Family of soldier declared dead believes she's alive

Updated:

Loading

ST. CLOUD, Fla. - Family members of a missing Osceola County soldier said they believe she's still alive.

Monday, they're asking the public's help to find her, even though the military declared her dead.

It's been more than a year since Kelli Bordeaux disappeared from the Army base in North Carolina where she was stationed.

Her brother, Matt Henson, spoke with Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez Monday and said Bordeaux's family is still holding out hope.

"The not knowing is the hardest thing," Henson said.

Henson said not a day goes by that he doesn't think about his sister, but holidays like Memorial Day are especially hard.

"She joined the military to better herself and she had really just gotten going," Henson said.

Bordeaux grew up in St. Cloud and left to join the Army, a path her brother said fit her tough personality.

She's funny, smart, all those things, but her intellect and her wit, being able to jab back and forth, that's what I miss," Henson said.

The 23-year-old disappeared just over a year ago in Fayetteville, N.C.

She was stationed at Fort Bragg. Investigators said she left a bar with a man who offered her a ride home. Nicholas Holbert was later arrested for failing to register as a sex offender but he's denied any involvement in Bordeaux's disappearance.

Just last week, the military declared her dead.

The status change will help her family collect benefits, but it's changed nothing in their minds.

From the family home in St. Cloud, Henson keeps in touch with investigators in North Carolina, and a sister who lives in Georgia maintains a website dedicated to the search.

The reward money has recently gone up from $25,000 to $33,000.

The family said they are not giving up hope.

"She's still out there, we're still gonna find her and she's still gonna come home," Henson said.

Investigators said a friend of Bordeaux received a text the night she disappeared saying she got home OK. The family is not convinced she's the one who actually sent it.

WFTV has put links up dedicated to her case on wftv.com/weblinks