BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WHAS11) -- There are signs for Crystal Rogers up all over Bardstown, but there are still no signs of the missing mother of five. She disappeared in July 2015, leaving family and friends desperately searching and hoping for her safe return. Those same signs that have united the community are now drawing some controversy.
Ann Rosalie Ballard is a board member for the city’s code enforcement. She knows she can't keep people from putting signs up in their yards, but wants to see them taken down from right of ways. In a recorded video of a board meeting, courtesy of the Nelson County Gazette, Ballard can be heard saying:
“I don’t want to offend the Rogers family. My God, my heart breaks for them, but do we really want signs between the sidewalk and the street for how many years of saying let’s find Crystal or solve these murders? That’s not really what we want everyone to see when we come into town.”
Bardstown Mayor John Royalty told WHAS 11 he has no problem with the signs, but like Ballard, also wants them kept out of right of ways and instead placed further back in people’s yards. Ballard’s comments at the meeting aren’t sitting well with Crystal Roger’s family who said they’re incredibly hurt by the suggestion that the signs are bad for tourism.
“Is she trying to hide it from the tourists? Is she trying to pretend that Bardstown is something that it’s not? I’m confused on what she’s saying,” Crystal’s mother Sherry Ballard said. “Tourists are important, I understand that, but what about the people that live her, that live a daily life here every day, do you want to sweep stuff under the rug and pretend stuff isn’t happening? Why can’t she be like the rest of the town and support us?”
“I think she needs to lose her job,” Crystal’s father Tommy Ballard said.
The signs scattered across Bardstown may just have words and some simple pictures on them, but Crystal’s family said they mean so much more to them.
“You might ride down the road and think there’s a sign. To us, we ride down the road and say there’s a sign that may bring her home,” Sherry Ballard said. “We have to keep her name out there so we can find her and bring her home. Those signs out there, it just gives us hope that people are still aware that she’s missing.”
“We just need that one little piece of evidence,” Tommy Ballard said. “We’ve had a couple of people come forward with some stuff in the last three or four weeks and a little bit of it has helped.”
Even though the Ballard’s have been told their missing daughter is presumed dead, they are committed to finding answers and closure.
“It never leaves your mind, never. If you have a moment to where you’re living a normal life and you’re doing something, you feel guilty about it. You know, you’re like she’s not here and we still haven’t found her. I ride down the road and look in every ditch thinking could she be laying there, could she be here or there?” Sherry Ballard said.
“I’m not leaving and I’m not quitting until I find Crystal,” Tommy Ballard said.
The same signs that show the hope still left in this case are the very signs Crystal's family so desperately wishes they could take down.
“She was concerned with how long the signs would stay up. Well, you know, I’d much rather have my daughter than a sign stuck in the ground somewhere saying ‘find my daughter’,” Sherry Ballard said. “You find my daughter, you can throw every one of those signs in the garbage.”
“I tell everybody, tell them to solve the murders and find my daughter, and there wouldn’t be any signs,” Tommy Ballard said.
As always, Crystal’s family urges anyone with information to come forward and help bring closure to this case.