The mother of a Kentucky woman who disappeared more than six years ago says the FBI has turned its attention to three houses built by the missing woman’s boyfriend around the time of her disappearance.
Crystal Rogers, 35, was last seen by her boyfriend Brooks Houck on July 3, 2015. He told police that she was playing games on her phone that night, but was gone the next morning.
The auburn Chevrolet Impala of the woman from Bardstown, Kentucky was later found on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire. Her wallet, keys and uncharged phone remained in the unlocked car.
The FBI announced Tuesday that it is searching a neighborhood in connection with Rogers’ disappearance.
“Based on information gathered over the past year by the federal investigation into the disappearance of Crystal Rogers, FBI Louisville is now conducting several searches of the Woodlawn Springs subdivision,” the agency said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Krystal Rogers was last seen on July 3, 2005 by her boyfriend Brooks Houck, who was building three houses at the time of her disappearance.
FBI agents searched Houck’s property on Wednesday as they continue their search for the missing mother of five
Investigators focused their efforts on three houses built by Houck around the time Rogers went missing, her mother Sherry Ballard said.
“He didn’t help build the houses — he built them,” Ballard told Dailymail.com. “He was the architect.”
Search teams have now narrowed the scope to a single property, she said.
The FBI did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Rogers’ friend Brooks Houck is the only named suspect in the case
An agent at the scene told The Courier-Journal, a local newspaper, on Tuesday that investigators would search “as long as necessary.”
Search teams were aided by a cadaver dog, another Kentucky media outlet reported.
After she disappeared, Rodgers’ father Tommy Ballard led an initiative to bring her home.
But on November 19, 2016, he was fatally shot while preparing for a hunting trip with his 12-year-old grandson. He was standing on the family estate, next to Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown, when someone fired a single shot to his chest.
His murder remains unsolved.
The FBI is also investigating that case, but has not said whether it is related to Rogers’ disappearance.
The FBI took over the missing person investigation last August, with 150 federal agents executing search warrants on nine properties, including a family ranch and Houck’s home, where IRS agents removed files, documents and hard drives from computers.
The auburn Chevrolet Impala of the woman from Bardstown, Kentucky was later found on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire. Her wallet, keys and uncharged phone remained in the unlocked vehicle
Before she went missing, Rogers messaged a friend that she and Houck had hired a babysitter for their two-year-old son that evening and were planning to go on a date.
At the time, his brother Nick Houck’s home was also searched by FBI agents with fangs that appeared to be focused on a pickup truck. Investigators gathered evidence from the house and witnesses said Nick Houck was taken by police.
Nick Houck was fired from the Bardstown Police Department in 2015 for allegedly warning his brother that the police were coming to question him. He later failed a lie detector test on the case.
Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly officially named Brooks Houck a suspect in October 2015, about three months after the mother of five went missing.
Nick Houck, whose brother is the prime suspect in the case, was fired from the police force for tipping off his sibling when investigators planned to interview him
Police at the time released a video of an interview between a detective and Brooks Houck, in which he claimed that Rogers was dating friends the night she disappeared.
“They have these fantasy parties,” he told the officer. “All these girls get together, it’s not uncommon for them to stay away… most of the night, if not all night.”
The detective then referred to a text message from Rogers’ phone in which she told a friend that she and Brooks had found a babysitter to babysit their two-year-old son that evening.
Sixteen months after his daughter disappeared, Tommy Ballard was fatally shot while preparing for a hunting trip. His murder remains unsolved
“It’s the first time we’ve been child-free for a while. We’re going to have fun,” the detective said, reading the text on footage obtained by WDRB.
“I don’t know,” Houck replied.
Shortly after his girlfriend disappeared, Houck said he wasn’t worried because the couple had an occasional “stressed relationship” and Crystal sometimes “couldn’t cope” by spending the night at her cousin Sabrina’s house.
The FBI also launched a website to raise awareness about the case.
The site has a quote from one of Roger’s daughters.
“My mother is a very special woman,” said the daughter. “The memory that will forever be in my heart goes to DQ and buying my mom lunch. We always got the chicken strip basket with the toast and gravy on the side.
‘…Since my mother went missing, life has been very hard. I always wonder what my life would be like if she and my daddy were still around.’