Kentucky authorities search area in connection to unsolved case

Posted at 9:05 PM, December 6, 2023

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (Scripps News Lexington) — Authorities with multiple law enforcement agencies searched part of an area in Nelson County Wednesday afternoon in connection to one of three unsolved death investigations in Bardstown.

Hardin County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shane Young confirmed the search with Scripps News Lexington. He’s the special prosecutor who has been assigned the death investigations of Crystal Rogers, Tommy Ballard, and Jason Ellis.

split screen showing Brooks Houck and Crystal Rogers

Brooks Houck was arrested on charges he murdered Crystal Rogers. (Court TV)

It’s unclear which case the current search is focused on, but WDRB confirmed with Kentucky State Police and the FBI that the search happened on Thompson Hill Road in Nelson County.

Crystal Rogers went missing on July 5, 2015, in Bardstown and was last seen at Brooks Houck‘s home, who was her boyfriend at the time. In September 2023, Houck was arrested and charged with murder in connection with her disappearance. Another man, 32-year-old Joseph L. Lawson, was charged with criminal conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with physical evidence. Despite there now being charges in connection with Rogers’ disappearance, her body has never been found.

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

In May 2013, Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis was killed in a surprise attack on his way home from work. A decade later, no arrest has been made in connection with his murder.

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