BARDSTOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Attorney General Daniel Cameron has appointed a special prosecutor to look into three unsolved Nelson County deaths.
Commonwealth's Attorney Shane Young will assist the AG's Office "in the prosecution, if any, of potential criminal charges related to the deaths of Jason Ellis, Crystal Rogers and Tommy Ballard."
His appointment went into effect on January 4, 2023.
The AG's office made the following statement on the appointment:
"The Office of Attorney General has made some administrative adjustments in the case in order to streamline a continued effort toward justice for the victims, their families, and the people of Nelson County. These minor alterations clarified lines of authority in order to make the combined efforts of the dedicated law enforcement officials involved more efficient in pursuing an investigation."
It has been nearly eight years since Crystal Rogers went missing. The mother of five was last seen in July 2015.
"Finding my daughter would help tremendous," Crystal's mother, Sherry Ballard, said. "You know, we could put her at rest and it's so hard getting up every day not knowing where she's at."
Ballard has renewed hope that Crystal will be found soon now that a special prosecutor has been appointed to her case.
"He seems very dedicated and he seems very optimistic and very positive," she said. "So I have to go with that and pray things are going to work out."
Young will also investigate Tommy Ballard's death. He was Crystal's father and Sherry's husband. Tommy was killed 16 months after Crystal disappeared. He went hunting on family property when he was shot in the chest. Sherry has long believed the two cases are connected.
"My husband and daughter were very good people and they did not deserve what happened to them," she said.
Young is also investigating Jason Ellis' case. This May marks ten years since the Bardstown Police officer was ambushed. He was shot and killed while clearing debris off Bluegrass Parkway's Exit 34 ramp.
"He was ambushed," Kris Bratten, Jason's mother-in-law, said. "Killed. And we can't get him any justice at all."
Ever since the appointment of the special prosecutor, though, Bratten is feeling more optimistic.
"There's nothing but good that can come from it," she said.
She says now is the time for the people who know something to call the police.
"Somebody knows something," she said. "That's all it is. It's a tip. That's all it is. One tip."
Jason's widow, Amy Brown also wrote the following statement:
“We are incredibly grateful for the support we continue to receive from the law enforcement community as well as their continuous efforts in solving Jason’s murder. This recent change shows how committed all levels of law enforcement are to solving his case. It will only help to have fresh eyes on these unsolved cases that have caused a lot of pain in our community. As we are approaching the 10 year anniversary this brings renewed hope that Jason’s murderer will be brought to justice so that we can finally have some closure.”