America’s ‘Most Beautiful Small Town’ Is Murder, U.S.A.

Crystal Rogers disappeared after a quick run to Walmart. Her father was shot dead as he searched for her. Their murders are just the latest to haunt this picturesque small town.

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

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Tommy and Sherry Ballard watched as a chopper whirred overhead and, in the distance, investigators plodded through murky water. They stood near the Kentucky farm where their daughter might have spent her final moments.

For more than a year, they had begged police for this search, and now, on Aug. 30, 2016, it was unfolding before their eyes. They peered through binoculars across the rocky green landscape dotted with police officers and cadaver dogs. And they wore T-shirts proclaiming what had been in their hearts for the past 14 months: Prayers for Crystal.

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