‘My family just needs answers’: FBI search Bardstown farm as part of Crystal Rogers case

Crystal Rogers
Crystal Rogers
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 9:00 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 8:26 PM EDT
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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WAVE) - Federal agents have executed a search warrant at a farm in Nelson County belonging to the family of a suspect in the disappearance of Crystal Rogers.

The FBI has confirmed that a search warrant was served this morning at a farm property on Paschal Ballard Road owned by the Houck family.

Rogers, 35, has not been seen since July 3, 2015 while attending a party at the farm being searched today. A missing persons report was filed by her family two days later.

Brooks Houck (Source: James Thomas/WAVE News)
Brooks Houck (Source: James Thomas/WAVE News)

Rogers was at the party with Brooks Houck, her boyfriend. He is considered the main suspect in her death. The body of Rogers has never been found.

A red Chevrolet Impala belonging to Rogers was found the day she was reported missing. The vehicle had a flat tire and had been abandoned at mile marker 14 on the Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown. Keys, phone, and a purse belonging to Rogers were still inside the car.

During an early afternoon news conference, Sherry Ballard, Crystal’s mother, said she was informed Monday morning by the FBI that a search of the 245 acre Houck farm was underway.

“I’m praying today I find answers,” Ballard said. “I don’t really know how I feel. I’m trying not to get too excited about it because I don’t want such a letdown if nothing is found. But at the same time, how can I not? I’m just praying God is giving me the answers today or tomorrow or whenever it takes.”

Ballard said she’s glad agents are back on the Houck farm.

“I’m happy they’re on the farm,” Ballard said. “I’ve never felt satisfied with that farm, so I’m happy about that.”

With Ballard at the news conference were her daughter Brooke and son Casey. Also on hand were two of her grandchildren, Rogers’ daughters Tori and Kylie.

Ballard went on to say the FBI has been very good about keeping her informed, but she understands there are things the agents can’t tell her.

“Everything they do is a blessing to me cause it may take me one step closer to finding my daughter,” Ballard said.

Rogers’ mother praised investigators for lifting her hopes.

”Everything they do is a blessing to me because it may take me one step closer to finding my daughter,” Ballard said. “It’s such a huge farm. It takes so long to go though something like that. And I guess as a mom, in the back of my mind I’m always thinking gosh could she still be there? Could she still be there?”

The FBI Louisville office has made no comment on today’s search, but said they will post any updates to their Twitter account.

The search continued into Tuesday.

In 2015, Andy Carey, owner of Carey Sign Company in Bardstown handed out signs for free in hopes to help find Crystal.

Seven years later, he is doing it again as a new FBI search gets people talking.

“Why do you think they’re out there?” Carey said. “What’s bringing the FBI back to the farm? Did they overlook something maybe the last time they were out there?”

In the bourbon capital of the world, some express hope for some resolution, an end to the questions for Crystal’s family.

“Hopefully they found something this time,” Danielle Mattingly said. “Hopefully there’s something they can make some charges with, that they can possibly use to get some closure.”

“Maybe this is the last piece they need to do what they need to do, to maybe make an indictment,” Carey said. “I think that family deserves some closure and hopefully they can get some answers.”