Prime suspect's grandmother in Crystal Rogers' disappearance ref - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Prime suspect's grandmother in Crystal Rogers' disappearance refuses to testify

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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- New evidence belonging to the prime suspect's grandmother may be the key to solving the case of Crystal Rogers' disappearance. 

But she’s refusing to talk. Her lawyer says it's to protect her innocence, but Rogers’ family sees it as a sign of guilt.

“How many were there, and what did they do to her, and did they catch her off guard, and did she know it was coming?” Sherry Ballard asked.

Those are the questions that have haunted Ballard every day since her daughter went missing 11 months ago. Now she says a white Buick may crack the case, a car owned by Anna Whitesides, the grandmother of the prime suspect, Brooks Houck.

“She did own a white Buick and had sold it some time here in the last few weeks,” said Jason Floyd, the attorney for Whitesides.

Floyd said his client did in fact own a white Buick when the mother of five disappeared, but sold it a few months ago.

Whitesides has been subpoena'd to testify before a Nelson County grand jury, but is invoking her 5th amendment right not to talk. The subpoena order states the car may have been used to dispose of a body, subsequently cleaned and sold in an attempt to prevent the commonwealth from obtaining evidence from it.

“She's guilty. Why would she not want to talk unless she has something to hide?” Ballard said.

“The general assumption is, if you take the Fifth, you must be guilty. Well, that's not the case,” Floyd said.

According to court documents, a private investigator found that a white Buick was parked in a peculiar location at the Houck family farm the night Rogers disappeared.

Floyd says his client has given her statement to police and told them who she sold her car to. He says that information should be enough.

“There are lots of things, particularly in a high profile case, where there is as frenzied an investigation as there is here that could ensnare an 82-year-old woman,” Floyd said.

But it's anything but enough for Rogers' family.

“I pray to God that she can talk. That's very important to our case. I just feel like if they can put it to where she can't talk, there's something wrong in this town,” Ballard said. “Why would she not want to testify unless she's lying, unless she's covering up hiding something?”

A hearing is set for June 15 that will determine if Whitesides can continue to plead the 5th or if she will be ordered to testify

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