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Crime News The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers

Cadaver Dog Alerts To Scent Of Human Remains In Trunk Of Crystal Rogers’ Car

A cadaver dog jumped into the trunk of missing mother of five Crystal Rogers' car and began barking.

By Aly Vander Hayden

In the first episode of Oxygen's docu-series "The Disappearance of: Crystal Rogers," reporter Stephanie Bauer and veteran homicide detective Dwayne Stanton enlisted the help of forensics reconstruction specialist Joey Stidham to reprocess the abandoned car of missing 35-year-old mother of five Crystal Rogers.

Rogers was last seen the night of July 3, 2015 at her home in Bardstown, Kentucky, and her maroon Chevy Impala was found on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway two days later. Though authorities did take her car in for processing in 2015, it was later returned to Rogers' mother, Sherry Ballard.

Ballard allowed Bauer and Stanton to look at Rogers' car, along with Stidham, who concluded that minimal forensic testing had been done on the vehicle since it appeared many of the items within Rogers’ car were untouched. Stidham, a former Kentucky State trooper, told Bauer and Stanton that in the state of Kentucky, investigative resources are extremely limited. According to Stidham, the Kentucky State Police crime lab will typically only accept 10 pieces of evidence for testing in murder cases. The team wondered if this might have been the case during the investigation into Rogers' disappearance. At this time, police have declined to comment on what evidence has been discovered or processed because it’s part of an ongoing investigation.

Before redoing a forensics search of the Impala, a cadaver dog named Geena and her handler Judy McKee, who have been working with the Ballard family, checked Rogers' car for possible presence of human remains. After sniffing around the Impala, Geena sat on the ground in front of the open trunk and began barking. 

"She's trying to convince me for sure that there's something there with her barking," McKee told the team.

McKee told Geena to "show [her] where" she was alerting, and Geena immediately jumped into the trunk.

"She's never jumped into a trunk before," said McKee.

Geena barked again once inside the trunk, and McKee told the team, "She's giving me her indication that there's scent of human remains in that trunk."

Stidham and his team then did a full reprocessing of the vehicle, but said any forensic test results wouldn't be available for several weeks. 

To learn more about the case, watch "The Disappearance of: Crystal Rogers" on Oxygen. 

[Photo: Oxygen]