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Groups of family, friends scouring area along parkway

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$40,000 reward being offered

By Kacie Goode

Friends and family of a missing Bardstown woman spent the better part of a day Monday searching for their loved one.

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Early Monday afternoon, groups scoured the wooded areas and water sources along the Bluegrass Parkway near mile marker 14, where Crystal Rogers’ car had been found abandoned with a flat tire.

Rogers’ keys and personal belongings were still inside the vehicle when it was found, but nobody had heard from her since Friday evening.

“She was real close friends with my daughter and talked to her every day,” said Roger Ballard, her uncle.

Ballard, along with Rogers’ cousins Andrew and Sarah Ballard, and family friend David Railey, were among the search groups that had formed Sunday night in hope of finding a clue to where Rogers might be.

“We’ve been on both sides of the road, to Boston,” Ballard said. “We’ve walked about eight hours straight.”

He said in addition to those walking the area Monday, larger groups had showed up Sunday night to aid in the family’s search efforts.

“We had probably 70 people out here the other night,” Ballard said.

Family members said that it was unlike Rogers not to be in touch and they were uncertain why she would have been traveling on the parkway that day.

They also said she had no known enemies, wasn’t someone who would do drugs or drink, and was a family-oriented person.

“She wouldn’t be by herself without a kid,” Andrew Ballard said, adding that Rogers is the mother of five. “She always had a kid with her.”

Search efforts continued Tuesday, as family members were working to form teams on horseback to ride through the Boston area were requesting boats, so that some could take to the water.

“There’s nothing worse than sitting idle when you’re feeling this way,” Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly said at a Monday press conference. “You want to be a part of the solution.”

While the family had boots on the ground, Mattingly said officers were processing Rogers’ vehicle at an undisclosed location with the help of crime scene investigators.

Meanwhile, others took to social media with posts pleading for any information about what might have happened to Rogers or who had seen anything suspicious in the time leading to her disappearance.

“What we’re hoping by putting this information out to the public is that somebody saw something somewhere that will get us going in the right direction,” Mattingly said.

A community Facebook page — Pray for Crystal’s Safe Return — was also established to help share information and get word out.

The family is offering a $40,000 cash reward for information leading to a conclusion to this case.

Rogers’ disappearance is the second tragedy of its nature to affect the family.

Sherry Ballard Barnes, Crystal’s aunt, had disappeared from Bardstown 36 years ago.

“They searched for their sister for years,” Andrew Ballard said. “She was pregnant.”

Sherry had disappeared from Bardstown in 1979. It was three years after her disappearance that her remains were found.

With a previous tragedy lingering in the back of family members’ minds, Roger Ballard said they are hopeful, but some can’t help but think about the worst-case scenario.

Those with information regarding the disappearance of Crystal Rogers are asked to contact the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at 348-1840 or Nelson County Dispatch at 348-3211.