Ky. man charged with murder in connection with girlfriend’s 2015 disappearance and death

Federal and state law enforcement officials have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of murder eight years after his girlfriend was reported missing.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, the FBI’s Louisville Bureau announced they worked with the Kentucky State Police and other agencies to arrest Brooks William Houck for allegedly killing 35-year-old Crystal Rogers. The statement said Houck’s indictment remains sealed and the FBI will share more information once he is arraigned in early October.

Hardin County Jail records show he was booked Wednesday at 12:20 p.m., though no charges are listed except for a note that he is a “courtesy hold.”

In the statement announcing the arrest, the FBI said they have “been laser-focused our commitment to hold accountable those that were responsible for the disappearance of Crystal Rogers. Today, we take a significant step in making good on that promise.” The FBI even set up a Crystal Rogers Task Force with the Kentucky State Police and the Department of Justice.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports Houck is charged with murder and tampering with evidence. His bond is set at $10 million cash. Prosecutors reportedly allege in the indictment Houck killed Rogers “by intentionally or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life wantonly causing the death of Crystal Rogers.”

A major break in the case occurred in early September when 32-year-old Joseph Lawson was arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with evidence.

The indictment cited by WDRB-TV says Lawson allegedly “agreed to aid one or more persons in the planning or commission of the crime or an attempt or solicitation to commit the crime when he, and/or, a co-conspirator intentionally caused the death of another.”

Her mother reported her missing on July 5, 2015, after hearing from her on July 3. Her car was found with a flat tire on the Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown, Kentucky. Her phone, keys, and purse were reportedly still inside the vehicle.

Almost a year and a half after she disappeared, Rogers’ father, Tommy Ballard, was fatally shot in the chest on his property.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports Rogers’ body still has not been found. She was the mother to five children.

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