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FBI arrests Crystal Rogers’ boyfriend in connection with her 2015 disappearance

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Wednesday they arrested Brooks Houck in connection with the 2015 disappearance of Crystal Rogers from Bardstown, Ky.

Authorities believe Rogers is dead, but her body has never been found. She disappeared from the home she shared with Houck and her five children in Bardstown. Her car was later found abandoned with a flat tire on the Bluegrass Parkway at mile marker 14, with her phone and purse still inside. Authorities believe Houck is the last person to see her alive.

“FBI Louisville has been laser-focused on our commitment to hold accountable those that were responsible for the disappearance of Crystal Rogers,” the FBI said in a statement Wednesday. “Today, we take a significant step in making good on that promise.”

The details of Houck’s arrest and the charges laid against him will remain sealed until he is arraigned in early October. Houck was a prime suspect in Rogers’ disappearance in 2015, but he was never charged in connection with the case until now.

Earlier this year, 32-year-old Joseph L. Lawson was charged and indicted in the Crystal Rogers case for conspiring to commit murder and tampering with evidence. Lawson is also due back in court in October for a pretrial hearing, and his indictment is also sealed.

Authorities have continued to investigate the case since Rogers went missing.

In 2021, federal agents spent several days combing the Bardstown subdivision, and eventually tore up a concrete driveway on a property Houck built at the time of Rogers’ disappearance. The FBI announced they had found “an item of interest” from that search.

The mystery of Rogers’ disappearance over that Fourth of July weekend has haunted her community since it happened, garnering national attention and widespread conspiracy theories.

Fueling public intrigue, Rogers’ father Tommy Ballard was shot and killed on his family’s property as he was preparing to go hunting just over a year after Rogers disappeared. His case also remains unsolved.

Sylvia is the Capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, a collaboration including Louisville Public Media, WEKU-Richmond, WKU Public Radio and WKMS-Murray. Email her at sgoodman@lpm.org.

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