On The Case: What Happened To Missing Mother Of Five Crystal Rogers?
On July 5th, 2015, Sherry Ballard, the mother of 35-year-old Crystal Rogers, was in a panic.
Her daughter, a devoted mother of five, was not returning her calls or texts — and had not been in contact with anyone for 36 hours.
The mystery of what happened to Crystal Rogers became headline news across the state of Kentucky, and is the subject of a new episode of “On The Case With Paula Zahn.”
Crystal’s sister had more disturbing news for her mother.
She had just spoken to Crystal’s boyfriend, Brooks Houk, who was the last person to see her alive. Houk claimed that he, Crystal and the children had gone to the family farm the night she went missing.
He said that they went home, and that he went to bed while she stayed up late to play games on her cell phone. Houk claimed that he last saw Crystal after midnight — and that when he woke up in the morning, she was gone.
While Sherry raced to the Nelson County Sheriff’s office to report her daughter missing, her husband Tommy got another shock: A family member had found Crystal’s empty car on the shoulder of the Blue Grass Parkway.
The car’s tire was flat, and Crystal’s keys, cell phone, and purse were all found inside.
As investigators studied the evidence around the abandoned vehicle they quickly became convinced that the young mother had been the victim of foul play.
A massive manhunt was launched that involved hundreds of volunteers, but no trace of Crystal was found.
As detectives retraced Crystal’s last steps, the case took a dark turn and the mystery would ultimately devastate Crystal’s loving family and tear a close-knit community apart.
Detective John Snow of the Nelson County Sheriff’s Department went out to investigate the scene. “Inside the vehicle were several personal items … that you don’t normally leave behind,” Snow said. “It threw up red flags.” But Snow added that he saw no signs of a struggle in the vehicle.
Crystal had four children with her ex-husband, Keith, and one son, two-year-old Eli, with Brooks. Her family and friends insisted that Crystal would never leave her children behind.
The episode tackles many unanswered questions about the case, including a connection to another fatal shooting, the potential involvement of a police officer, and the identity of a mysterious midnight caller.
Crystal’s body has never been found, and her family continues to search for answers.
Police have asked anyone with any information that could help in the search for Crystal to call the Nelson County Sheriff Department at (502) 348-3211.
If you are in search of a missing person, make sure to enter their information into the database of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
Read more: WDRB, Real Clear