Ex-boyfriend charged with murder in Crystal Rogers case

Posted at 12:34 PM, September 27, 2023

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (Court TV/Scripps News Lexington) — More than eight years after her disappearance, investigators have made a second arrest in the case of Crystal Rogers.

booking photo of Brooks Houk

Brooks Houck was arrested for Crystal Rogers murder. (Nelson County Detention Center via Scripps News Lexington)

FBI Louisville and Kentucky State Police announced they arrested Brooks Houck in connection with the investigation into her disappearance.

According to an unsealed indictment, Houck is charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence. He is being held on a $10 million cash bond and can’t have any contact with Crystal Rogers’ family.

Rogers went missing on July 5, 2015, in Bardstown and was last seen at Houck’s home, who was her boyfriend at the time. Two days after she disappeared, Rogers’ keys, cell phone and purse were found inside her abandoned Chevrolet Impala on the Bluegrass Parkway. Her car had a flat tire, and her mother has said that she believes the vehicle was staged to throw off investigators.

According to the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, Houck was a primary suspect in the case.

Photo of Crystal Rogers

FILE – Crystal Rogers (NamUs)

On September 7, 32-year-old Joseph L. Lawson was charged with criminal conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with physical evidence. Lawson pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to return to court in October for a pre-trial conference.

FBI Louisville posted the following statement to X regarding the arrest of Houck: “In coordination with the Kentucky State Police, other local and federal law enforcement partners, FBI Louisville has been laser-focused on 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. FBI Louisville and the Kentucky State Police have arrested Brooks Houck without incident on charges stemming from the Crystal Rogers investigation. The Houck indictment remains sealed and additional details will be revealed during Houck’s arraignment in early October in the Nelson County Circuit Court.”

Sixteen months after Rogers vanished, her father, Tommy Ballard, was shot and killed by an unknown gunman while he was hunting on his own property.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Lexington, an E.W. Scripps Company.