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FBI search for missing Kentucky woman Crystal Rogers focuses on farm that was one of the last places she was seen alive

Federal agents are searching a farm in Bardstown, believed to be one of the last places Rogers was seen before her disappearance over seven years ago.

The FBI said this week it has renewed the search for Crystal Rogers, the mother of five who went missing over seven years ago in Kentucky.

Agents arrived early Monday to a farm in Bardstown, Kentucky, that was one of the last places Rogers was seen alive before she disappeared. The farm is owned by the family of Brooks Houck, Rogers' boyfriend at the time of her disappearance, who was also named as a suspect by police in 2015.

Crystal Rogers.
Crystal Rogers.Nelson Co. Sheriff's Office

FBI agents are expected to search the Kentucky farm for multiple days, according to spokesperson Timothy Beam.

Rogers was reported missing by her mother on July 5, 2015, according to the FBI. She was last seen by Houck on the evening of July 3, 2015 at their home in Bardstown, where they lived with their young son.

On the same day she was reported missing, Rogers' unlocked, maroon 2007 Chevy Impala was found abandoned along Kentucky’s Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire — her keys were still in the ignition and her purse and cell phone were found inside, police said.

In October 2015, three months after Rogers vanished, officials with the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office named Houck a suspect in her disappearance. Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly also said at the time that he believed Rogers was dead.

On the same day Houck was named a suspect, his brother, Nick Houck, a Bardstown City police officer, was terminated from the department after officials say he interfered with the investigation of Rogers' disappearance.

The FBI would not confirm if Houck has been charged with any crimes in connection with Rogers' disappearance or if he was still a suspect in the case.

At the time, Rogers' family was content with Houck being named a suspect.

“Since they named him a suspect, I feel like they’re working now, which I always thought the Sheriff Department was doing a good job, but it makes me feel a lot better,” Tommy Ballard, Crystal’s father, told WDRB in October 2015.

Over a year after she disappeared, Ballard was shot and killed by an unknown assailant on his family’s property in November 2016 as he was preparing to go hunting, according to FBI Louisville. His case also remains unsolved.

"After Crystal’s disappearance in July 2015, Tommy relentlessly pursued every lead to try and locate his daughter," the FBI said in a statement. "He was the driving force behind Team Crystal, a group comprised of Bardstown community members dedicated to finding Crystal and bringing her home."

The FBI are continuing to investigate Rogers' disappearance with the help of partners including the Internal Revenue Service, Kentucky State Police and the United States Attorney’s Office.

Last summer, the FBI conducted "several searches" in the Woodlawn Springs subdivision in Bardstown, the FBI announced. Investigators recovered "an item of interest," but have not specified what that item was.

In the summer of 2020, the FBI took over as the lead agency in the investigation and more than 150 state and federal law enforcement officers arrived in Bardstown to execute search warrants and conduct interviews related to the case.