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Police question sex offender in search for missing Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Bordeaux

 

North Carolina police are questioning a registered sex offender in their search for a missing Fort Bragg soldier last seen leaving a local bar.

Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux, a 23-year-old combat medic with the 44th Medical Brigade, disappeared early Saturday after leaving the Froggy Bottoms bar in Fayetteville.

On Wednesday, authorities interviewed 25-year-old Nicholas Holbert, a registered sex offender who works at the bar and who said he drove Bordeaux home the night she disappeared.

"Mr. Holbert is one of the last persons that had contact with Mrs. Bordeaux," Fayetteville police chief Chief Tom Bergamine told reporters. "Anybody that last saw her on the early morning of Saturday is someone we want to talk to."

Holbert has reportedly denied any involvement in the woman's disappearance, telling WTVD-TV that he dropped Bordeaux off at the entrance of her neighborhood at her request. 

"As soon as you drive into the entrance to Meadowbrook, she said stop right here," Holbert told the station. “So I stopped and she said, ‘I’ll walk home.’ I said, ‘Are you sure?’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ I said I figured she didn’t want me to know where she lived, or somebody was there and she didn’t want to be seen together."

Holbert, who was convicted in 2003 of indecent liberties with a 5-year-old child, told the station he was being unfairly targeted because of his criminal record.

A police spokesman, however, told FoxNews.com Thursday that Holbert has not been named a "person of interest" in the case.

"This is still a missing person investigation and we are interviewing people who saw Kelli last," Fayetteville police spokesman Gavin MacRoberts said.

Fort Bragg officials reported Bordeaux missing on Monday. Authorities said she was last seen leaving the bar at around 1:20 a.m. Saturday.

Investigators searched a wooded area surrounding the bar as well as a pond about 8 miles away on Wednesday. They were also collecting surveillance video from businesses near the bar.  

MacRoberts said that it is "way out of character" for the woman to go missing.

"She's not the type of person to go AWOL," he told FoxNews.com. "When someone disappears like this, it's usually not a good sign."

MacRoberts said Bordeaux's cellphone last "pinged" off a tower near the bar.

The woman's sister, Olivia Cox, told WRAL-TV that Bordeaux's civilian husband, Mike, was "holding up the best he can."

The station reported that Mike Bordeaux was out of town on the night his wife disappeared and was cooperating with the investigation.

Authorities have "no reason to doubt anything he's telling us at this time," Bergamine told the station.

Family members traveled from Florida on Tuesday to assist in the search for Bordeaux, who joined the military in April 2011 and arrived at Fort Bragg last November.  

Bordeaux, who has blond hair and brown eyes, was last seen wearing a pink tank top and black shorts, police said. She is described as 5 feet, 1 inch tall, weighing 102 pounds.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is being urged to call police at 910-433-1856 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477).

FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin contributed to this report.