BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) – Tommy Ballard, the father of missing Bardstown woman Crystal Rogers, was shot and killed nearly a month ago, and for the first time, his family is breaking its silence.
They say in the weeks leading up to his death, Tommy Ballard told his wife he was being followed, and that's part of the reason why his family thinks his death was no accident.
Sherry Ballard, Tommy’s wife, believes the person involved in their daughter's disappearance is also responsible for killing her husband.
“He's everywhere. I can't look at anything and not see him,” Sherry Ballard told WDRB News.
On the morning of Nov. 19, Tommy Ballard was shot in the chest and killed. He and his grandson were up early before the sun to go hunting.
“I told God to watch over them while they were in the woods,” she said.
Then about 30 minutes later came a phone call from their 11-year-old son.
“And he's hysterical and says Papaw’s been shot," Sherry recalled. "I heard it, but I didn't hear it."
In a frantic rush to the scene, calls were made to 911 and other family members.
“There was a police officer down the hill with his lights on, and I could see my husband lying on the ground,” she said.
Kentucky State Police have not said much on the case, simply calling it a death investigation.
Tommy Ballard was shot on family property. His son Casey, who heard the shot that killed his father, was in a different field on the same property. He says he’s never seen any other hunters trespassing on their land.
Weeks later, the same scene has an eerie silence with traffic going by in the background from the Bluegrass Parkway. A cross has been erected in Tommy's honor.
“I don't think my husband's death was accident," Sherry Ballard said. "I'll never think it was."
Without a doubt, the Ballard family believes Tommy's death has something to do with the disappearance of his daughter, Crystal Rogers.
“I think someone wanted my husband out of the way, because we were getting close to Crystal, and they knew he was the driving force behind her,” she said.
Tommy orchestrated search after search to find his daughter and the mother of his five grandchildren since July of 2015. His death has been hard on Crystal's children.
“She said Mamaw, I thought Papaw was going to bring my mom home ... and it broke my heart. What do you tell her?” Sherry said of a conversation she had with her granddaughter.
While the plan for Sherry and Tommy Ballard was to find their daughter and put her to rest together, Sherry now hopes for something different.
“I said maybe he'll lead me to her some way or another,” Sherry said.
And she prays justice for her husband and daughter will come soon.
“I mean I've waited 17 months for Crystal," she said. "It's not easy waiting, and I hope I don't have to for Tommy."
Meanwhile, KSP is still wanting to speak with any drivers -- especially truck drivers with dash cams -- who might have witnessed a suspicious person or car between mile markers 21 and 25 on the Bluegrass Parkway from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.
As for the investigation into Crystal Rogers, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office has name Rogers’ former boyfriend the main suspect in her disappearance.
He has not been charged with a crime.
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