Three years after the disappearance of Crystal Rogers, a detective in her case told local media that new evidence could eventually lead to prosecution.
Rogers, a 35-year-old mother of five from the small town of Bardstown, Kentucky, went missing on July 3, 2015. Two days later, her car was found on the side of a parkway with a flat tire. Her purse, keys and phone were left inside. Even though Rogers has been listed as a missing person, Det. Jon Snow with the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office told WDRB in Louisville, Kentucky that her case has been treated more like a homicide.
“It became pretty evident early on that it was not going to be a standard missing persons case,” Snow said.
Rogers’ boyfriend, Brooks Houck, was named as the main suspect in Snow’s disappearance three months after she vanished. He has never been charged or arrested in connection with her disappearance.
“I have been advised you know to ride the wave and keep on keeping on. And that's what I've done and it's worked out great this far,” Houck told WDRB this week.
His brother, Nick Houck, was fired from the Bardstown Police Department for interfering with the investigation. He has also been named a suspect in Rogers' disappearance. Nick allegedly warned his brother not to speak to detectives, whom Nick knew planned to interview him, according to NBC affiliate WLEX. Nick later told Kentucky State Police that he contacted his brother to tell him that "they might be trying to trip him up" and "he should protect himself." Nick has also never been charged or arrested in connection with Rogers' disappearance.
Nearly 70 search warrants have been executed, and the Houck family farm has been searched multiple times.
“We feel like we found some of what we were looking for based on the information that we were given,” Snow told WDRB. That evidence has been sent both to local and federal labs, and Snow said it can take 12 to 18 months to get the results. Snow said he hopes those results will lead to a trial and some closure for Rogers’ family.
Brooks was the last person to see Rogers alive. He claimed she was playing a game on her phone when he went to bed around 11 p.m. on July 3. He said the next day he noticed that her car wasn't in the driveway, according to the FBI. He also claimed that he, Rogers and their son spent the evening together at his family's farm, but a text message he sent to a friend contradicted that.
"We've got a sitter for the evening. It's our first time being kid-free for a while, so we don't want to...we're kid-free. We're gonna enjoy ourselves," the text said.
In an interview with Nancy Grace, Brooks admitted he and Rogers had a “stressed relationship” at times, but he said he is “100% innocent.” In the last three years, he has emphatically denied having anything to do with her disappearance.
Tips can be made to Nelson County Sheriff's Office at 502-348-1840. They can be made anonymously by clicking here. A potential reward of up to $75,000 is available.
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