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Man charged in connection with death of Crystal Rogers

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Posted at 10:38 PM, Sep 07, 2023

A Nelson County man has been charged in connection to the death of Crystal Rogers.

32-year-old Joseph L. Lawson has been charged with criminal conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with physical evidence.

Lawson is the first person to be formally charged in connect to Crystal's disappearance.

LEX 18 spoke with Roger's grandfather, Till Ballard, who said the family was unaware of the arrest until Thursday, Sept. 7.

Crystal Rogers was reported missing on July 5, 2015. She was last seen at her then-boyfriend, Brooks Houck's, home.

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Two days later, police found her keys, cell phone, and purse inside her abandoned Chevrolet Impala on the Bluegrass Parkway. Her mother, Sherry Ballard, believes the car, with a flat tire, was staged to throw off investigators.

Nobody has reportedly seen or heard from her since, and her body has not been found.

The Nelson County Sheriff's Office named Houck a primary suspect in the case, but he was never charged.

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

Ballard said she believes her husband was killed because the person responsible knew they would never give up searching for Rogers.

In January of this year, Attorney General Daniel Cameron appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the deaths of Crystal Rogers and Tommy Ballard.