The mother of missing Kentucky woman Crystal Rogers believes the FBI is nearing the end of their investigation.
It’s been seven years since Crystal Rogers, then-35, disappeared from her Bardstown home, about 40 miles southeast of Louisville, Kentucky. Discussing the status of the missing persons investigation — which saw a break last year when the FBI collected multiple items of interest from concrete at a home in a Bardstown subdivision built by Rogers' boyfriend, Brooks Houck — Rogers’ mother, Sherry Ballard, says the FBI is nearing the end of their investigation.
"I know they’re in the last steps,” Ballard told ABC Louisville affiliate WHAS-TV. “I know they’re getting close. Their ‘close’ and my ‘close’ is not the same thing. I’m wanting this done seven years ago.”
The mother of five was reported missing after her live-in boyfriend, Brooks Houck, found that she wasn’t in bed on the morning of July 3, 2015. Her car was found two days later along the Bluegrass Parkway, with a flat tire and the car keys in their ignition. Rogers’ purse and mobile phone were left behind.
Despite numerous searches and leads in the case, Rogers’ body has never been found.
Houck has been the only suspect named by officials but has vehemently denied the accusations. He was awarded sole custody of the pair’s only child, while Ballard and her husband, Tommy Ballard, were given custody of Roger's four other children.
The Ballards were very public about their belief that Houck was involved in their daughter's disappearance.
Tommy Ballard was fatally shot in the chest during a 2016 hunting trip. His murder remains unsolved.
Sherry Ballard remains a champion in both her daughter’s and husband’s cases, proclaiming her belief that “justice is coming,” according to WHAS-TV.
In August 2021, federal investigators executed nine search warrants related to Rogers’ disappearance, prompting a days-long search at the Woodlawn Springs subdivision in Bardstown, where officials say Houck constructed several homes around the time of Rogers’ disappearance.
Investigators have remained tight-lipped about the “items of interest” found within the subdivision, though the FBI expedited the tests at their Quantico, Virginia labs.
Ballard confirmed the items were found under a driveway but would not disclose to WHAS-TV what they were and whether or not they were determined to hold any significant evidentiary value.
For now, she believes the ball is in the prosecutor’s court to help progress the case.
“The FBI guy who’s doing this is excellent. He’s doing an excellent job; I have no complaints about that,” said Ballard. “It’s getting all the prosecutors on board and getting them where they need to be. That is the area I need to work on more than anything.”
Oxygen.com reached out to the Nelson County County Attorney’s Office for an update on the case but did not receive an immediate response.
The 2021 search warrants also covered ground in the case of Brooks Houck’s brother, Nicholas Houck, a former Bardstown Police officer accused of interfering with the investigation back in 2015. He was fired as a result of his alleged involvement.
Neither of the Houck brothers has been formally charged in connection with Rogers’ disappearance.
“Life just goes on for them like it’s nothing, and my whole world has been crushed,” Ballard told WHAS-TV. “I just want them to pay for what they did to my family. I just want justice.”
FBI agents confirmed last year that they were working with prosecutors on the case.
A $25,000 reward remains in place for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Rogers’ presumed murder.