FBI takes lead role in search for missing Kentucky woman

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Federal and state officers began executing search warrants Thursday and planned new rounds of interviews in the search for a Kentucky woman who disappeared around the Fourth of July five years ago.

The FBI field office in Louisville announced it has taken the lead on the investigation into the disappearance of Crystal Rogers, who went missing in Nelson County in early July 2015. Her car was found abandoned with a flat tire along the Bluegrass Parkway, and her keys, phone and purse were still inside the vehicle, authorities said.

More than five years later, Rogers' family and the Bardstown community — a picturesque town known as the hub of the state's bourbon industry — are still waiting for answers about what happened to the mother of five.

“A hallmark of the FBI is we never give up,” FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown said in a release Thursday. “The FBI is committed to bringing those responsible to justice, but we are going to need the community’s assistance.”

As part of the investigation, more than 150 federal and state law enforcement officers began executing nine federal search warrants, the FBI said Thursday.

Properties searched included homes belonging to Rogers' former boyfriend and his brother, an ex-Bardstown police officer, the FBI confirmed.

Officers also will conduct more than 50 interviews in the community, the agency said.

“I ask that members of the community think back to July 3rd and 4th of 2015,” Brown said. “For those individuals who have information about this incident but who have not yet spoken to law enforcement for whatever reason, please contact us.”

FBI spokesman Timothy Beam said there was no update on whether possible human remains found late last month in Nelson County might be connected to the case.

The FBI said it's working with several federal, state and local agencies including the Internal Revenue Service, Kentucky State Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman said he's committed to “delivering long-term justice" in Nelson County and said that Thursday's efforts were “a major step in honoring that promise.”

The FBI also launched a website — www.crystalrogerstaskforce.com — dedicated to sharing information about the case. A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Rogers' whereabouts.