FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) --The man charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the death of missing Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Bordeaux went before a judge for the first time Thursday.
Investigators say 27-year-old Nicholas Holbert could face additional charges as they build their case against him. District Attorney Billy West said he has not made a decision yet about possibly seeking the death penalty.
Holbert's face was dark and sullen as the charges against him were read in court. He was ordered held without bond.
The medical examiner's office has confirmed that human remains found Wednesday are Bordeaux's.
According to arrest warrants in the case, Bordeaux and Holbert arrived together at the now-closed Froggy Bottoms bar on Ramsey Street April 13, 2012 and were there for several hours.
The warrants state that the pair got into an argument in the parking lot and Holbert hit Bordeaux - knocking her unconscious.
He then allegedly put her in his car and drove to his camp site behind the bar. Once there, he hit her several more times in the head until she was dead.
Holbert - who worked part time at the bar - was a suspect in the case from the very beginning. He's a registered sex offender who was convicted as a 16-year-old of indecent liberties with a 5-year-old child. He's been in and out of jail over the past two years.
In 2012, Holbert told investigators that he drove Bordeaux home, but that she asked to be let out before they got to her apartment.
In an exclusive interview he gave to ABC11 right after Bordeaux went missing, he denied involvement in her disappearance.
The spot Holbert claimed he dropped off Bordeaux is about a quarter mile from her apartment on Water Trail Drive. He claimed he figured there might be someone at the apartment she didn't want him to see, so he left.
"Around one, one-thirty, she told me 'I'm tired. I want to go home.' I said 'Okay,' so we got in the car and as soon as I pulled into Meadowbrook, she said 'You stop right here and let me out. I'll walk,'" said Holbert.
"Did you kill her?" asked ABC11.
"I did not," said Holbert.
Bordeaux's remains were found one mile north of Interstate 295 on River Road with Holbert's assistance. The shallow grave is less than a 10-minute drive away from the former Froggy Bottoms bar.
Investigators spent the entire day at the scene Wednesday and were back Thursday morning. Pictures from Chopper 11 HD showed crime scene analysts removing evidence from the wooded area.
"We believe this is a very sad recovery in that we hoped that PFC. Bordeaux was alive and well, but we are also comforted in this community that we have taken an individual off the streets that created this terrible tragedy," said Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock at a Wednesday news conference announcing the arrest. "A lot of folks across this city and across this county - in fact across the country - have been involved in the search."
Olivia Cox, Bordeaux's sister, spoke to reporters from her Florida home Wednesday and called Holbert a monster.
"I don't feel any better about the situation than I did yesterday, said Cox. "I mean the knowledge of knowing exactly where she is - that she's not being tortured - that she's not being held captive. That's where the partial relief comes in."
Cox says this isn't the way she and her family wanted to bring Kelli home.
"I think my initial reaction is I was more mad than anything," said Cox.
Bordeaux was assigned to Fort Bragg's 601st Area Support Medical Company, 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 44th Medical Brigade, as a health service specialist. Bordeaux, a native of St. Cloud, Fla., joined the military in April 2011. She arrived at the unit in November 2011.
She was age 23 when she disappeared.
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