Houck pleads not guilty to theft charges

Brooks Houck pleads not guilty to theft charges in front of Ballard family
Crystal Rogers disappeared in July 2015. Police have named her boyfriend at the time as the main suspect. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Crystal Rogers disappeared in July 2015. Police have named her boyfriend at the time as the main suspect. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - The family of Crystal Rogers experienced some unnerving moments on Thursday afternoon, as the man police called the main suspect in her 2015 disappearance went before a judge on unrelated charges.

That man, Brooks Houck, is now facing five counts of theft. Police said he stole roofing shingles from the Lowe's in Bardstown back in April.

It was a packed courtroom in Nelson County for Houck's arraignment on Thursday. Alongside Louisville Attorney Alex Dathorne, Houck, Crystal Roger's former boyfriend, walked into court without comment.

Facing five theft charges--four of them felonies--for stealing some shingles, Dathorne entered a not guilty plea for Houck. Just as he came in, he left without talking to reporters.

Meanwhile, the Rogers case is taking a national turn as her family remains vigilant.

Sherry Ballard, Crystal's mother, had plenty to say about why she was there.

"I know it has nothing to do with my daughter, but it does show the kind of person that Brooks Hauck is," Ballard said.

The kind of person, Ballard said, who always keeps a cool demeanor--and who never helped the family when the mother of five vanished three years ago.

Now, two national shows on two networks will put the case together for millions of viewers, beginning Sunday August 5 at 10 p.m. with On the Case with Paula Zahn on the Investigation Discovery Channel. The second show is a six-part series on the Oxygen Network that will begin airing Saturday, August 11.

"I think you're going to see what kind of family we are and catch a piece of her [Crystal] that you didn't know already," Ballard said.

Rogers' car was found on the Bluegrass Parkway with her phone and purse inside. Ballard is hoping that someone who may have been driving through the area back then will come forward.

"Someone had to leave that car on the Bluegrass. I'm hoping someone will maybe see the show and remember someone getting out of that car or who may have been beside it," Ballard said.

Houck will be back in court for a pre-trial hearing January 18, 2019.

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