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A look back: seven years since Crystal Rogers' disappearance

Vigil To Mark 3 Years Since Crystal Rogers Disappearance
Posted at 2:11 PM, Jul 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-03 14:18:17-04

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Today marks seven years since the disappearance of Crystal Rogers, a Bardstown mother of five.

In 2015, Crystal Rogers was last seen at her then boyfriend, Brooks Houck's home.

Two days later, police found her keys, cellphone and purse inside her abandoned Chevrolet Impala on the Bluegrass Parkway. Her mother, Sherry Ballard, believes the car, with a flat tire, was staged to throw off investigators.

When Bardstown Police interviewed Houck, who remains Nelson County Sheriff's Department's main suspect even though he hasn't been charged with a crime, he showed little concern about Rogers' disappearance. In a released video of the interview, he told police Rogers would go out often after midnight to hang with friends. Later, he mentioned the potential of raising their then two-year-old son by himself.

The next update came on October 16, 2015, when Nick Houck, Brooks' brother, was fired as a Bardstown police officer. It was alleged he interfered with Rogers' case, but Nick denied it and the idea that Brooks' told him about ever hurting Rogers.

Sherry Ballard, Rogers' mother, believes the disappearance of her daughter is connected to the death of her husband, Tommy. Sixteen months after Rogers disappeared, he went hunting on family property when an unknown subject fired one shot and hit Tommy in the chest. Sherry believes he was targeted because he was too close to finding out what happened to Rogers.

"There's no doubt in my mind someone took him from me," said Ballard.

Human remains were found on a property near where Rogers disappeared on July 26, 2020. A few months later, when the FBI took over the investigation, they confirmed they did not belong to Rogers.

In August 2021, they worked with the Nelson County Sheriff's Department and conducted several searches in Bardstown. They focused primarily on the Woodlawn Springs subdivision of the city.

Louisville FBI later shared on its Twitter account that "multiple items of interest" were found. However, they never released what the items were or how they related to the investigation. The agency concluded these searches in November 2021.

The overall investigations of Rogers' disappearance and the death of Tommy Ballard remain ongoing, leaving Sherry Ballard and the rest of the community seven years later, still hoping for closure to come soon.

"When you're living your everyday life, you never forget this," Ballard told WDRB news. "You never forget it, but when stuff happens, it brings it all right back to the surface again, and you're stuck like it just happened again. And it's very emotional and very hard on my whole entire family."

For anyone with potential tips or information, the FBI says to call the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI. You may also contact your local FBI office, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.