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Lead detective: Crystal Rogers investigation still open, active, ongoing

Sealed bags of evidence collected in the Crystal Rogers case line the wall behind Capt. Jon Snow, the lead detective who has worked on the Crystal Rogers case since she went missing in July 2015. Snow held a press conference Thursday to update local media on the ongoing investigation.

 

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 — The lead detective who has handled the investigation of Crystal Rogers since the mother of five went missing in July 2015 said Thursday that her case is far from being a “cold case.”

Capt. Jon Snow of the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office spoke to local media at a press conference, backed by two eight-foot tables piled with sealed evidence bags that represented some of the evidence he and others have collected in the Crystal Rogers case.

Capt. Jon Snow answers media questions during the press conference Thursday afternoon.

Work continues on the case at least weekly, and he continues to follow up on leads and tips received from the public and other law enforcement agencies, he told reporters.

Some evidence is still awaiting analysis at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., he said.

Snow took issue with the Oxygen network’s “Search for Crystal Rogers” series that suggested the sheriff’s office failed to properly process Crystal’s abandoned car for evidence and follow up on other leads.

“That allegation is completely untrue,” Snow told reporters. Evidence was collected from her vehicle before it was returned to the family.

In the first 18 months, Snow said the bulk of his regular work time was spent on the Rogers case, and that he put in 400 hours of overtime devoted solely to that investigation.

Snow said he had written and executed at least 72 search warrants in the investigation — a number that does not include search warrants issued by agencies who were assisting the sheriff’s office investigation.

He praised the assistance the investigation has received from more than a dozen local, state and federal agencies, including the Bardstown Police Department, Louisville Metro Police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the FBI; and the sheriff’s offices of Jefferson, Marion and Hardin counties and others.

“I don’t consider this ‘my’ investigation,” he explained. With the number of detectives who have assisted with the ongoing investigation, “I consider it ‘our’ investigation.”

When asked about feedback from the public after the Rogers series was aired, Snow said the feedback was both positive and negative. The most critical comments came from those who live outside the area who viewed the program.

Judge Executive Dean Watts said he felt the program didn’t create an accurate portrayal of the amount of time, energy and resources that have gone into the Rogers investigation.

Evidence collected in the investigation of the disappearance of Crystal Rogers lines the wall at a press conference Thursday at the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office. Capt. Jon Snow, the lead investigator, told local media the display doesn’t include all the evidence collected in the investigation.

 

Snow said the investigative work that was shown as part of the Rogers program did not produce any new evidence.

During his on-camera interview, he was told the network’s people had a confidential informant who had information on an alleged Hardin County location where Crystal Rogers body was placed and burned in a garage fire.

Despite an on-camera indication the source was willing to talk to investigators, the network never contacted Snow or the sheriff’s office, nor shared any information with investigators.

Snow would not talk specifically about the evidence he feels is needed in order to move forward with an indictment or indictments in the case.

“That’s a decision for the Commonwealth’s Attorney,” he said, adding that he talks regularly with that office to review updates in the case.

He did say that he is hopeful of finding Rogers remains as the investigation moves forward.

Snow said he had not seen any of the information that the Oxygen program examined that was part of a large box of files that was gathered by Crystal’s father, Tommy Ballard, in his investigation of his daughter’s disappearance. On the Oxygen program, the family said no one outside of the family had examined the box’s contents.

While Snow had not seen the files in the box, he said he was fairly certain that he would be familiar with most of it.

“When Tommy was alive, he and I would talk regularly,” Snow said.¬†Ballard would keep him updated as to his own investigation and things he was following up on.

“I’m confident that anytime he had anything he thought was worthy of being checked out, he would at least call me.”

When asked about the sheriff’s election affecting the investigation, Snow was confident the investigation would continue given both candidates’ support for continued work to resolve the case.

Snow took a moment to address rumors about the investigation being stalled due to corruption in the sheriff’s office or other local law enforcement agency.

“I have heard that rumor a time or two,” he said. “If someone has a legitimate complaint about something we did or did not do, or they have some evidence of some corruption in the agency, I invite them to call the FBI or the state police.”

Snow said he was reluctant to talk to the Oxygen network about the Rogers case, but changed his mind.

“There’s always the chance that someone who hasn’t had exposure to this case and has information that’s relevant will come forward,” he said.

“I’m never without hope that we will find the evidence we need to prosecute the person responsible for this.”

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