"Got home safely" was the last message sent from Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux's cellphone on the night the Fort Bragg soldier disappeared from a North Carolina bar.
More than seven months later, the 23-year-old combat medic is still missing and no suspects have been charged in the case. Bordeaux's family, desperate for answers, is pleading with the public to come forward with any tips in the case.
"I know it's scary to do the right thing, especially if you know a hard truth, but you can't imagine how difficult it is for my family," the woman's older sister, Olivia Cox, said in an interview. "Her birthday is a month away and she's not here. She's not going to be here for Thanksgiving."
Bordeaux, originally from St. Cloud, Fla., was last seen leaving Froggy Bottoms bar in Fayetteville around 1:20 a.m. on April 14, according to law enforcement. The woman's husband, a civilian, was visiting family in Florida at the time, and Bordeaux had spent the night singing karaoke and drinking with friends at the hangout.
Nicholas Holbert, a 25-year-old "bar hand" who is also a registered sex offender, told police he drove Bordeaux home to her apartment complex less than a mile away. He denied any involvement in the woman's disappearance, claiming Bordeaux asked to be dropped off at the entrance of her neighborhood. She was never seen or heard from again.
Holbert, who was living in a tent-like structure behind the bar, has since been arrested on unrelated charges. He was taken into police custody in April for failing to register as a sex offender at his new address in Cumberland County, N.C.,
Holbert, who was convicted in 2003 at age 16 of indecent liberties with a 5-year-old child, had told media outlets he was being unfairly targeted in the Bordeaux case because of his criminal record.
Cox told FoxNews.com that her sister sent her a text message early on April 14, saying she was leaving the bar. Cox got another message 40 minutes later from Bordeaux's phone that read "got home safely."
"Her apartment is .8 of a mile from that bar," Cox said. "It shouldn't have taken her 40 minutes to get home."
Cox said she traveled from her home in Georgia to Bordeaux's apartment as soon as she was notified of her sister's disappearance.
"It looked exactly as it would if you were leaving to go out for the night," Cox said of the apartment. "Her door and her windows were all fine. Nothing looked unusual. There was no sign of a struggle that we could see."
Bordeaux's cellphone pinged off a tower close to the bar before its battery died, Cox said. But searches for the phone around the tower have come up empty.
"The phone is somewhere in that area," Cox said. "It did not leave that tower the entire night."
Investigators and dozens of volunteers have scoured the area surrounding the bar and Bordeaux's home, including the search of a nearby pond.
Could the young soldier have disappeared as she walked from where Holbert claims he dropped her off to her apartment?
Cox said it's highly improbable.
"There’s no way she wouldn’t have gotten to her apartment," she said of the soldier, a combat medic with the 44th Medical Brigade who ran 4 miles each day.
Gavin McRoberts, spokesman for the Fayetteville police, said the case remains an "active investigation."
He did not call Holbert a "person of interest" or "suspect" in Bordeaux's disappearance, saying only, "He’s been a person we’ve been talking with."
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).