Five year old Camden Hiers of Roswell was a happy, engaged boy in the days before his death, according to observers.
Another family, the Gandys, were on vacation in Florida when they met the victim and his grandparents, Marianne and Heinz Bordt. The Bordts were German nationals in their seventies, and seemed to have taken their grandson to Florida for an innocent vacation at the beach. The Gandys were staying in the downstairs condo at the same address and had the occasion to get to know Camden a little before they left.
“He just gravitated to both of my sons and to my husband,” Christy Gandy said. “He was so sweet, and just the cutest little boy.
Gandy described Camden’s grandparents as friendly, though their English was not very good. Camden – who spoke both English and German – was the one who would really stand out in Gandy’s memory. First because the little boy had endeared himself to her, and because he had spent the week playing with her own sons, eight and twelve; Gandy described the three boys throwing around the football and building forts in the sand. But the reason Camden will continue to stand out in Gandy’s memory is because she later learned that the day after her family had checked out of the condo, Marianne Bordt intentionally drowned Camden in the bathtub.
“We didn’t suspect anything odd,” Gandy said. “They were very friendly.”
Gandy has described the event as devastating for her family. The vital little boy they had played with days before had been killed, his grandmother arrested for the crime.
Also devastated by the news were Camden’s parents, David and Karin Hiers. The couple had divorced in 2006, and shared custody of their son. It was this fact which Marianne Bordt claimed led her to kill her grandson. David Hiers drove to Florida to speak with police after his son’s death, and has since returned to Georgia.
“He’s extremely overwhelmed with grief,” Alpharetta attorney Thomas Salata said.
Salata called both Hiers “wonderful parents.”
The killer’s husband returned from the store that Monday to find her waiting for him. According to an affidavit from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, she told him that she had killed their grandson because she did not want him to grow up in a broken home. The police have said that Bordt also failed an attempt to kill herself in the ocean following the murder.
Bordt has been denied bond, and will remain in jail. She will be assigned a public defender.
The police found that the Bordts had been living with their daughter, Karen Hiers, and Camden in the Hiers’ Roswell home, at least temporarily. Their most recent address was shared with the family. Despite this, neighbors say they did not know them at all. They described the family as keeping to themselves.
While this murder has touched many lives for the worse, Christy Gandy does not entirely regret meeting Camden.
“We feel like we gave him a lot of joy and happiness his last few days,” Gandy said. “He was having a good time.”