2 homes searched in connection to Crystal Rogers disappearance

Published: Aug. 18, 2016 at 9:52 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2016 at 3:32 AM EDT
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NELSON COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – Police executed two search warrants, looking for clues that could shed light on what happened to Crystal Rogers, who disappeared in July of 2015.

On Thursday, a search warrant was first issued at Anna Whitesides' home, the grandmother of the lead suspect in Rogers' case, Brooks Houck.

Brooks Houck, Rogers' boyfriend, was the last person to see Rogers before she was reported missing on July 5, 2015, according to police.

Earlier this year, Whitesides was subpoenaed to court regarding a white Buick sedan. The subpoena states the car may have been used to dispose of a body. On June 15, Whitesides' attorney filed a motion to overturn the subpoena so that she doesn't have to take the stand, pleading the Fifth Amendment.

Rogers' parents, Tommy and Sherry Ballard, rushed to Whitesides' home, on Pulliam Avenue, in Bardstown, as soon as they heard the search was happening. 

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Family members said they saw investigators leave with vacuum cleaners, at least one "shop vac" and brown paper bags. They watched the house for several hours after the search, alongside police.

"They are working hard on it," Tommy said. "We know they're working."

Later Thursday evening, a search warrant was issued at Nick Houck's home, in Coxs Creek.

Nick Houck, a former police officer, was fired from the Bardstown Police Department on Oct. 16, 2015 for allegedly interfering with the Rogers case. According to a document released by the City of Bardstown, Nick Houck called his brother, Brooks Houck, on July 8, 2015 to warn him that detectives were planning to interview him regarding his girlfriend's disappearance. That call came while a detective was in the middle of interviewing Brooks Houck.

On that day, Sheriff Mattingly called Brooks Houck a suspect in the case, adding that he believed Nick Houck "has knowledge of what has happened." Both men have maintained their innocence and have not been charged or arrested.

The case's lead investigator, Deputy Jonathan Snow, could not provide information about what they were searching for due to the sensitivity of the case. Meanwhile, Nick Houck was outside cutting his grass.

Along with Thursday's search warrant, a separate search warrant was issued to Nick Houck last week. The Nelson County Sheriff's Department said they were searching for DNA related evidence.

Rogers' parents are working hard to stay strong for her five children and the rest of their family.

"There may be one day that you have that is better than the other, then the next day you're knocked back down again by a little reminder, you know, that you don't forget," Sherry Ballard said.

Rogers was presumed dead by Nelson County Sheriff's Department on Oct. 16, 2015.

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