The investigation into the disappearance of Crystal Rogers started over eight years in the past when she was reported lacking by her mom.
Since that point, many individuals have been linked to the investigation — properties have been searched, police interviews carried out and two folks have been just lately charged.
With the case heading to court docket this week, many extra figures are anticipated to be concerned within the case, from regulation enforcement officers to relations to the choose who will oversee court docket proceedings.
Right here’s a rundown of the important thing figures linked to Rogers’ case:
Rogers was first reported lacking by her mom, Sherry Ballard, on July 5, 2015. She was final seen two days prior and hadn’t been heard from since.
The day she was reported lacking, her Chevrolet Malibu was discovered deserted on the Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire. Her keys, cellphone and purse have been contained in the automotive, based on the FBI.
Rogers is presumed lifeless, authorities have beforehand mentioned, however her physique has by no means been discovered.
Rogers was a 35-year-old Kentucky mom of 5 youngsters. Brooks Houck, who has been charged with homicide and tampering with bodily proof within the case, is the daddy of certainly one of her youngsters.
Rogers is the daughter of Sherry and Tommy Ballard.
Brooks Houck was named the primary suspect early on within the investigation and was just lately arrested within the case. The indictment towards Houck alleges he, “appearing alone or in complicity with one other, dedicated the offense of homicide by deliberately or underneath circumstances manifesting excessive indifference to human life wantonly inflicting the demise of Crystal Rogers.”
A $10 million bond was issued for Houck, based on court docket information. His lawyer requested for a bond discount to $500,000 and a choose will deal with that movement throughout Thursday’s arraignment.
Rogers and Houck have been courting on the time of her disappearance and it’s believed that Houck was the final individual to see her alive, officers have beforehand mentioned. They’d a baby collectively who was raised by Houck after Rogers’ disappearance, based on the household.
Brian Butler, Houck’s legal professional, mentioned his shopper cooperated with regulation enforcement throughout the investigation. Houck agreed to police interrogation and took a polygraph take a look at, which confirmed no indicators of deception when he denied wrongdoing associated to Rogers’ disappearance.
Houck runs a profitable enterprise in Nelson County that employs many native residents, based on Butler. Butler additionally described Houck as a loving father and household man.
The Houck household has deep roots in Nelson County, Butler mentioned.
In 2018, Houck was charged with eight counts of theft however was later acquitted in a jury trial in Nelson County. WDRB in Louisville reported that Houck had been accused of stealing roof shingles from a neighborhood Lowe’s. It was beforehand the one time Houck had confronted felony costs.
Joseph Lawson, 32, has been indicted on costs of legal conspiracy to commit homicide and complicity to tampering with bodily proof, based on court docket information. Lawson’s legal professional, Kevin Coleman, confirmed to WDRB and different Louisville-based media shops the costs are associated to Rogers’ case.
Lawson was indicted in early September, previous to Houck’s arrest.
He has addresses listed in Bardstown and Willisburg in his court docket paperwork. He has not beforehand been publicly recognized as a suspect within the case.
Lawson has been concerned in different legal incidents. He was on probation for a separate case when a movement was filed in August to revoke his probation as a result of he’d been accused of violating situations of his launch. He’s additionally been convicted of fourth-degree assault, facilitation to strangulation and facilitation to illegal imprisonment, based on court docket information.
Based on WDRB, Lawson is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair on account of a earlier motorbike incident.
The investigation into Rogers’ disappearance started in July 2015 when Ballard reported her lacking. Since then, Ballard has organized many searches for her daughter and continued to be a vocal determine within the quest for justice.
In February 2021, Ballard was denied visitation together with her grandson by a Nelson County choose and sole custody was given to Brooks Houck. She beforehand mentioned she was devastated by the ruling.
“His brothers and sisters need to see him,” Ballard mentioned. “It’s not proper.”
Ballard was additionally married to Tommy Ballard.
‘I believe they’re getting shut.’ Crystal Rogers’ mom waits for outcomes from FBI search
Tommy Ballard, 54, was shot by an unknown assailant whereas getting ready for a looking journey together with his 12-year-old grandson on household property subsequent to the Bluegrass Parkway. Ballard was hit within the chest and died immediately, based on his FBI murder sufferer profile.
Ballard created the Fb web page Staff Crystal. He was the daddy of Crystal Rogers and partner to Sherry.
Tommy father, Until Ballard, mentioned he believes his son’s and Rogers’ deaths are associated. His case stays unsolved and ongoing.
Nick Houck is Brooks Houck’s brother and a former Bardstown police officer who was fired for interfering with the investigation, the Kentucky Normal reported. Nick Houck allegedly referred to as his brother when he knew he was being questioned by a Nelson County sheriff’s deputy within the missing-person case.
He was beforehand served a search warrant at 730 Pulliam Avenue, the house of his grandmother, Anna Whitesides. Former Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly beforehand mentioned the search warrant was a part of the investigation into the disappearance of Rogers.
Rose Mary Houck
Rose Mary Houck has by no means been named within the investigation however her property on Paschal Ballard Lane has been the topic of many searches up to now. The primary search was carried out in August 2016 by the Nelson County Sheriff’s Workplace.
Roughly 4 years later, investigators returned to the Houck household farm for a second search after the FBI took over the investigation. Greater than 150 state and federal regulation enforcement officers executed 9 federal search warrants.
A 3rd search of the farm occurred in October 2022. Cadaver canine and excavating equipment have been used throughout the search of the 30-acre property.
Crystal Maupin was arrested in 2017 for allegedly stealing an indication in help of the Ballard household. Surveillance footage at a fuel station confirmed Maupin pumping fuel on the retailer, then pulling round, exiting the automobile and taking the signal. A transaction receipt for the fuel got here again to a MasterCard for Brooks Houck, based on the criticism warrant.
Many different indicators have been stolen or broken however the warrant states no different proof has been supplied to attach Maupin to the opposite thefts.
Circuit Choose Charles C. Simms III
Charles C. Simms, of Bardstown, is the chief circuit court docket choose for the tenth Judicial Circuit. Simms will preside over Houck’s case.
The tenth circuit consists of Hart, LaRue and Nelson counties, based on the state’s web site. He was re-elected with out opposition in 2014 within the basic election.
Simms obtained his undergraduate diploma from Transylvania College and his regulation diploma from the College of Kentucky School of Legislation.
Earlier than he turned a choose, Simms served as an assistant commonwealth legal professional. Simms is a member of the Justice and Public Security Cupboard, based on the cupboard’s web site.
Shane Younger, particular prosecutor
Shane Younger is the commonwealth legal professional for the ninth Judicial Circuit out of Hardin County. Younger was appointed by Legal professional Common Daniel Cameron in January to function the particular prosecutor for a number of excessive profile, unsolved homicide circumstances out of Bardstown together with the circumstances of Crystal Rogers, her father, and former Bardstown Police officer Jason Ellis.
Younger changed Nelson County Commonwealth’s Legal professional Terry Geoghegan. When requested why the change was made, the Kentucky Legal professional Common’s Workplace issued a press release to media shops:
“The Workplace of Legal professional Common has made some administrative changes within the case with a purpose to streamline a continued effort towards justice for the victims, their households, and the folks of Nelson County. These minor alterations clarified strains of authority with a purpose to make the mixed efforts of the devoted regulation enforcement officers concerned extra environment friendly in pursuing an investigation.”
Younger is from Paducah and served within the U.S. Navy. He attended regulation faculty on the College of Louisville and labored in narcotics prosecution. In 2013 he turned the Hardin County Commonwealth Legal professional, based on an oral historical past interview with the College of Kentucky.
Neither the legal professional basic’s workplace or Younger have responded to the Herald-Chief’s requests for remark.
Brian Butler, legal professional for Brooks Houck
Houck is represented by Brian Butler of Louisville. When contacted by the Herald-Chief, Butler declined to remark.
Based on his web site, Butler started his profession as a Choose Advocate Common with america Navy in 1995 and served as each a prosecutor and a protection legal professional. In 1999, Butler served because the assistant commonwealth legal professional and chief of a Common Trial Unit with the Commonwealth of Kentucky Legal professional’s workplace. Butler additionally served as adjunct school on the Nationwide Advocacy Heart in Columbia, S.C., the place he taught trial advocacy to prosecutors from each jurisdiction within the U.S.
He later served as assistant U.S. legal professional the place he prosecuted federal crimes and served because the Gang Crimes Coordinator for the Western District of Kentucky. Butler left public follow in 2007 when he turned a member of Dathorne & Butler, based on his web site.
Butler has tried over 100 jury trials.
Kevin Coleman, legal professional for Joseph Lawson
Kevin Coleman is an legal professional with a personal follow in Louisville with specialties starting from demise penalty and murder circumstances to private damage and civil fits, based on his web site.
He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar Affiliation in 2014, based on their web site.
Coleman’s profession started on the Louisville-Metro Public Defender’s Workplace the place he labored for seven years within the grownup trial and capital trial divisions, based on his web site.
Coleman obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in philosophy and later graduated from the College of Louisville Brandeis Faculty of Legislation. He based the ACLU-KY Chapter of Brandeis Faculty of Legislation and was lively within the American Structure Society.
Based on his web site, Coleman is a member of the Kentucky Bar Affiliation, the American Bar Affiliation, the Louisville Bar Affiliation, the Nationwide Affiliation of Felony Protection Attorneys and the Kentucky Affiliation of Felony Protection Attorneys.
Coleman has not responded to a request for remark.