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Crystal Rogers

A mother of five vanishes in a small Kentucky town

  • Last updated: March 28, 2024
  • Bardstown, KY
  • July 3, 2015

Overview of Crystal Rogers

Crystal Rogers was a loving mother of five, a daughter, sister, and a friend who lived in Bardstown, a small rural town in Kentucky, located 40 miles from Louisville.

She was 35 years old when she vanished. At first glance, Bardstown seems quaint and filled with all the charms of a small town, however, it's filled with sinister secrets. Many who live in Bardstown believe that Crystal’s disappearance could be linked to four other unsolved cases in Bardstown. The murder of on-duty Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis on May 25, 2013, the double homicide of Kathy and Samantha Netherland on April 22, 2014, and the murder of Crystal’s father, Tommy Ballard on November 19, 2016.

The day Crystal went missing.

Crystal was last seen on the afternoon of July 3rd, 2015 playing games on her phone at her home. She lived with her boyfriend, Brooks Houck, which was the last time she would be seen alive. The next day, Crystal would be reported missing by her mother, Sherry Ballard, after she couldn’t make contact with Crystal. A short time after filing a missing person report, Crystal’s parked red Chevrolet Impala car would be discovered on Bluegrass Parkway near mile marker 14 in Bardstown. Crystal’s keys, phone, and purse would also be inside the car. The car was taken into police custody to be tested for forensic evidence. However, in the Oxygen docuseries “The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers” the car appeared like it was never tested, no items from her car were ever booked into evidence.

In the time since Crystal went missing, her family did everything possible to bring their daughter home. Including putting a missing person sign in the exact location where Crystal’s car is discovered. Her family was incredibly vocal about the lack of support they received from Crystal’s boyfriend, Brooks.

On July 8, 2015, Brooks would deny any connection or involvement in Crystal’s disappearance.

During this interview, Brooks’ brother, Nick Houck would call him advising him to not talk to officers. However, it wouldn’t be long before he would be named a suspect and authorities would announce that Crystal is presumed dead.

On July 15, Bardstown Police Officer Nick Houck, Brooks' brother, would be interviewed by Nelson County Sheriff’s office in relation to the case. He would agree to take a polygraph test several days later, which he would ultimately fail. As a result, Nick Houck was fired from Bardstown Police Department on October 16, 2015, because of interfering with the ongoing investigation.

Tragedy after Tragedy

The Ballard family experienced another tragedy just a year after Crystal vanished. On November 19, 2016, Tommy Ballard was shot and killed while out hunting with his young grandson on his farm. Tommy was a fierce advocate for his daughter’s case, who kept a detailed record of Crystal’s case. It is believed that Crystal’s case is somehow connected to Tommy’s murder. On the one-year anniversary of Tommy’s death, yellow and black signs started showing up around Bardstown including one that read “Detective Houck killed Rogers”.

By 2020, the FBI Louisville took over the investigation and quickly issued multiple federal warrants to search three different properties belonging to Nick and Brooks Houck.

The FBI found items of interest but has not released what was discovered on the properties. In July 2020 remains were discovered and taken to FBI headquarters in Quantico but it was determined that the remains did not belong to Crystal.

Where the case stands today.

Now, after nearly a decade of countless advocates and agencies putting their heads together and looking for answers, authorities have arrested Houck and charged him with murder and evidence tampering.

Crystal’s case is still unsolved and her body has not been found. Crystal Rogers is described as 5’9” tall, weighing 150 lbs., with shoulder-length blonde hair and blue eyes. FBI Louisville is offering $25,000 for any information that leads to an arrest, conviction, or identification of the individuals responsible for Crystal’s disappearance. However, the family is offering an additional reward.

If you know something regarding Crystal’s disappearance, please contact the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Three individuals have been charged in relation to Crystal's disappearance: Steven Lawson, Joseph Lawson, and Crystal's then-boyfriend, Brooks Houck. Brooks Houck has been charged with murder while Joseph and Steven Lawson have both been charged with criminal conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with physical evidence. This is a developing story.


  1. Date Missing:July 3, 2015
  2. Birthday:April 4, 1980
  3. Current Age:44
  4. Age at Incident:35
  5. NAMUS Number:MP33267
  6. Race:Caucasian / White
  7. Gender:Female
  8. Height:5'9"
  9. Weight:155 lbs
  10. Hair Color:Blonde


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