What happened to Crystal Rogers and how long has she been missing?
KENTUCKY mom Crystal Rogers has been missing for five years.
The 35-year-old was last seen alive on Fourth of July weekend in 2015 and her loved ones have been searching ever since.
Despite a police investigation, a $25,000 reward for any information, and repeated volunteer searches, Rogers was never found.
On August 6, 2020, the FBI Louisville and other state agencies took over the cold case, conducting nine search warrants and more than 50 interviews in Bardstown so far.
“I have committed publicly and privately that delivering long-sought justice in Nelson County is the highest priority case of the United States Attorney’s Office,” said US Attorney Russell Coleman.
“Today’s efforts by our stalwart FBI, IRS, and KSP partners is a major step in honoring that promise.”
But what happened to Crystal Rogers and how long has she been missing?
Who is Crystal Rogers and what happened to her?
Crystal Rogers is a mom of five who vanished in Kentucky.
Rogers was from the close-knit community of Bardstown, which is about 40 miles south of Louisville.
She was spotted by her cousin walking out of Walmart the day before the Fourth of July celebrations in 2015.
The missing woman's ex-husband said she dropped off two of their kids at his house.
Relatives then said Rogers had a "date night" with her boyfriend Brooks Houck and he told cops they had gone to his mom's farm.
When he woke up the next day, Rogers was gone and didn't answer her phone when Houck and her mother Sherry Ballard, called.
Sherry filed a missing persons report on Sunday, July 5.
That day, her dad, Tommy Ballard, found Rogers' keys, purse, uncharged cell phone, and a diaper bag inside her maroon Chevy sedan – which had a flat tire – on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway.
Over a year later, Ballard, 54, was fatally shot during a hunting accident.
What did the FBI say about the Crystal Rogers case?
The FBI took over the missing persons search on August 6, 2020.
FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown asked members of the community think back to July 3rd and 4th of 2015.
"For those individuals who have information about this incident but who have not yet spoken to law enforcement for whatever reason, please contact us," Brown said.
"A hallmark of the FBI is we never give up. The FBI is committed to bringing those responsible to justice, but we are going to need the community’s assistance."
Commissioner Rodney Brewer added that the Kentucky State Police is working tirelessly to bring about a successful resolve to several cases in Nelson County.
"We have followed up on hundreds of tips from the public and logged thousands of investigative hours towards this endeavor," Brewer said. "We will continue our efforts until justice is served and welcome the assistance of our federal partners.”
How long has she been missing?
Rogers was last seen alive on Friday, July 3, 2015 at a Walmart and then on a farm owned by her boyfriend's family.
The Kentucky Standard obtained a copy of her Walmart shopping receipt, which shows she was was at the register at 4:36 pm.
She bought food items, a T-ball plate, a junior sniper air rifle, a bucket and two boys T-shirts, the publication noted.
In 2017, former troopers were hired by Kentucky State Police to investigate the cases of both Rogers and Bardstown Police officer Jason Ellis who was ambushed and killed in on May 25, 2013 driving on the Bluegrass Parkway highway.
A documentary about Rogers' case called The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers aired in 2018.
Were human remains found in Bardstown?
The Nelson County Sheriff's Office said possible human remains were discovered two weeks ago near where Rogers was last see.
They were unearthed on July 23 near the border of Nelson and Washington counties, according to the sheriff's office said.
On July 24, the sheriff's office asked to be assisted by the FBI Evidence Response Team to access the hard-to-reach location.
The possible remains were sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, to be tested and it isn't clear who found them or how.
Five years ago, detectives found bodily fluids in the trunk of a car owned by Brooks' brother Nick Houck.
Nick couldn't explain how they got there during a police interview on July 15, 2015.
Who is Brooks Houck?
Brooks Houck was Rogers' boyfriend and was named as the prime suspect in her disappearance back in 2015.
On Thursday, the FBI searched the homes of Brooks, his brother Nick Houck, and their mother, Rosemary Houck, reported USA Today.
Brooks – who shares one child with Rogers – always denied his involvement and has never been arrested or charged in connection with her disappearance.
He told police he and Rogers had visited the Houck family farm and fed the cows on July 3.
Houck said Rogers stayed up playing on her phone while he went to bed when they got home; when he woke up the next day, Rogers was gone.
Houck never offered to help look for his missing girlfriend, her family claimed.
The Nelson County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at his mom's farm on July 10 – the first of many property probes.
In October 2015, Sheriff Ed Mattingly announced Rogers was officially presumed dead, her boyfriend was the prime suspect, and Houck's brother was fired from the Bardstown Police Department for failing a polygraph and interrupting Brooks' interview.
"There's certain things that people do when they're on this earth and she has vanished from Earth," Mattingly said. "I think its safe to say that she's dead."
Who is Nick Houck?
Nick Houck was a Bardstown police officer at the time of Rogers' disappearance and the older brother of her boyfriend, Brooks Houck.
On July 7, Brooks was first interviewed by police at the Nelson County Sheriff's Office.
Det Jon Snow asked Brooks about the days before Rogers disappearance and he said they had a disagreement about her kids but insisted it wasn't an argument.
Nick interrupted the interview, telling his brother to leave, which he did.
On July 15, Kentucky State Police detectives interviewed Nick, who initially refused to comply.
He was ordered to do so by then Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin and couldn't explain the bodily fluid found in his car.
Brooks Houck's handyman Danny Singleton was arrested in December 2015 after an attorney said he lied to a grand jury about his whereabouts on the night Rogers vanished.
He was initially charged with perjury, which was amended to the lesser charges of false swearing.
He was released early from his one-year prison stint and let off on probation.
The FBI launched an information website about Crystal’s case crystalrogerstaskforce.com to share any relevant information relating to her disappearance.
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