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Boyfriend of missing mother of 5 Crystal Rogers arrested in connection with her 2015 disappearance


(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — The boyfriend of a Kentucky mother of five who vanished in 2015 has been arrested in connection with her disappearance, state and federal authorities said.

Crystal Rogers, 35, was last seen by Brooks Houck, her live-in boyfriend, on July 3, 2015, according to the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office. Houck told authorities at the time that he stayed up late that night and Rogers was gone when he awoke the next morning.

Houck faces state charges of murder and tampering with physical evidence, according to online court records. His bail was set at $10 million and includes the condition that he not have any contact with Rogers’ family, online records show.

In the years since her disappearance, 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 on Wednesday. “Today, we take the first step in making good on that promise.”

Houck, 41, was arrested without incident “on charges stemming from the Crystal Rogers investigation,” the FBI and Kentucky State Police announced.

The indictment remains sealed, authorities said.

His arraignment has been scheduled for Oct. 5 in the Nelson County Circuit Court. ABC News has reached out to his attorney for comment.

Houck has denied any involvement in Rogers’ disappearance.

“I’m 100% completely innocent in this,” he said in a phone interview with HLN’s Nancy Grace early in July 2015.

“I want the emphasis to remain on Crystal’s safe return,” Houck added.

Rogers was reported missing by her mother on July 5, 2015, after not being heard from or seen since the evening of July 3, 2015, according to the FBI.

Her car was found abandoned with a flat tire along the side of the Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown, Kentucky, on July 5, 2015, with her keys, purse and cellphone inside, the FBI said.

Among more recent developments in the case, the FBI conducted a search of a Bardstown farm in connection with Rogers’ disappearance on Oct. 17, 2022.

Sherry Ballard, Rogers’ mother, told reporters at the time that the farm was the last place her daughter was seen, and that Rogers would often bring her children to the property.

“I’m just praying God is giving me the answers today or tomorrow or whenever it takes,” Ballard said.

“I’m ready for answers,” she added. “Our family just needs answers.”

Federal authorities are also investigating the death of Rogers’ father, Tommy Ballard, who had created Team Crystal, a group of community members dedicated to finding her. He was shot and killed by an unknown subject while on family property near Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown on Nov. 19, 2016, according to the FBI.

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