STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Texas court records indicate that the body of a woman found a few weeks ago, floating in a container on Kentucky Lake, was in Calloway County the day before the container was dropped into the lake.
The arrest citation for Jeffrey Rogers, 60, of Arlington, Texas – the man now accused of murder in the case – traces the route that Rogers and his wife, Tammy, took from Texas to Kentucky on June 17. It allegedly began in central Texas and ended at a residence in Calloway County, where they reportedly visited family. Through interviews, video evidence and other sources, the documents say that the couple traveled through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee before arriving at the Calloway County residence at about 8:45 p.m. June 17.
The records were provided by the Erath County District Attorney’s Office in Stephenville, Texas. They indicate that only Jeffrey Rogers knew of the contents of what Kentucky State Police reported was a 50-gallon Craftsman black tote with a red lid. Records say surveillance video shows Jeffrey purchased the tote on June 15 at a Lowe’s home improvement store in Burleson, Texas. The tote allegedly traveled with the couple in the back of a pickup truck.
The records indicate that the tote “appeared to be identical in size, color and design to that in which Traci Jones, 41, of Dublin, Texas was found in the Tennessee/Kentucky Lake.” The records indicate the Rogers couple arrived in Calloway County about a day after Jeffrey allegedly killed Traci after the two had left a Stephenville hotel.
The citation says that Jeffrey returned to the RV he and Tammy shared in Arlington at about 6:45 a.m. June 17, and they soon left for Kentucky.
“On June 17, after Jeffrey’s arrival, he loaded items into the suspected vehicle and they departed for Kentucky to visit family. Tammy allegedly knew there was a cooler in the back of the pickup with drinks, but never looked in the back of the pickup during the trip,” the citation says, adding that video shows Jeffrey and Jones together at 4:10 a.m. on June 16 in Stephenville. “The clothing Jones is wearing in the surveillance footage appears to be the exact same clothes she was wearing when her body is found.”
In the citation, it is unveiled that Jeffrey requested to speak with Texas Ranger Don Stoner at the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Worth, Texas, last Wednesday, July 1. That is when the records say Jeffrey admitted to causing Jones’ death. How the death allegedly occurred is not discussed, but the murder charge said it was by strangulation.
“Rogers stated what he did with the victim’s body was ‘dishonorable’ in regards to discarding her body,” the records say. The disposal came, according to the records, after the couple arrived in Calloway County.
With assistance from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Joseph Hudgins, the records seem to piece together what happened after that. Hudgins told Texas authorities that on June 18, Jeffrey Rogers rented a pontoon boat at Paris Landing Pontoon Rentals in Henry County, Tennessee for a half day — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Records say that Tammy confirms that Jeffrey left the Calloway residence in the pickup that morning and did not return until about noon.
Meanwhile, the records indicate the surveillance footage of the rental shows Jeffrey arriving at the Breakers Marina along Kentucky Lake at about 8:46 a.m. At 9:33, that same video shows Jeffrey loading a container onto the front of his boat and the container was covered with a blanket. At 9:52, the records say, the video shows Jeffrey leaving the marina.
The arrest citation for Rogers indicates that an acquaintance of Jones, who was allowing Jones to reside at her residence, last saw Jones alive between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. on June 16. She said Jones was walking away from the residence and suspects that she met Jeffrey Rogers while walking and left with him. The documents also say that the acquaintance had engaged in multiple conversations with Jones about engaging with Jeffrey and his wife for a production called Circle V Entertainment, which was described as being involved in producing pornography.
The records say that Jones was compensated through Venmo and shared a Wells Fargo account with Jeffrey. Jones’ attorney – identified as Heath Allen of Stephenville – told investigators it was this relationship between Jeffrey and Tammy Rogers and Jones that caused Jones to consult his services on April 27 after Jones began having an alleged dispute with the couple. Previously, the records state, Jones had lived with the Rogers couple in Arlington before they sold their house.
“Attorney Allen understood Jones and the Rogers couple were engaged in the production of pornography and that Jones made contact with an NBC (Dallas-Forth Worth) affiliate and the Arlington (Independent School District) about the demise of the relationship between them. It was Attorney Allen’s understanding Jones was fearful of Jeffrey Rogers and his wife,” the document said. “Attorney Allen believed Jeffrey and his wife, Tammy Rogers, would be motivated to harm Traci Jones for the purpose of preventing her from releasing information they held in confidence between the three of them.”
The attorney’s last contact with Jones was reported to be on June 1. Meanwhile, court records say that Tammy lost her job as an Arlington principal on May 26 due to Jones’ complaint to the school district.
Tammy told authorities that, at about 5:30 p.m. June 16, Jeffery told her he was going to Dublin to meet with Jones and “pay her some more money,” according to the warrant. Tammy said she sent three text messages to her husband that night from an RV she and Jeffrey were sharing. Records show that Tammy said Jeffrey returned home at about 6:45 the next morning.
During his meeting with Ranger Stoner, records indicate that Jeffrey wants charges levied by Tennessee authorities of tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse “to go away” in exchange for details about the victim’s death.
The District Attorney’s records quote Jeffrey as saying to Stoner: “I want to tell you why and how I did it,” never going into a description of how Jones died. “I own it, and Tammy had nothing to do with it.”
Jeffrey goes on to say, “I have the pieces to the puzzle you need,” adding that no one witnessed Jones’ death. He also said that he “tried to ‘throw off’ investigators by texting the victim after the homicide, thinking maybe law enforcement would not think he did it.”
Records indicate that it is believed the body was dumped on the Tennessee side of the lake and it then floated to Trigg County.
Jeffrey is incarcerated in the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, on a $1 million bond and is facing 99 years to life in prison. Individuals facing charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.