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Crime News The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers

Witness Says She Saw Suspicious Car The Morning Tommy Ballard Was Shot

"I knew I seen something," said the witness.

By Aly Vander Hayden
Disappearance of Crystal Rogers 104: This is Much Bigger than Kentucky

In the fourth episode of Oxygen's docu-series "The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers," a witness who wanted to remain anonymous told reporter Stephanie Bauer that she saw a suspicious car the morning Tommy Ballard was fatally shot. 

Tommy, the 54-year-old father of missing mother of five Crystal Rogers, died from a single gunshot wound to the chest on November 19, 2016, while hunting with his young grandson on family property in Bardstown, Kentucky. To this day, the shooting remains unsolved. Though authorities have not classified Tommy's death as a homicide, his family believes it was no accident. 

Tommy's wife, Sherry Ballard, told radio station WDRB that in the weeks before Tommy's death, he thought he was being followed. 

Sherry said, “I think someone wanted my husband out of the way because we were getting close to Crystal, and they knew he was the driving force behind her."

During the premiere of "The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers," retired ATF special agent Jim Cavanaugh visited the site of Tommy's death with Bauer, retired homicide detective Dwayne Stanton and Tommy's son, Casey Ballard. Casey walked the team through his father's shooting and showed Cavanaugh, a ballistics expert, a section of brush surrounding his family's property that had been sawed down to create a clearing. Though Casey believed the clearing might have been made by his father's killer, Cavanaugh theorized it was a surveillance port.

"This ain't a shooting port. ... So what they did was, they cut this open before Tommy was shot ... so they could monitor him," he said. Cavanaugh explained one person could have been the lookout and another the shooter, and Tommy's death might have been the result of a more elaborate assassination plot.  

The anonymous witness from this week's episode explained that on the morning of November 19, 2016, she was driving to work a little after 6 AM when she saw a suspicious car on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway. She told Bauer and Casey that she had passed under a bridge with multiple exit signs when she noticed that the vehicle had pulled over and parked in the emergency lane.

Based on her description, Casey was able to determine the vehicle was parked right where Tommy was shot: "I know exactly what she's talking about. It backs up to our farm."

The witness said she then "went on to work like any other day."

"But at 10:30, someone made the announcement: Tommy Ballard's just been killed," said the witness. "I knew I seen something. ... If I'd known I would've stopped that morning if it would've prevented what happened." 

After driving by the area the witness identified, Bauer concluded, "This idea that someone might have dropped off and picked up a shooter on the Bluegrass Parkway that morning is exactly what ... Cavanaugh told us."

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

[Photo: Oxygen]