Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis was on his way home from work. He stopped to remove debris in the roadway on Exit 34 off the Bluegrass parkway, which investigators say was placed there intentionally. A detail that still haunts his family.
“We know for certain that somebody was waiting, we know for certain that they waited until he was in a position he had his bulletproof vest on, it was when he bent down to pick up the debris and came back up that they shot him," said Kelly Eastman, Ellis' sister.
We traveled to Ellis' hometown outside of Cincinnati to talk with his sisters Lacey Young and Kelly Eastman. Eastman's basement has become a shrine to her younger brother.
“To be able to have a place where I could just remember special things, or his personality,” said Kelly.
A personality the sisters say shines through in his pictures.
“He was just a goofball,” said Kelly.
“Jason being Jason. This right here totally sums up him,” said Lacey, describing a picture of Jason wearing a clown wig.
Kelly and Lacey say their brother’s first love was baseball, from tee-ball all the way to the minor leagues. There's now a plaque dedicated to his memory at his high school. His number is always displayed on the scoreboard.
"There was nothing like being behind the plate for Jason, just to have total control over a game," said Kelly.
His love of baseball was only outmatched by his love for his family, especially his college sweetheart turned wife, Amy, and their two sons.
"Probably after marrying Amy the best day of his life was when his boys were born,” said Kelly, “They are both their father, it’s almost scary every time we are around them we just see Jason in both of them.”
Now approaching four years without their brother, the milestones without Jason are building.
"I just had a baby, he is 8 weeks old and to not share my new son with him is really hard," said Lacey.
It’s been four long years without baseball games, birthdays, and answers.
"We cannot put Jason to rest," said Lacey.
Questions are more difficult to process, knowing their brother’s case is not the only unsolved murder surrounding Bardstown.
"Our heart definitely hurts for those other families because we know what they are going through, to lose people that they love and to not have answers. Our stories are very similar, so at this point really anything can be connected just because, we don’t have answers," said Eastman.