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5-day search for evidence in Crystal Rogers' case at Houck farm ends

In a statement, the FBI said it hopes "evidence collected" at the Houck family farm will move their investigation forward.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After a five-day investigation, the FBI concluded its latest search of a Bardstown farm with ties to the disappearance of Crystal Rogers.

The agency said in a statement that it hopes the "evidence collected will move our investigation one step closer to holding accountable the individual(s) responsible for Crystal Rogers' disappearance."

Investigators did not say what evidence they may have found on the farm. An FBI spokesperson did confirm on Oct. 24, however, the agency would be analyzing "all of the evidence collected from the search" to the FBI's lab in Quantico.

Last week, federal investigators searched the property, which is owned by Rosemary Houck, Brooks Houck's mom, looking for evidence into Rogers' disappearance. 

Brooks Houck is named the main suspect in Rogers' case, but he has never been arrested or charged. 

On the scene Friday, WHAS11 witnessed several trucks hauling off off-road vehicles, porta-potties and even the FBI's mobile command center unit.

By 1:30 p.m., the Bardstown Police Department cruisers on Paschal Ballard Lane, which had been blocked during the investigation, were gone.

Rogers, who has been missing for more than seven years, was reportedly last seen alive on the Houck family farm.

Media was not allowed beyond the police barricade, but FBI agents confirmed Thursday that the search had moved to the back of the 245-acre property.

This is not the first time investigators have searched the property. WHAS11 records reveal the family farm has been searched at least three other times over the last seven years. 

Rogers' mother, Sherry Ballard, said she prays this search will finally bring answers for the family.

"Each day it's getting closer. I'm ready for answers. Our family just needs answers," she said. "“I pray that they find my daughter and I bring her home.” 

For years as Chief Division Counsel, former supervisory special agent David Beyer reviewed search warrants before they left the FBI office and eventually went to a judge.

Beyer believes all signs in this latest search point toward progress.

“I think there’s a lot of hope," he said. "They’re not going to dedicate that much time and resources if they don’t have a strong belief they’ll find something of value at that location."

Now, how much progress was made is unclear, but Beyer said the 24-hour FBI presence all week was significant.

"The duration of it is more than likely due to the attempts by somebody to conceal something," he said.

Also up in the air is whether there could be more searches in the near future, either at the Houck family farm property or elsewhere.

"If they develop that reasonable belief, a judge could authorize another search warrant at that location or any other location," Beyer said.

Rogers' family said they have full trust in the work federal and local agencies have done this week and hope the evidence collected will lead to accountability in Crystal's disappearance.

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