The main suspect in a years-long investigation into the disappearance of Crystal Rogers has been arrested, according to the FBI.
Brooks Houck, the former boyfriend of the long-missing and presumed dead Crystal Rogers was arrested Wednesday and is being held on a $10 million bond, according to court records. Rogers, a mother of five, was 35 when she disappeared.
The FBI announced the arrest Wednesday morning. Houck’s indictment, released by Nelson Circuit Court Wednesday, says he’s charged in Rogers’ murder by acting alone or in complicity with another person to kill her. He’s also charged with evidence tampering.
Houck was booked into the Nelson County Detention Center at 10:50 a.m., according to jail records, but he was later moved to the Hardin County jail.
“In coordination with the Kentucky State Police, other local and federal law enforcement agencies, FBI Louisville has been laser-focused on our commitment to hold accountable those that were responsible for the disappearance of Crystal Rogers,” the FBI said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
It marks the second arrest made in the Rogers case. Joseph Lawson was previously indicted on charges of conspiracy to murder and complicity to tampering with physical evidence, according to court records. Lawson pleaded not guilty to both charges during an arraignment.
The FBI declined to comment whether or not more suspects could be arrested or face charges.
— FBI Louisville (@FBILouisville) September 27, 2023
Houck’s previous connections to the investigation
Houck was named a suspect early in the case by the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, but he was never previously arrested or charged.
It’s believed he was the last person to have seen Rogers alive, officials said previously.
Rogers was reported missing by her mother, Sherry Ballard, on July 5, 2015, according to the FBI. She hadn’t been seen or heard from since July 3, 2015. The day she was reported missing, her Chevrolet Malibu was abandoned on the Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire. Her keys, phone and purse were inside the car, according to the FBI.
Houck and his family have been subject to a number of searches in the investigation. The first search happened roughly one month after Rogers was reported missing when the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Louisville Metro Police and other agencies searched a farm belonging to Rose Mary Houck, Brooks Houck’s mother.
The family farm is located on Paschal Ballard Lane and it’s believed to be the last place Rogers was seen alive.
The FBI took over the investigation in July 2020 and executed nine federal search warrants shortly after. Three of those warrants were served at Houck’s home, the family farm, and the home of Nick Houck, Brooks’ brother. with approximately 150 state and federal law enforcement officers shortly afterwards.
Authorities returned to Nelson County approximately one year later and searched the Woodlawn Springs subdivision, which featured homes built by a company that Brooks Houck owned.
Officials found multiple items of interest believed to have been “potentially relevant” to the investigation.
The items were sent to the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, “for further forensic analysis,” according to the FBI. But no additional information was made available about those items following that statement by the FBI.
In October 2022 authorities returned to the Houck family farm on Paschal Ballard Lane for another week-long search. Cadaver dogs and heavy machinery used for excavating were on scene and evidence was collected.
This is a developing story and will be updated.