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While investigating the disappearance of Crystal Rogers, authorities were tipped off about a suspicious car that was potentially connected to the case.
According to a private investigator working for Rogers' family, witnesses spotted the vehicle, a white Buick, on July 3, 2015, the night the mother of five went missing. It was parked in "a peculiar location" near a farm owned by the mother of Rogers' boyfriend, Brooks Houck, who was allegedly the last person to see her alive. Houck denies any involvement in Crystal’s disappearance and has not been charged.
According to The Kentucky Standard, Rogers' family posted information about the white Buick on Facebook, and someone reached out to Rogers' father, Tommy Ballard.
In an interview with reporter Stephanie Bauer and retired homicide detective Dwayne Stanton for Oxygen's docu-series "The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers," family friend Angie Bowman recounted the stranger's message.
"He said [to Tommy], 'I think I know where the car is that you want.' It was at Brooks' grandmother's house — Anna Whitesides."
Ballard reached out to authorities with the information, and they confirmed Houck’s grandmother owned a white Buick. But when police tried to execute a search warrant, they discovered Whitesides had recently sold the car to a dealership. Authorities were able to track down the vehicle, which was then searched for forensic evidence.
According to an order signed by Nelson Circuit Court Judge Charles Simms in 2016, “From the Court’s vantage, it appears the Commonwealth may very well believe all of the following: (1) that Whitesides’ motor vehicle was used to dispose of a body, (2) that her motor vehicle was subsequently cleaned, and (3) that her motor vehicle was sold in an attempt to prevent the Commonwealth from obtaining any evidence from it."
After testing, the Buick was released, and no charges were filed against the Houck family, including Whitesides.
However, to further their reporting, Bauer and Stanton wanted to track down the Buick for additional forensic testing.
They managed to find the Buick at a local dealership, and met with forensics reconstruction specialist Joey Stidham to completely reexamine the car.
While looking under one of the Buick's seats, Stidham made what could be a major discovery.
"I saw what appeared to be a Black Box. I pulled it out, and it's a GPS unit," he said.
Stidham explained he would send the unit in for processing to see if they could uncover any GPS data.
Stanton said, "That GPS is a big find. It looks like an older model, so I don't think it's something the dealership placed in the car. It could potentially tell us where this car was in July of 2015 when Crystal went missing."
On the lining of the Buick, Stidham's team also discovered fluid stains that they plan to test for human blood.
"Finding any traces of Crystal's blood of course would be a game changer," said Bauer.
To find out more about the case, watch "The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers" on Oxygen.
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