Crystal Rogers: FBI returns to Woodlawn Springs subdivision for second day of investigation

Six years after she was last seen, new searches are underway for a missing Bardstown woman....
Six years after she was last seen, new searches are underway for a missing Bardstown woman. (Source: Family photo via Nelson County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 10:56 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 6:55 PM EDT
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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WAVE) - FBI agents returned to Bardstown on Wednesday morning, hoping to unearth some clues in their investigation into the disappearance of a Nelson County mother of five.

Crystal Rogers was last seen in 2015, but “information collected over the last year” has prompted federal investigators to focus their attention on the Woodlawn Springs subdivision near the Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown.

Officials from the FBI’s Louisville office used drone cameras, ground scanners and cadaver dogs on three properties Tuesday.

The investigation resumed Wednesday in nearly 100-degree heat, and an FBI Louisville representative said his team may provide an update to media later in the afternoon.

Agents from the FBI Louisville Field Office arrived in a Bardstown, Ky. subdivision on the...
Agents from the FBI Louisville Field Office arrived in a Bardstown, Ky. subdivision on the morning of Aug. 24, 2021 to conduct a search related to the 2015 disappearance of Crystal Rogers.(Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)

Sherry Ballard, Rogers’ mother, told WAVE 3 News that Rogers’ boyfriend at the time of her disappearance -- and the only suspect in the case, Brooks Houck -- was building homes in the Woodlawn Springs subdivision at the time she was last seen.

“We’re trying to hold up just as best as we can,” Ballard said. “It’s very hard when they’re doing a search like this. I’m very lucky with the community here. I’ve had so many people message and text me this morning. It’s good to know the community is wanting justice just like I am.”


Karen Riggs said her Bardstown community knows all about the Rogers case, but to see investigators set up in their own neighborhood felt surreal.

“Something you don’t think you would ever see in this small community,” Riggs said. “I mean we were voted most beautiful small town in America and then when you see something this devastating happen, it’s just hard to believe.”

A six-year long search for answers, it's only gotten more difficult for Sherry Ballard, the mother of Crystal Rogers.

Judy Brady lives in the Woodlawn Springs subdivision. She said she woke up to FBI trucks and tents near her block. She said she also woke up thinking of Rogers.

“It’s scary, but I want them to find whoever did this,” Brady said.

Brady and Riggs are both mothers, and said they hope they never feel the pain of missing a child.

“Every holiday, every day of your life, you’re going to be wondering where she is, what happened,” Riggs said. “Did she suffer? There’re so many questions as a mother. I just can’t fathom what that would be like, but it’s something I hope I never have to go through.”

“We just want her body to be found and for justice to be served,” Brady added.

The FBI has not set a timeline on how long the search at Woodlawn Springs will last.

Rogers was 35 when she was last seen at the home she shared with Houck. Her car was found two days later on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire. Her purse, cellphone and keys were inside the car.

In October 2015, Bardstown police named Houck a suspect in the case, and said Rogers was presumed dead. That same day, Houck’s brother, Nick Houck, was fired from his job as a police officer with Bardstown police.

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