Just over two weeks since 23-year-old Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Bordeaux disappeared, her mother has come forward with a desperate plea for her return.
“Baby, I’ll see you soon,’’ her mother, Johnna Henson, told NBC News in a report that aired on TODAY Monday. “I know you can get through this. If anyone has her, please release her. Her family needs her. If someone has done something to her, God will get you.’’
Bordeaux was last seen at the Froggy Bottoms bar in north Fayetteville, N.C., on the night of April 14. The bar was within walking distance of her apartment, but she got a ride home that night from Nicholas Holbert, 25, a registered sex offender who lived in a tent behind the bar and has not been seen since.
Holbert told a local television station that he had nothing to do with Bordeaux’s disappearance and simply dropped her off. He was recently jailed on an unrelated offense of failing to report his address as a sex offender.
Bordeaux’s husband, Mike Bordeaux, told police he was in Florida visiting his parents at the time of his wife’s disappearance, which was reported on April 16 when she did not show up for duty at Fort Bragg. Mike Bordeaux told TODAY last week that the two had a happy marriage and denied any reports that they were estranged or considering a divorce.Story: Missing soldier’s husband: ‘We were very happy’
In the Monday report, Kelli’s mother pleaded for her safe return so the missing soldier could continue to progress toward a bright future. “I’m hoping we are going to find her soon, safe and sound,’’ Henson said. “She’s a very driven woman. She has goals in her life. I don’t think someone has realized what they’ve taken away.’’Video: Mother of missing soldier speaks out (on this page)
Investigators have not named a person of interest in Bordeaux’s disappearance after she was last seen at Froggy Bottoms.
“It’s a neighborhood bar,’’ Detective Jeff Locklear of the Fayetteville Police Department told NBC News. “It’s within walking distance of her apartment. I couldn’t tell you that she was a regular there, but the term is relative. She had been there before.’’
Over the weekend, a team of volunteers searched the nearby woods on horseback and searched the Cape Fear River but found no sign of Bordeaux. Police have released a photo of her wearing black shorts and a pink top that is the last known image of her — one she took herself shortly before she went out to Froggy Bottoms bar that night. Investigators are not conducting active searches, but they are trying to track down Bordeaux’s iPhone, which she used to take the picture of herself that night.Video: No clues in missing soldier case (on this page)
Henson is a private person, but she has ventured into the glare of the media spotlight in the hope that her daughter can be returned safely.
“I miss you and love you Kelli, and I want you home now,’’ she said tearfully.
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints