COLD CASE: Police are still searching for an Okaloosa teen who went missing 22 years ago

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CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WMBB) — Ralph Garrett is an investigator for the Crestview Police Department in Okaloosa County. For the last four years, he has been searching for answers to the 22-year-old disappearance of Kristy Rogers.

She vanished from her hometown on August 2, 1997.

“At that period of time, she would have been 16 years of age,” Garrett said. “Kristy had actually left home to spend a little time with a boyfriend. And what we’re understanding is when she was heading back home is when she disappeared; when she was taken possibly.”

Rogers spent the night of August 1 at her boyfriend’s house on North Lloyd Street: about a 15-minute walk from her own home on Walnut Avenue.

He told authorities she left his house on foot around 5 o’clock the following morning, walking back to her’s. But she never arrived home.

The boyfriend has been cleared as a suspect, and other leads have grown cold. But officers have not quit questioning what happened to her.

“We received information approximately two months ago that she was in a body of water in northern Okaloosa County. And with the with the help of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office dive team, we searched that body of water to include drones. And there was nothing in the water, nothing found,” Garrett said. “We’ve received information that she may be buried at certain spots, but we’ve not been able to verify that yet. And so we’re working on that trying to pinpoint a point where she may be buried. I mean, you can tell me that she’s buried there. But you’re going to need to show me.”

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children used age-progression technology to create a photo they believe may depict how she would look today.

That photo is posted below. In the top left corner is a true photo of Rogers taken around the time of her disappearance.

Garrett hopes this case will serve as a warning to all adolescents.

“The only thing we have in this case that sticks out to me is a message to other children that are 15, 16, 17 years old that shouldn’t be out at a certain time at night,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen. You never know what you’re going to run into. And, you know, it’s just a caution. You know, never be by yourself, period. Always tell your mother and daddy where you’re at, which is a preventative measure. Nobody knew where she was when she left.”

If you have any information regarding Rogers’S disappearance, you’re urged to call the Crestview Police Department or Emerald Coast CrimeStoppers.

“This case is very solvable. Someone knows, and we just need them to give us a call and talk to us,” Garrett said.

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