Ky. Mom Crystal Rogers Vanished in 2015, and Her Mother Plans to Honor Her on Christmas
Crystal Rogers Task Force Crystal Rogers (second from left) with her family
It's been more than five years since Kentucky mom Crystal Rogers disappeared from her boyfriend's family farm overnight. During the holiday season, her mother will honor her memory by giving special gifts to the Crystal children she now cares for.
"I always get presents for Christmas every year, but this year I wrap them up especially from her mother," Sherry Ballard told PEOPLE. "I don't usually do that, but this year I am. I mean, I don't want to ruin the day for you, but this year I want you to have something special from your mother."
Three of Rogers' five children, ages 15, 17 and 19, have been living with their grandmother since their mother disappeared on July 3, 2015.
At the time of her disappearance, her boyfriend Brooks Houck told police the couple had gone to bed together, but when he woke up she was gone. The couple had a son together. Houck was never charged with a crime.
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Months later, however, Houck was identified as the prime suspect in Rogers' case and his brother Nick was fired by the local police department after he was accused under the Kentucky Standard of disrupting the investigation.
A year after Rogers' disappearance, her father, Tommy Ballard, was shot while hunting with his son and 12-year-old grandson. Tommy Ballard never stopped looking for his daughter, says his wife. No arrests were made in connection with his death.
While her family likes to keep the spirits up on Christmas Day, Ballard says the havoc of their recent losses remains.
"It's just that it's always a tough time for us. I know people say it gets earlier, [but] it doesn't get easier," Ballard says tearfully. "I don't know where people got this idea from ... it's still very difficult."
In July, human remains were found near the site where Rogers was last seen alive. However, in November, federal authorities announced that the remains did not belong to Rogers.
If you have any information on the disappearance of Crystal Rogers or the death of Tommy Ballard, please call the FBI helpline at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
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