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The mother of missing mother Crystal Rogers is asking for the public’s help after a judge sided with the main suspect in her case, again denying her visitation rights to one of her grandchildren.
Rogers, a mother of five, vanished in July 2015. Hours later, her car was found on a parkway with a flat tire. Her car keys, purse, and cell phone were still inside it. While her body has never been found, investigators presume that she is dead.
Charges have not been filed against any suspect in Rogers’ case, but her boyfriend, Brooks Houck, has been named the main suspect in her disappearance, local outlet WHAS11 reported in 2019. He has vehemently denied having anything to do with what may have happened to Rogers. Houck is the father of Rogers’ youngest child, a son whom he has had full custody over for the past two years. Over those two years, the child had no contact with his four other siblings, who were not fathered by Houck.
Sherry Ballard, Rogers’ mother, told Oxygen.com on Tuesday that she’s been denied visitation rights based on a claim made by Houck’s camp that the child once heard something negative being said about Houck while visiting Ballard. The boy allegedly asked his father, 'what did you do to my mommy,' and added that "everyone wants to know.'"
The grandmother denies the allegation and says she was always careful not to disparage her grandson’s father in front of the boy.
“I feel discriminated against,” she told Oxygen.com. “They can’t hold it against me that my daughter was murdered and just assume that I’m going to speak badly of the father. They’ve denied me visitation for the last two years based on something that didn’t happen and I didn’t get to defend myself.”
Ballard said she hasn’t seen her grandson in two years, minus one chance run-in at the local Walmart. In late February, a Nelson County judge denied Ballard the right to visit her grandson once again, citing animosity between families that could pose a significant risk of emotional harm to the child.
While the grieving mother has remained quiet during the lengthy custody battle, she is now speaking out and asking for help from the public. Ballard has announced plans for a protest outside the Nelson County courthouse on March 27 at 2 p.m. and has encouraged the public to help put pressure on the court by phoning in on her behalf. She said she feels like she has nothing left to lose.
“They just ripped that baby away from me because they said there’s too much animosity between the families,” Ballard told Oxygen.com. “I’ve never denied the animosity but I know people who go through a divorce and they still get to see their children. I know I'm not the mother, but the mother’s not here and the father’s the number one suspect.”
Ballard added that while she does have animosity towards Houck, such feelings are far from her mind when she is with her grandson. She maintains that when she had visitation rights, she’d focus on the positive moments with the child and not her daughter's suspected murder.
Ballard told Oxygen.com that she has started writing a journal, addressed to the grandson, that she intends for him to be given someday, in case she’s never granted visitation rights.
“That way he knows he was loved very much,” she said.
For more on this case, watch Oxygen’s “The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers."
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