Fort Bragg soldiers, family remember Kelli Bordeaux - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Fort Bragg soldiers, family remember Kelli Bordeaux

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

Soldiers from Kelli Bordeaux's battalion held a remembrance ceremony in her honor Friday morning at Fort Bragg.

Army Specialist Kelli Bordeaux was last seen leaving Froggy Bottoms bar in Fayetteville in the early morning hours of April 14, 2012. She was 23 years old at the time.

"It lets us know that we're not the only ones that haven't given up," Kelli's sister, Olivia Cox, said. "The Army is still here, and they're still hopeful that Kelli's coming home to us."

Soldiers who became friends with Kelli spoke during the ceremony. They shared some light-hearted traits of Kelli's personality, but at moments they also expressed sorrow so strong that they could not speak through their tears.

"I remain hopeful and keep praying that any day she will return safely to her family, friends," said Kelli's platoon leader 1st Lt. Annie Davis. "I miss you Kelli."

The word "hope" was used a lot during the ceremony. The word became a theme around which the ceremony was intentionally centered.

"Our message in hosting this event is one of hope," said Maj. Dan Reynolds, executive officer, 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, in a news release prior to the ceremony.

"We're doing this for members of the battalion to bring hope to the Soldiers and to make it known that Specialist Kelli Marie Bordeaux lives in our hearts," said Davis, also in that news release. "I am Bordeaux's platoon leader so it's important that we take time to remember her.

Cox said no one who cares about Kelli has given up on finding her alive. She said they want everyone to know that investigators still need help.

"We won't give up on Kelli," Cox said. "We will constantly be here until she comes home."

Police believe Bordeaux left with a registered sex offender by the name of Nicholas Holbert, but beyond that, authorities have not made any connections to her disappearance.

The Fayetteville Observer reports police have learned of two text messages sent from Bordeaux's cell phone after leaving the bar. One of them said she had arrived home. Investigators doubt Bordeaux was the one who actually sent that message.

Teams of searchers have combed through nearby woods over the last year looking for any possible clues. They haven't found much, but a local woman named Tina Turner, who has helped lead search efforts, told WNCN on the one-year anniversary of Kelli's disappearance, that she is not giving up hope that Bordeaux will eventually turn up. Turner says hardly a day goes by that people are not talking about the case.

"I don't know many people that don't drive around Fayetteville just looking, wondering is she here? Was she there? Somebody there might know something," Turner said. "It's something that never leaves your thoughts."

Police have announced a $25,000 reward is available for information that could help investigators. Bordeaux is 5 feet 1 inch, and weighs 105 pounds. She has blond hair, brown eyes and a small build.

Any person with information regarding this incident should contact Martin Smith at (910) 396-8777 or the Military Police Desk at (910) 396-0392.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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