Man linked to U.S. Fort Bragg missing soldier held on unrelated charge

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 21, 2012 1:18 PM
Man linked to U.S. Fort Bragg missing soldier held on unrelated charge

By Harriet McLeod

(Reuters) - A registered sex offender thought to be the last person to have seen missing Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Marie Bordeaux has been arrested for failing to register his new residence near the North Carolina base, a charge unrelated to Bordeaux's disappearance.

Nicholas Holbert turned himself in to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina on Friday and is charged with failing to report a change of address as required for a registered sex offender, authorities said.

Bordeaux, 23, has been missing since leaving the Froggy Bottoms bar in Fayetteville on April 14. Her disappearance is being treated as a missing person case, Fayetteville police spokesman Gavin MacRoberts said.

Holbert told the local ABC affiliate he gave Bordeaux a ride home from Froggy Bottoms and, at the soldier's request, dropped her off near her home. He said he believed police were unfairly targeting him because of his criminal record.

Holbert, who is now 25, was convicted at the age of 16 of taking indecent liberties with a minor, according to the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine has said Holbert is cooperating with the Bordeaux investigation, but stopped short of calling him a person of interest in the case.

This week, police searched a wooded area and sent dive teams into a pond near Froggy Bottoms, but turned up no fresh leads.

Holbert, who is being held in the county jail, will appear in court on April 23, Lieutenant Branford Ivey said.

(Reporting by Harriet McLeod; Editing by David Bailey and Vicki Allen)