LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s been more than five years since Crystal Rogers disappeared, and a lot has happened with the case since that day on July 3, 2015.
“We’re just trying to find her,” Crystal’s mother, Sherry Ballard, said at the time, as she held back tears.
Below is a timeline of events surrounding the disappearance of the Bardstown mother of five:
July 3, 2015 - Rogers was last seen that holiday weekend at the home she shared with her boyfriend, Brooks Houck.
“He says he’s 100-percent innocent and maybe he is,” a relative of Rogers said of Houck.
July 5, 2015: Two days later, Rogers’ 2007, maroon Impala was found on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire. Her purse, cellphone and keys were inside the car.
“I don’t want to leave no rock unturned,” Crystal’s great uncle Sammy Johnson said that day as searches began and a reward was offered. For weeks, family, friends and community members searched countless acres of Nelson, Larue, Marion and Washington counties. They looked on foot, with four-wheelers, K-9′s, horses and boats. Rogers’ family said Houck never took part in the search. Nelson County investigators later searched a farm owned by Houck’s family.
“There are suspicious areas all over the farm,” a lead investigator told WAVE 3 News of the property at the time. “It’s a big farm and there’s lots of holes and old cisterns.”
October 2015: Bardstown police named Houck a suspect in the case, and said Rogers was presumed dead. That same day, Houck’s brother, Nick Houck, was fired from his job as a police officer with Bardstown police.
November 2016: Rogers’ father, Tommy Ballard, who had been investigating his daughter’s disappearance and was vocal about calling Houck the chief suspect, was shot and killed while hunting on family property. Kentucky State Police called it a death investigation. From NBC’s Oxygen Network to the Today Show and Dr. Phil, Rogers’ disappearance has captured national attention.
“There’s no way she’s going to up and leave any of those children,” Sherry Ballard told Oxygen of her daughter.
July 23, 2020: Nelson County Sheriff’s Office investigators became aware of the existence of human remains in a remote area near the Washington County line.
July 24, 2020: The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI worked together to recover the remains, which were then sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., for analysis.
August 6, 2020: FBI Louisville announced it is now the lead agency in the case working with the IRS, KSP and the US Attorney’s office. The agency executed nine federal search warrants and conducted multiple interviews in Nelson County.