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FBI Takes the Reins of Case of Missing Kentucky Mom

Crystal Rogers was last seen on July 3, 2015
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2020 7:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – The FBI is now at the helm of the case of a missing Kentucky mother of five, and agents on Thursday searched properties linked to her boyfriend, who's named as a suspect in her 2015 disappearance. Nine federal search warrants were executed in Bardstown, south of Louisville, including at the homes of Brooks Houck, his brother, and their mother. Houck is the father of one of Crystal Rogers' children and was living with her when she vanished over Fourth of July weekend. Her mother reported Rogers missing on July 5 after not hearing from her for two days, per USA Today. Rogers' car was then found with a flat tire along the Bluegrass Parkway with her keys, phone, and purse inside. The FBI says she would not have traveled without her kids. Houck's brother, Nick, was a Bardstown police officer at the time but was fired in October 2015 for interfering in the investigation.

Brooks Houck was being interviewed by the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office days after Rogers' disappearance when his brother called to warn about investigators who "might be trying to trip him up," the Kentucky Standard reported in 2015. Nick Houck also failed a polygraph test, the outlet reported. Rogers' father, Tommy Ballard, was then shot and killed in 2016 while getting ready to go hunting on family property. The Standard in November reported that it's thought the shooter was tucked in a treeline that runs along the property and the Bluegrass Parkway and observed that "from all appearances Tommy’s killing was a targeted assassination, but police have come short of calling it that specifically." Meanwhile, WAVE reports human remains discovered two weeks ago not far from where Rogers was last seen are being analyzed at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va. (Read more missing woman stories.)

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