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Arrest made in connection to 2015 disappearance and murder of Crystal Rogers, Kentucky mother of 5

A man has been arrested in connection with the 2015 disappearance and murder of Crystal Rogers, a Kentucky mother of five, the Louisville FBI office said in a statement Wednesday morning.

Brooks Houck has been charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence, according to an indictment reviewed by CBS News. More details will be released when he is arraigned in the Nelson County Circuit Court in early October, the FBI said. CBS News affiliate WLKY reported that he is in custody, with his bond set at $10 million in cash, but it’s not clear where he is being held.

Rogers was 35 when she was last seen, WLKY reported. Her car was found abandoned on July 5, 2015, the same day she was last seen. The vehicle had a flat tire, and her phone, purse and keys were still inside, according to WLKY.

The Louisville FBI office and Kentucky State Police said they had worked with “other local and federal law enforcement partners” to “hold accountable those that were responsible” for Rogers’ disappearance. They said Houck was arrested “without incident.”

According to WLKY, Houck and Rogers are both from Bardstown, Kentucky. Houck was Rogers’ boyfriend at the time of her disappearance, the station reported, and is the father of one of her children. This is the first time he has been charged in connection with the crime.

“This morning the Ballard family received word that Brooks Houck was arrested for an indictment warrant after being indicted by a Nelson County Grand Jury,” said Rogers’ family, in a statement obtained by WLKY. “Brooks Houck was named the number one suspect in Crystal’s case in 2015. … At this time we ask for privacy as this is another step forward for justice for Crystal. Continue to pray that justice is served and we bring Crystal home.””

Multiple family members related to Houck have been connected with the case, WLKY reported, including his grandmother and brother. The state of Louisiana said in 2016 that it believed that his grandmother’s car was used to dispose of Rogers’ body, but she refused to testify when called to court, the station reported.

Within the first year of Rogers’ disappearance, Houck’s brother was fired from the Bardstown Police Department for interfering with the investigation, WLKY reported. A friend of Houck also faced dozens of perjury counts early in the investigation, but pleaded guilty to lesser charges, according to WLKY. The FBI, which has been in charge of the investigation since 2020, last year searched the farm where Rogers was last seen alive. The farm belongs to Houck’s family, the station reported.

This is the second arrest related to Rogers’ case, WLKY reported. Earlier this month, Joseph Lawson, 32, also of Bardstown, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with physical evidence. WLKY reported that the the alleged crimes took place on July 3 or July 4, 2015, when Rogers was last seen. Lawson will also next appear in court in October, WLKY said. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held on a $500,000 bond, according to WLKY.