Renewed hope for justice, closure arises after FBI takes over Rogers investigation

Yellow police tape marks off a half block of Forrest Avenue while law enforcement vehicles sit outside the home of Nick Houck, where officials executed a search warrant early Thursday morning. Law enforcement officials were still there at noon Thursday.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Everyone in line at the Nelson County Clerk’s office for car tag renewals were buzzing about the news and the law enforcement’s execution today of search warrants that included the home of Nick Houck, his brother Brooks Houck’s Glenview home, and the Houck family’s farm on Pascal Ballard lane.

“We’re just hoping and praying for the family that this will bring the justice they deserve and the closure they need,” one patron said. “They’ve had to endure so many years of never having closure.”

Media reports said Nick Houck was led from the home for questioning. He lived in the Henrytown home formerly owned by his grandmother.

While the FBI’s press release did not confirm the human remains found weeks ago were indeed those of Crystal Rogers, most people assumed that at the very least, the remains provided sufficient evidence to bring the FBI into the case.

The human remains were found on a river bank on the Washington-Nelson County line. They were collected by an FBI team and transported to an FBI facility in Quantico, Va., for examination.

At a local self-service gas station, customers were talking about the news, all expressing hope for closure.

“The community needs this,” one woman said. “The community wants justice and needs closure, just like the Ballard family does. I hope the FBI investigating this will make that happen.”

A woman who went to church with the family said the discovery of the remains and the FBI’s investigation was “a gift from God” to the family to allow them to heal the pain of their losses — hopefully of both Crystal and her father, Tommy Ballard, whose murder remains unsolved.


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