The Crystal Rogers investigation: What we know about search for missing Kentucky mom
Investigators in Bardstown are preparing for another long day, this time focusing on one property.
Search efforts will continue for a second day in connection with the disappearance of Crystal Rogers.Advertisement
The FBI has been investigating her case for a year and said Tuesday that their discoveries have led them to a subdivision called Woodlawn Springs.
WHAT FEDS HAVE SAID ABOUT LATEST SEARCHES IN BARDSTOWN
The FBI began new searches for evidence ins Rogers’ case on Tuesday. FBI officials haven’t disclosed whose homes or properties in the Woodlawn Springs subdivision they were searching or specific details about what they hope to find. But their efforts Wednesday were directed primarily at one property on North Howard Street where digging was occurring.
We’re told Brooks Houck, Rogers’ boyfriend at the time of her death, owned three properties there. Houck is the only person to ever be named a suspect in her case.
Federal agents spent the day searching for clues at all three properties. They spent nearly 14 hours searching with crews and cadaver dogs.
Now they’ve turned their focus to one area and excavation efforts are underway at a property built around the time Rogers disappeared.
Sherry Ballard, Rogers’ mother, said the FBI has been keeping her up to date. She said Wednesday that agents may be back for a third day.
“It’s making me feel like maybe there’s something there and I don’t want to misread what they’re telling me, but at the same I’m going to keep my faith and hope this is it,” Ballard said.
So far, agents haven’t given any indication of what they’re searching for.
The Nelson County Sheriff was on the scene Tuesday, too, but said their role was to secure the area and keep people who didn’t need to be there away.
“We turned away over 90 people throughout the … day,” Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa said. “Basically, people just kind of wanting to snoop around and be nosy.”
The investigation wrapped up around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
More on the case
Rogers went missing in 2015. Her car was found abandoned with a flat tire on Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown with her phone, purse and keys still inside.
She had five children, one with Houck. While he is the only person since she disappeared to be named as a suspect, he has never been charged.
His home was searched last year when the FBI started investigating. They also investigated his brother Nick Houck’s home.
Nick Houck is a former Bardstown police officer. He was fired from the department in 2015 for interfering with the investigation.
Officials said Nick Houck called his brother while he was being interviewed by the Nelson County Sheriff’s Department. The mayor said Nick Houck knew his brother was being interviewed, and the call was enough to be considered interference.
Feds also checked out the Houck family’s farm in 2020. It’s the last place investigators believe Rogers was seen alive.
Early on, friend and employee of Brooks Houck, Danny Singleton, faced 38 counts of perjury for lying to detectives during the investigation, but pleaded guilty to lesser charges of false swearing.
At one point, investigators zeroed in on Houck’s grandmother, Anna Whitesides.
The state believed her car may have been used to dispose of Rogers’ body. Whitesides, who had previously talked to investigators, later invoked her Fifth Amendment right, refusing to testify when called to court.
A new detective took over the case a couple years ago when Det. Jon Snow left the Nelson County Sheriff’s Department. Chief Deputy Joedy Gilliland then became the lead until the feds stepped in.
Just a year after Rogers died, on Nov. 19, 2016, her father was shot and killed on family property near Bluegrass Parkway, and his killing also remains unsolved.