BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The sign off the side of the road in Bardstown, Kentucky, reads "Justice for Tommy." It's a plea that continues just as strong one year after the Bardstown father and husband was shot and killed, with still no answers in his case.
"Him and Sherry were high school sweethearts, inseparable," Angela Brady, a friend of the Ballards, said. "And I just don't know how she's doing this without him."
Till Ballard, Tommy's father, said his son was well known around Nelson County for his selflessness, with many having stories of his generosity.
"One time at Christmas, this family didn't have any Christmas," he said. "He went and got the kids bicycles, took them baskets of fruit."
While Till said Tommy was willing to lend a helping hand to friends and even strangers, his family was what truly captured his heart. After his daughter, Crystal Rogers, disappeared in July 2015, her father was one of the ardent leaders of the search efforts in a case that also remains unsolved.
"He wasn't going to give up. He told me, he said, 'I'll spend my last dollar trying to find Crystal.' And that's what he wanted," Ballard said. "He wanted to find his daughter. That's all he wanted."
"He was not going to stop. And the community is still not going to stop," Brady said. "To have the evidence that they have and nobody's been convicted yet, the town needs justice along with the Ballards."
Family and friends gathered at Saint Thomas Church in Bardstown Sunday evening for a mass held in Tommy's memory, praying for the Ballards and for justice. This weekend, new signs were placed overnight around Bardstown, pointing the finger at Brooks Houck, who was Rogers's boyfriend at the time of the mother of five's disappearance. Detectives have named Houck as their primary suspect, but no charges have ever been filed against him.
"They were two good human beings and they didn't deserve what they got," Ballard said.
"We're going to go back to our families and live life like we always have, but the Ballards will never have that," family friend Nancy Ulrich said.
For Till, Sunday is a tough anniversary, but he and others vow to continue honoring his son's legacy, no matter how much time passes.
"It's just hard to put it behind us," he said. "We'll never put it behind us. Tommy will always be there."
Kentucky State Police is investigating Ballard's death. The family is still looking for help in finding answers and is offering a reward, which is now $20,000, for information leading to justice.
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