The boyfriend of missing mother-of-five Crystal Rogers has been arrested on murder charges in connection with her disappearance in 2015.
Brooks Houck was dating Rogers when she went missing eight years ago in Bardstown and has been considered the main suspect since the beginning.
He was taken into custody on Wednesday morning by FBI Louisville and Kentucky State Police and is facing charges “stemming from the Crystal Rogers investigation,” according to a news release by the federal bureau, which took over the case in 2020.
While Mr Houck was considered to be a main suspect in the case, the first breakthrough in the case came in August when Nelson County man Joseph Lawson was arrested and indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with evidence. He had not been publicly named prior to his arrest.
Despite multiple searches at Mr Houck’s properties, there were few updates in Rogers’ case over the years.
Now, eight years after the Kentucky mother disappeared without a trace, her former boyfriend has been ordered to be held on a $10m case bond, WHAS11 reported. He’s charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence.
Houck is expected to be arraigned in October in the Nelson County Circuit Court where additional details will be revealed.
FBI Louisville released the following statement on Mr Houck’s arrest:
In coordination with the Kentucky State Police, other local and federal law enforcement partners, FBI Louisville has been laser-focused on our commitment to hold accountable those that were responsible for the disappearance of Crystal Rogers. Today, we take the first step in making good on that promise. FBI Louisville and the Kentucky State Police have arrested Brooks Houck without incident on charges stemming from the Crystal Rogers investigation. The Houck indictment remains sealed and additional details will be revealed during Houck’s arraignment in early October in the Nelson County Circuit Court.
— FBI Louisville (@FBILouisville) September 27, 2023
What happened to Crystal Rogers?
Crystal Rogers has not been seen or heard from since the evening of 3 July 2015.
Later the same day, her red Chevrolet Impala was found abandoned with a flat tire at mile marker 14 on Bluegrass Parkway. Her keys, phone and purse were inside the car, according to the FBI’s office in Louisville. But she was nowhere to be found.
Who is Brooks Houck?
In October of 2015, Houck, Rogers’ boyfriend at the time who is also the father of her youngest child, was named a suspect in the case.
It’s believed he was the last person to see Rogers at their Bardstown home where they lived with their son.
Rogers’ parents have said in previous interviews that they believe Mr Houck had something to do with their daughter’s disappearance.
But Mr Houck had never been charged with anything in relation to Rogers’ disappearance until this year.
When Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly announced that Houck was a suspect at the time, he said he believed Rogers was dead.
Her body has not been found.
Who is Joseph Lawson, first arrest in connection to case?
Joseph Lawson, 32, was charged in August with criminal conspiracy to commit murder and complicity in tampering with physical evidence.
The conspiracy to commit murder charge was filed 24 July and the charge of tampering with evidence was filed in June, according to Nelson County circuit court documents.
Mr Lawson has not been charged with Rogers’ murder, but instead faces a conspiracy charge which means prosecutors believe he was involved in some way.
The indictment accused Lawson of tampering, saying he “destroyed, mutilated, concealed, removed or altered physical evidence.”
On Thursday, he appeared on Zoom as he was arraigned in Nelson Circuit Court. He has not previously been publicly identified as a suspect in Rogers’ case.
Mr Lawson was being held at the Grayson County Detention Center Friday on a $500,000 bond for the conspiracy to murder charge and a $50,000 bond for the complicity to tampering with physical evidence charge, according to court records.
He is due back in court on 26 October.