LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Federal investigators conducted several searches in Bardstown, Kentucky, connected to the disappearance of Crystal Rogers.
The FBI said on social media Tuesday morning that based on information collected over the last year in the federal investigation, it is conducting searches in the Woodlawn Springs subdivision of Bardstown.
FBI agents, along with the Nelson County Sheriff's Department, started the search early Tuesday, and have been stopping cars that enter or leave the neighborhood. The FBI told WDRB News that agents focused on three homes on Howard Street.
Rogers, a mother of five, went missing on July 3, 2015. Rogers' car was found abandoned with a flat tire on the Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown with her phone, purse and keys still inside.
The man she was dating at the time, Brooks Houck, was the last person to see her alive. Houck has been named a main suspect in the case by the Nelson County Sheriff's Office, but has never faced any charges. Property records show a company owned by Houck built the homes that the FBI targeted in its search on Tuesday. The FBI was very clear that the people living in the homes are not considered suspects.
A family member of Crystal Rogers told WDRB that the FBI was using K-9s in the search. Sonar equipment was also seen being used on the scene. Agents reportedly planned to continue searching until late Tuesday evening. It's unclear if they will return on Wednesday. Agents and sheriff's deputies were cleared around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Sherry Ballard, Rogers' mother, said the FBI did get in touch with her before Tuesday's search started, and that they have been in frequent contact with her.
"The FBI did inform me that they were going to be doing something today," Ballard said. "They didn't give me details, but they did let me know ahead of time that something was going on."
Ballard also said "for something like this to happen I think they are getting close, and it just makes me feel really good ...
"I know it is very difficult for people to understand when I keep saying, 'maybe this is the year,' and they probably look back and think she’s said that a billion times, but the FBI is a long process."
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.
This story may be updated.
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