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Searchers hold out hope for clues to Fort Bragg soldier's disappearance

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A team of searchers get ready to look for Kelli Bordeaux, who has been missing since April 2012. (Brandon Herring, WNCN) A team of searchers get ready to look for Kelli Bordeaux, who has been missing since April 2012. (Brandon Herring, WNCN)
Kelli Bordeaux has been missing since April 2012, when she was last seen leaving Froggy Bottoms bar in Fayetteville. Kelli Bordeaux has been missing since April 2012, when she was last seen leaving Froggy Bottoms bar in Fayetteville.
BUNNLEVEL, N.C. -

The search continued Saturday for a missing Fort Bragg soldier who disappeared more than a year ago.

Searchers met Saturday at 9 a.m. to look for 24-year-old Kelli Bordeaux, who was last seen leaving a bar on April 14, 2012.

A tip led search organizer Al Mignacci and about 10 volunteers to a N.C. Department of Transportation sandpit just across the county line in Harnett County. The lot is about 10 miles north of where Bordeaux was last seen.

"We really want to keep this alive. The more people that we get, the better we can cover an area and the more area we can cover," Mignacci said.

While searching an area dense with trees and underbrush isn't an easy task, Mignacci said it's well worth the effort. He still hopes a search like those he organizes will help find Bordeaux or at least a clue to where she may have been.

"After a while people sort of lose interest," Mignacci said. "It's not that they don't care, but they don't feel that the urgency is there any longer."

The sandpit is about 30 acres, and the searchers estimate the perimeter is about two miles. Searchers began with the perimeter Saturday, and they hope to return for future searches.

"I just want to find her," said Spc. Phalyssa Anton, who was in the same unit at Bordeaux. "A lot of my friends knew her very well, and it's hard for them. It's very hard for them."

"She was such a funny person, and she was so sweet," Anton added.

Bordeaux's platoon leader said by continuing to conduct searches, she's also keeping up hope.

She's one of several soldiers who knew Bordeaux well, and who feels like her North Carolina family because Bordeaux's actual family is out of state. Bordeaux grew up in St. Cloud, Fla.

"I want to bring closure not only for the soldiers, but for the family," Lt. Annie Davis said. "If we can do anything to get to that point, I'm willing to do it."

Mignacci said he has several other areas he'd like to search, and he hopes volunteers will continue to help.

The Army recently declared Bordeaux legally dead, making her family eligible for survivor's benefits.

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Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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