy Bottoms bar and learned that he had not updated the local police with his new address. He was arrested for violation of probation for not reporting his last listed address. He was jailed for six months. In the meantime, police obtained Kelli’s phone records and learned that the last ping was off a tower near the Froggy Bottoms so they deduced that Nick never drove Kelli home as he originally stated to the police. The police searched the land and water behind the Froggy Bottoms bar and got a hit on the water but her body was not found.

As weeks faded into months, the police decide to question Kelli’s husband Mike again because he did have motive. One of the detectives stated that there is “money to be gained with a death of a soldier” referring to the Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy.  And they were also concerned about why Mike never told the police that Kelli had kicked him out and moved on with Justin. This too was a motive.  In addition, they learned that he had felony drug convictions. Mike was not cooperative with the police and actually defensive when questioned by the police. He ended the interview and asked them to leave so they had now exhausted all leads and the case began to turn cold. Until David Mashburn, Private Investigator, got involved with the case.

About a year and a half after Kelli disappeared from the Froggy Bottoms bar, David Mashburn took it upon himself and decided to hone in on Nick Holbert, the convicted sex offender who was the last person to see Kelli alive. He was now out of jail and still living in Fayetteville. Mashburn’s job was to catch fugitives and bring them back to jail. He admitted that he didn’t have any formal interviewing skills but decided to develop a relationship with Holbert in an effort to befriend him. He had to constantly remind him that he was not the police. And he learned that Nick was a loner and didn’t like anybody. He had to get Nick to like him and trust him so he spent time with him including hiring him for odd jobs.

Mashburn’s technique worked. And was also lauded by the local Fayetteville Police Department. Holbert did eventually trust Mashburn and shared that he did in fact kill Kelli Bordeaux and that she was located in a densely wooded area near the Cape Fear River about six miles away from the Froggy Bottoms. Mashburn and Holbert went to the location so Holbert could show him where the body was located. Mashburn found the body of Kelli Bordeaux and reported the finding to the Fayetteville Police Department. Nick Holbert was arrested for the murder of Kelli Bordeaux.

Based on conversations with Nick, the police deduced that he thought he was on a date with Kelli that Friday night (police believe this was a fantasy in his head). He offered to give her a ride home outside the bar after hours and she declined. He had conjured in his head that he was going to get some sex from her so he sexually assaulted her. She rejected him, fought back, and then began to insult him accusing him of being a pedophile with a record. She then walked away from him and he snapped and jumped her from behind, hitting her several times. Police believe he most likely sexually assaulted her and then choked her to death. But they could not prove the sexual assault because Kelli’s body had decomposed to a state making it impossible for the medical examiners to make that determination. The police also concluded that he had dumped Kelli’s body in the water their dog got a hit on but then moved the body in an effort to hide it.

Olivia Cox, Kelli’s sister, shared with Investigation Discovery that nothing that happens to him is ever going to make right what he did to her. David Mashburn shared that he was motivated to help solve the case for Kelli and her family because “she was a soldier, she fought for this country.” Fayetteville is a military friendly community because of their geographical location to Fort Bragg. Some of the police are veterans and there are a lot of veterans in the community that were concerned about the disappearance of Kelli Bordeaux. Thanks to the dedication of Kelli’s family, the Fayetteville Police Department, and volunteers in the community, Kelli Bordeaux’s murder was solved and Nick Holbert is now behind bars for good. He was given life in prison without the possibility of parole this time.

Hopefully, we learn a valuable lesson about releasing sex offenders back into the community. Not only do they reoffend by committing more sexual assaults because they cannot control their urges to attack but they escalate to murder in an attempt to hide their crimes and avoid going back to jail. Nick Holbert was on a sex offender registry list when he murdered Kelli Bordeaux. How are sex offender registry lists helping us when the same offenders are reoffending and escalating to more violent crimes like murder?  Sex offenders should not be released from prison given their propensity to reoffend. We must consider the ramifications of releasing serial sexual predators into the community as we begin to evaluate criminal justice reform in America. Sex offender registries are a joke. And Kelli Bordeaux paid the price.  This crime could have been prevented if we had kept Nicholas Holbert in jail for his violent crimes instead we released him unmonitored and didn’t even know where his current location was.

Related Links:
Olivia Cox Makes Noise For Her Missing Sister
5 Things You Need To Know: Ft. Bragg Missing Soldier Case


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