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Hardin County Commonwealth's Attorney appointed as special prosecutor in trio of unsolved Nelson County deaths

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Kentucky Commonwealth's Attorneys' Association
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Hardin County Commonwealth's Attorney Shane Young

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office has appointed a special prosecutor over two
unsolved deaths and a disappearance in Nelson County.

Among the cases is the 2015 disappearance of Crystal Rogers, a mother of five whose car and personal belongings were found on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway.

A letter from the Kentucky Attorney General's Office appoints Hardin County Commonwealth’s Shane Young as special counsel on the cold case.

Crystal’s mother, Sherry Ballard, says she is confident there will one day be an arrest, and Young will bring those responsible to justice.

“When I first met him, he did tell me if I don’t think I can win a case, I’m not going to take it to court," Ballard told WKU Public Radio. "It’s so hard on me to wait, but I think Mr. Young is doing an excellent job and I’ve heard he’s one of the best.”

Young replaces Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Terry Geoghegan. When asked why the changed was made, the Kentucky Attorney General's Office issued the following statement:

"The Office of Attorney General has made some administrative adjustments in the case in order to streamline a continued effort toward justice for the victims, their families, and the people of Nelson County. These minor alterations clarified lines of authority in order to make the combined efforts of the dedicated law enforcement officials involved more efficient in pursuing an investigation."

Sherry Ballard, says she’s happy to have a fresh set of eyes on the investigation and the appointment has given her renewed optimism.

“I know the commonwealth attorney here made the comment to me once that he doesn’t like going to trial with a no-body homicide and I didn’t like that information at all," Ballard said. "What if I never find my daughter? I hope that’s not the case, but do I want to wait forever for a trial? No.”

Young has also been assigned to the
case of Tommy Ballard. The husband of Sherry Ballard and father of Crystal Rogers was mysteriously shot to death in 2016 while hunting.

The special prosecutor will also assist in the 2013 murder case of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis who was ambushed while removing debris from an exit off the Bluegrass Parkway.

Young will work alongside the state Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky. Those agencies have the ability to file state and federal charges.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.