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Family, police searching for missing woman; family offers $25,000 reward

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Monday, July 6, 2015, 5 p.m. — The family of a missing Bardstown woman has offered a $25,000 reward for information of her whereabouts.

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Tommy Ballard comforts his daughter, Brooke Ballard, during the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office press conference regarding the disappearance of Tommy Ballard’s daughter, Crystal M. Rogers.

Crystal M. Rogers, 35, has been missing since Friday, July 3, when she was last seen by her boyfriend, Brooks Houck. Her car was found Sunday by her family abandoned in the westbound lanes of the Bluegrass Parkway Sunday, unlocked with a flat tire with her keys and cell phone inside.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly said Rogers’ family been out searching for Rogers, and were joined by the Kentucky State Police helicopter. The family was searching along the Bluegrass Parkway near the 14 mile marker where her car was located.

Mattingly said police at the present time do not suspect foul play beyond the circumstances that her car was found abandoned on the parkway. Mattingly said Houck has been “extremely cooperative” in the missing person investigation.

“If the public saw anything on the Bluegrass Parkway near the 14 mile marker anytime between late Friday night and yesterday afternoon, we would like to hear from them about what they saw,” Mattingly said.

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Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly said investigators need the public’s help locating Crystal M. Rogers of Bardstown, a 35-year-old woman who is missing and last seen on Friday.

The Kentucky State Police crime lab and the Bardstown Police Department crime scene unit are examining her vehicle for clues that may help police solve the mystery of her disappearance.

Members of Rogers’ family, including her parents, Tommy and Sherry Ballard, joined Mattingly for the
press conference. Bardstown Police Capt. Tom Roby spoke on behalf of the family, asking for help locating Crystal. Roby is related to Rogers by marriage.

“If you think you saw something, no matter if it seems insignificant, please call because it may be very important,” Roby said.

“If Crystal can hear our voice, we love you and we want to know where you’re at,” Roby said, his voice choked with emotion. “Contact us and let us know you’re OK.”

Police have searched the home Rogers shared with Houck, as well as other areas “just looking for any type of lead,” Mattingly said.

After the press conference, Rogers’ family members told the media they believed foul play was involved in her disappearance, and pointed to her common-law husband as being a possible suspect.

“I don’t agree that it wasn’t foul play,” Crystal’s mother, Sherry Ballard, told the media outside the police department. “She wouldn’t have just left and not called anybody, that’s not her. And she would not have left her baby at home.”

Family members said Rogers and Houck have a 2-year-old child together, and they called Rogers’ relationship with Houck “troubled” at times. Several family members said Rogers told them that if she ever turned up missing to look at Houck as a possible suspect.

Sherry Ballard said she reported Rogers missing Sunday after she spoke to Houck, who did not accompany her to file the report.

Houck did not attend the press conference, but told Mattingly he wanted to. “He was willing to come but I did not want to have any controversy in this office,” he said.

Rogers’ grandmother, Cil Bryan, and other family members said they feared the worst for her granddaughter.

“I love her more than anything,” Bryan said. “She was just a sweetheart.”

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