LMPD divers spend two days at Melody Lake

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Police won’t comment on reason or confirm any connection to Rogers casea

By Staff

For the second day in a row, the grassy bank of one end of Melody Lake in Nelson County was occupied Wednesday by members of the Louisville Metro Police Underwater Search and Recovery team. Nelson County Sheriff’s Deputy Ramon Pineiroa accompanied the team.


Members from the Louisville water search team were gathered at the same location Tuesday for about seven hours.

When asked Wednesday, just as the day before, if the police activity had anything to do with the search for 35-year-old Crystal Rogers of Bardstown, last seen on Friday, July 3, Pineiroa replied, “No comment.” Pineiroa would also not comment on whether the police presence was part of any investigation. The Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into Rogers’ disappearance.

PLG-13 and The Kentucky Standard spoke Wednesday with the search and recovery team’s Sgt. Charles Robinson III, who said that 12 team divers arrived that morning and had been rotating in shifts of two divers swimming throughout the day. Robinson said his search team navigates different bodies of water around the Louisville and central Kentucky region for various reasons, such as for search and recovery and also for training purposes.

“We’ve been diving for years up in Louisville,” he said. “We’ve actually been all over the state.”

Robinson said his team normally uses their hands to sweep the body of water and that in the past, normal training days in the state have turned into investigations because of items they have recovered during the process.

“We still have to follow the proper procedure for evidence,” Robinson said, depending on an item they come across. “Maybe it was a crime that wasn’t even reported yet, so we’ll hold on to that.”

Robinson did not confirm the reason why his team was at Melody Lake. He also did not comment on whether the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office requested the search team’s assistance or if the team had initiated the contact.

Caution tape could be seen outlining a portion of the diving area Wednesday. Robinson said the tape was there to comply with OSHA regulations.

The team did not return Thursday.

Robinson said the search team was the same that scoured a pond near Exit 34 of the Bluegrass Parkway during early parts of the investigation into the murder of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis in 2013. Kentucky State Police continue to investigate the Ellis murder.

The family of Crystal Rogers gathered Wednesday on a bank of Melody Lake opposite the police. Some volunteers – including a private investigations team from Florida – could be seen on a boat on the water searching areas of the lake away from police.

Melody Lake is located between New Hope and Balltown. Rogers was last seen with her boyfriend, Brooks Houck, on his family’s farm about a mile from the lake. Her family reported her missing July 5, two days after police say she was seen on the family farm. Her car was discovered July 5 with a flat tire on the shoulder of the Bluegrass Parkway, near mile marker 14, with her possessions — including her cell phone and purse — still inside the vehicle.

This weekend marks the one-month mark of an intense search for Rogers by police, family, and friends. The case remains a missing persons case.

Kentucky Standard Reporter Kacie Goode contributed to this report.