Desirea Ferris, Teen Last Seen With Men Her Mom Says Are 'Dangerous,' Vanished In 2017
Patti Tam, Desirea Ferris' mother, said, “She trusted the wrong people.”
On May 1, 2017, 18-year-old Desirea Ferris vanished without a trace after leaving her home in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri.
Her mother, Patti Tam, said that Desirea, an aspiring model, "was like a ray of sunshine" who "had her whole life ahead of her."
On the day her daughter disappeared, Tam thought that Desirea and her sister may have been planning a surprise birthday party for her. They had cake ingredients, and Desirea had left Tam a birthday card. But when Tam got home after getting off work at 5 P.M., her daughter wasn't there.
As the sun set with no word from Desirea, Tam grew more concerned. And after she woke up in the middle of the night and realized that her daughter was still not home, she filed a police report.
Tam teamed up with Desirea's stepmother, Jennifer Ferris, and the women worked together to retrace Desirea's steps.
They learned that she and her sister had spent the day with two men. Between 5 and 6 p.m., her sister was brought back to Liberty — but Desirea reportedly remained with the men.
When Tam learned who the men were, she grew even more alarmed. She says that she knew the men by reputation, though she had never actually met them, and had warned Desirea to "stay away from these individuals." Tam added, "She trusted the wrong people."
Desirea's phone last pinged in the Marlborough Heights area in South Kansas City. It shut off at 4:11 a.m. on May 2. At around the same time, her social media also went dark.
Tam and Ferris started researching addresses where the men lived and began canvassing the neighborhood where they believed Desirea disappeared. "At this point, I didn't care that these people were dangerous," Tam said.
Ferris met one of the men who had been with Desirea on the night she vanished. "His claim is that he took the sister back to Liberty and that he brought Desirea back to South Kansas City and they sat in a car in a parking lot until they went back over to his house," Ferris said. "His story is that she was picked up at his home around two, two-thirty in the morning. He said that she was perfectly fine and that she had left in a white or silver truck."
According to Ferris, the man claimed that Desirea left his house in the company of the second man she had been seen with that day.
Within 10 days of Desirea's disappearance, that second man was arrested on unrelated charges. He is currently in federal prison, and Desirea's family says that they do not believe that law enforcement have ever been able to speak to him. Neither of the two men have been named suspects in Ferris' case.
"I think that this is a group of people that are dangerous criminals and I think that anybody that has information on where [she] is or what happened to her, I think they are terrified. We just need that one person to come forward," Ferris said. "Somebody saw something. Somebody knows something."
Tam says that she has heard "horrible" stories about what has happened to her daughter — but that she will not give up looking for her until her last breath.
The Liberty Police Department has been unable comment on the case, but have stated that the case is an active investigation. They have asked anyone with any information to contact them on (816) 439-4701.
For more on this case, watch the "What Happened To Desirea Ferris?" episode of ID's The Missing on discovery+ now.