NELSON COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tommy Ballard, the father of missing Bardstown mother Crystal Rogers was shot and killed Saturday morning.

Tommy's father Till Ballard said Tommy was shot in the chest around 8 a.m. while hunting with his son and 12-year-old grandson on the family's property along Ed Brent Lane near the Blue Grass Parkway.

"Tommy always said 'I'll spend my last dime trying to find Crystal.' I guess he's found her now," Till Ballard told WDRB News.

Trooper Jeff Gregory with Kentucky State Police said Tommy Ballard's death has been labeled a "death investigation."

"I don't know all the information as far as who a perpetrator or who would've fired the shot is," said Trooper Gregory. "I can only give out what I have and hopefully we'll have more to give you later on."

An autopsy was performed Sunday morning in Louisville. According to the Nelson County coroner, Ballard was shot in the chest and the bullet exited his back. 

Tommy's daughter Crystal Rogers was last seen in July 2015. The 35-year-old mother of five's car was found abandoned on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway.

Since her disappearance, Crystal's parents have been involved in countless searches for her.

According to Till Ballard, his son was planning a large-scale, out-of-town search for next week.

When asked about a possible link between the disappearance of Crystal Rogers and the shooting death of Tommy Ballard, Trooper Gregory said it's "way too early" to say anything like that.

"I don't know all the information as far as a perpetrator, who would have fired the shot, but that will be something else were working on." said Trooper Gregory. "Just have faith. Say your prayers for this family. They've been through a lot."

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