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How are Brooks Houck and Joseph Lawson connected?

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Sep 27, 2023

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Brooks Houck was named as a suspect in Crystal Rogers’ disappearance years ago, but weeks before his Wednesday arrest, police charged a man whose name hadn’t come up publicly in the investigation.

Joseph Lawson, 32, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and complicity to tampering with physical evidence in the case, according to court records. Houck is charged with murder and tampering with evidence, according to his indictment.

Little information has been released about what’s suspected to have happened the night of Rogers’ disappearance or how Lawson and Houck might be connected.

After Lawson's arrest, questions arose about a video of a 2015 police interview of Brooks Houck that included a mention of another man with the last name of Lawson.

During the interview, the investigator asks Houck about a phone call between him and a man named Steve Lawson on the night of Rogers’ disappearance.

Houck can be heard telling the detective that Steve Lawson worked for him. During the interview, Houck calls Steve Lawson back and asks him to recount what they talked about that night.

During that call, Steve Lawson said that Houck had told him that he’d call Rogers to ask her about something work-related. But the detective points out that Houck had told police she was with him at the time of the call with Steve Lawson.

“Okay, so that begs the question in my mind, if she's in the truck next to you when he called, why would you need to call her about getting numbers for rental properties?” the detective asks Houck in the video.

“Being that late at night, we're headed to the house, I just wouldn't - she normally’s not going deal with stuff that late,” Houck responds.

Nothing has been released about whether Steve Lawson and Joseph Lawson are related, but the LEX 18 Investigates team recently went to addresses tied to Joseph Lawson in Washington and Nelson counties to learn more.

A distant relative and a neighbor said that Steve Lawson is Joseph Lawson’s father, but LEX 18 could not reach Steve Lawson to confirm.

There has been no indication that Steve Lawson is tied to the Crystal Rogers case in any way.