The husband of a 23-year-old Army soldier who disappeared after leaving a bar in North Carolina said Wednesday that he was cooperating with police. Meantime, searchers for PFC Kelli Marie Bordeaux were focusing on an area where her cell phone last pinged off towers, a local media report says.
Bordeaux didn’t turn up to her post at Fort Bragg on Monday, prompting Army officials to report her missing, NBC News reported.
“Being a soldier to Kelli is something she wouldn’t jeopardize for anything. Missing work is something that is not in character for Kelli,” her sister, Olivia Cox, told reporters.
Bordeaux was last spotted leaving a bar, Froggy Bottoms, in nearby Fayetteville about 1:30 am on Saturday. A bar employee gave her a ride home, but he is not considered a suspect, a military official told NBC.
Bordeaux, a health services specialist originally from St. Cloud in Central Florida, has been married for two years but is estranged from her husband, Mike, the official said.
But Mike Bordeaux, who is not in the military, told NBC-17, a local station, that their marriage was “happy” and they were not estranged. He wouldn’t say where he was Friday or over the weekend -- just that he was not at their apartment. He said he was devastated by his wife’s disappearance.
"I would never lay a hand on her," he told NBC-17 during an off-camera talk.
Fayetteville Police Chief Thomas Bergamine told reporters that authorities would be searching an area from Froggy Bottoms along the I-295 corridor. Records show Bordeaux’s cell phone hit off towers near what is known as the North Ramsey corridor, he said.
Bordeaux may be in danger and the case was still being considered a missing person investigation, detectives said.
“Supposedly when the guy that was giving her a ride home, was taking her to her apartment, he got to her apartment and something spooked her so … she said, 'No, no, no just let me out here,' instead of taking her like around the corner to her apartment,” her mother, Johnna Henson, told wptv.com. “I don’t understand that.”
An Army investigator told wptv.com that, at some point, two text messages were sent from Bordeaux’s phone, including one that said she got home safely.
Henson told the Orlando Sentinel that Mike Bourdeaux was visiting his father in Florida when Kelli disappeared and that he returned to North Carolina when he got the news. She said Mike and Kelli were best friends, though their relationship had been tested when Kelli left for training. He moved to Fayetteville in December to join her, she said.
"He is in a total panic," she told the newspaper. "He wants to be there when she comes home. He's totally losing it."
Kelli Bordeaux is assigned to the 601st Area Support Medical Company, 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 44th Medical Brigade. She joined the military in April 2011 and arrived at her unit in November.
More content from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- Prostitute's $50 fee sparked Secret Service scandal
- Author Greg Mortenson faces civil suit over 'Three Cups of Tea'
- Republicans try to pin GSA scandal on White House
- Anger as teens play 'subway chicken' in video
- Soldier to receive posthumous Medal of Honor