‘Praying they will find her.’ New FBI search for Crystal Rogers starts in subdivision

·4 min read

The FBI spent Tuesday conducting new searches in a Kentucky subdivision for evidence connected to the disappearance of Crystal Rogers.

The search started in the Woodlawn Springs subdivision Tuesday morning. An FBI spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon, “it has not been determined when we will be finished.”

Rogers’ disappearance has received national attention and coverage since she was first reported missing more than six years ago. The FBI took over the investigation more than a year ago, with assistance from local law enforcement agencies.

“We are looking for any evidence that can provide clarity on what happened to Crystal,” Beam said. Beam later said that agents “will be there as long as it takes.”

Beam said the FBI won’t disclose specific addresses of the properties being searched to protect the privacy of affected homeowners.

“These residents are not considered suspects,” he said.

About 15 of 290 homes in the Woodlawn Springs subdivision were built by Houck Rentals, LLC, according to the Nelson County Property Valuation Administrator’s office. That company is owned by Brooks Houck, who was Rogers’ boyfriend at the time of her disappearance and was previously named a suspect in her disappearance.

Beam said he couldn’t comment on whether or not the FBI was searching those specific properties.

Properties that Houck’s family owns have been searched in the past. Houck hasn’t been charged in the case, nor has anyone else, Beam confirmed Tuesday morning.

Rogers was reported missing by her mother on July 5, 2015, according to the FBI. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since July 3, 2015. Rogers’ mom, Sherry Ballard, has been vocal about her daughter’s disappearance and has asked anyone with information to come forward to help.

Ballard said the homes built by Houck’s company in that subdivision were constructed around the same time Rogers went missing.

“I’m praying that they will find my daughter this morning,” Ballard told the Herald-Leader Tuesday morning.

Rogers’ Chevrolet Impala was found abandoned with a flat tire on the Blue Grass Parkway on the same day she was reported missing, according to the FBI. Her keys, phone and purse were in her car when it was found.

“Rogers is the mother of five children and is not known to go anywhere without her children,” the FBI said when it announced it was taking over the investigation.

The FBI suspected it may have found Rogers in July 2020 when the agency was called in to help the Nelson County sheriff’s office retrieve possible human remains near the Washington County line. But those remains were determined not to be hers, the FBI announced in November.

Since then, the FBI and other federal agencies have conducted searches at some properties owned by Houck or his family members. An FBI spokesperson said he couldn’t comment on what was seized, but reports from the scene indicated firearms, boxes and filing cabinets were taken by agents. Local law enforcement agencies had also searched a farm owned by Houck’s mother in August 2015.

The FBI is also investigating Tommy Ballard’s death as a “related case.” Ballard was Rogers’ father and Sherry Ballard’s husband. He was shot and killed on Nov. 19, 2016, according to the FBI. He led efforts in organizing “Team Crystal,” a group of Bardstown community members who wanted to find Rogers, according to the FBI. Tommy Ballard also was collecting information and looking into his daughter’s disappearance.

An unknown suspect shot Ballard in the chest while he was hunting with his 12-year-old grandson, killing Ballard instantly, according to the FBI.

“I think right now (investigators) are focused on my daughter, and I feel like when they break my daughter’s case, my husband’s is automatically going to follow right after that,” Sherry Ballard said Tuesday.

Beam said Tuesday afternoon the FBI was “not commenting on the results just yet.”