BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- "I just pray that this is it."
An emotional Sherry Ballard spoke with WDRB News on Wednesday afternoon as the FBI searched a neighborhood for a second day, looking for clues in the disappearance of her daughter, Crystal Rogers.
"I've kind of hyped myself up to not get too encouraged by it," Ballard said. "But at the same time, I can't help but feeling like there's a reason they're doing it. I've got my fingers crossed and I've been praying really hard."
WDRB cameras and the rest of the media were kept away from the search perimeter in the Woodlawn Springs subdivision for a portion of the search on Wednesday, but were eventually let back into the area in the evening.
"They've been very, very open with me and very good with communicating with me," Ballard said. "There's certain things they can't tell me, and I understand that. But they've been great with me."
Federal investigators and the Nelson County Sheriff's Department were in the area until about 9 p.m. Tuesday, focusing on three homes. WDRB reporters and photojournalists saw sonar equipment and a K-9 unit in the area, and agents dug at least 10 holes around one home.
Wednesday, they spent much of the day digging — now focusing on a single driveway. Several trucks could be seen throughout the day with beds full of concrete being removed from the area.
"I don't think they would bring in all this equipment. I mean, they have so much huge equipment there," Ballard said. "I don't think they would bring in all that equipment if there wasn't a reason for it. That gives me encouragement right there. And they've been very good at their investigation. I'm so lucky to have them here."
Rogers, a mother of five, disappeared on July 3, 2015. Her car was found abandoned on the Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown with her phone, purse and keys still inside. Her boyfriend, Brooks Houck, was the last person to see her. He was named a main suspect by the Nelson County Sheriff's Office, but he has never faced any charges.
Houck owns a construction company that built three homes in the subdivision where the FBI is conducting the investigation.
Last year, the FBI took over the investigation into Rogers' disappearance and came into Bardstown with a show of force, serving search warrants and conducting interviews.
The FBI said in July that it was in the final stages of its investigation.
The FBI continues to ask for tips, saying no tip is too small. The family is also offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
For her part, Ballard said she is hoping that this week's search will yield answers for her and her family.
"It's very difficult, because they feel enthused about it, and it's making me feel like maybe there's something there," she said. "And I don’t want to misread what they're telling me, but at the same time, I'm going to keep my faith and hope this is it.
"I've been so overwhelmed, and so everything's going through my mind like, 'What if it is her? What am I going to do if it isn't her?' But regardless, if it is or isn't, everyone's been so good to me, and I know they're waiting for the same moment I am."
The FBI wrapped up around 7 p.m. Wednesday. Investigators plan to be back out at the same scene Thursday morning.
- FBI conducts searches in Bardstown connected to Crystal Rogers investigation
- Disappearance of Crystal Rogers nears six years, prayer vigil planned in Bardstown
- TIMELINE | The disappearance and search for Bardstown mother Crystal Rogers
- Crystal Rogers' daughter talks about life without her mom during the 5 years she's been missing
- 3 years after Crystal Rogers went missing, Brooks Houck speaks to WDRB
Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.