BPD Chief issues statement condemning rumors

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By Forrest Berkshire, Editor

Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin released an open letter Friday afternoon addressing several recent rumors circulating through the community and said they do nothing but harm an active investigation.

He also vowed that if any rumors are true that concern his department, he will address them immediately.

While the letter was issued in response to an article in Friday’s Kentucky Standard and issues surrounding the missing persons case of Crystal Rogers, McCubbin said rumors have hampered other investigations, as well.

“While some of the things that you may be hearing are true, many are not, yet these things continue to fester, making our job to separate fact from fiction even more difficult,” McCubbin wrote. “The missing person case of Crystal Rogers has created many of these issues.”

McCubbin mentioned recent reports about the possible involvement of one of his officers, Bardstown Police Patrolman Nick Houck, in the disappearance of Rogers, the live-in girlfriend of his brother, Brooks Houck. McCubbin said rumors have included Houck being suspended, fired and even arrested.

“This is not true,” McCubbin wrote.

The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into Rogers’ disappearance. She was last seen July 3 in the company of Brooks Houck. Her car was found on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway westbound near mile marker 14 on July 5, discovered by her parents after they reported her missing to police. It is still considered a missing person case, and the Sheriff’s Office has not named any suspects.

McCubbin said if one of his officers becomes a target of any investigation, that officer would not receive any special treatment.

“I can assure you that if any member of this department is mentioned from your tips, the NCSO will treat that as it would regarding any member of our community and that the NCSO will address this when the time is right, not the BPD,” he wrote. “Frankly, either the BPD or the NCSO would investigate a tip involving an officer more rigorously because we hold our officers to a higher standard than any regular citizen of the community.”

McCubbin said in an interview with the Standard and in his letter that too often some people jump to conclusions because police don’t release many details during an open investigation.

“It is no secret that many in the community have focused on Crystal Rogers’ partner/boyfriend in their discussions of the missing person case,” McCubbin stated in his letter. “Many have assumed that because he has a brother who is an officer that there may be a ‘cover up’ or ‘conspiracy’ and that we are protecting both of them. Let me unequivocally state that is not true.”

McCubbin also took issue with some taunts by people about the three unsolved murders, and pointed out that the BPD is not the investigating agency in the Jason Ellis and Netherland murders, nor is it leading the search for Rogers.

“For those who have asked me, ‘Why do you have so many unsolved crimes in Bardstown?’ my reply is, ‘We do not.’ The City of Bardstown/BPD has only one unsolved crime: a bank robbery from December 2014,” McCubbin wrote.

McCubbin said the nature of small towns such as Bardstown can be helpful or destructive, and urged the community to focus on Rogers’ family.

“Small towns can be hotbeds of destructive gossip or networks of profound support. We should do what we truly do best: rally around one another when tragedy strikes and work together to help those in need.”