Missing and Murdered: Can You Help Police Solve 4 Mysterious Deaths In This Small Kentucky Town?
It started with the ambushed police officer, and then there was the double murder of a mother and her teenage daughter. A young woman in the prime of her life disappeared, and her father was later shot dead on his property after a year of searching for his missing daughter. It all happened within just a few square miles along Kentucky’s Bluegrass Parkway. What is going on in Bardstown?
Officer Jason Ellis
Bardstown Police Department Officer Jason Ellis was headed home to Bloomfield around 2 a.m. after his shift on May 25, 2013. He exited the Bluegrass Parkway at Exit 34 and found the ramp blocked with trees. He stopped his police cruiser to clear the road and was gunned down by several shots from a 12-gauge shotgun. By the time another passerby got to him and used his radio for help, Ellis was dead. The investigation revealed that the shooter had to have been hiding on the hill above the ramp.
Kathy and Samantha Netherland
Less than a year after Ellis’s murder, there was a gruesome discovery at a home on Springfield Road in Bardstown. Kathy Netherland, a special education teacher, and her 16-year-old daughter, Samantha, were found murdered in their home on April 21, 2014. Kathy had been shot multiple times. Samantha had been beaten. Both women had their throats cut. Police have said a black Chevy Impala was seen near the home around the time of the murder and believe that vehicle may have some connection to the case.
The 35-year-old mother of five children was reported missing by her mother on July 5, 2015. Later that day, her red Chevy Impala was found with a flat tire near mile marker 14 on the Bluegrass Parkway. Her purse, phone, and car keys were still inside the vehicle. Police initially wondered if her live-in boyfriend was responsible for her disappearance, but he was never charged. The FBI is now in charge of the case.
Ballard was devastated when his daughter, Crystal Rogers, went missing, and he dedicated his time to investigating what happened to her and who was responsible for her disappearance. "If he wasn't out physically searching he was on the computer looking up stuff. He promised the kids he would bring their mom home and he never gave up on that," Sherry Ballard, Tommy’s wife, told WLKY in late 2020. On Nov. 19, 2016, Tommy was preparing to take his 12-year-old grandson deer hunting on their property—land that butts up to the Bluegrass Parkway between mile markers 23 and 24. A single shot hit Ballard in the chest, and he was killed instantly.
Anybody with information about these cases can call the Bardstown Police Department at 502-348-6811 or the FBI’s Louisville Field Office at 502-263-6000.