Twelve new billboards around the Kansas City area make it clear: The search for a Liberty teen missing since May 2 goes on.
Eighteen-year-old Desirea Ann Ferris was last seen heading to a friend's house in south Kansas City, but she never arrived. Her cellphone last pinged a tower near Bannister Road and the Blue River.
"It's been 316 days," her mother, Patti Tam said Tuesday. "Somebody knows where my daughter is. Somebody needs to speak up so I can have my daughter back one way or the other."
Lamar Advertising in Kansas City, working with the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission and its Crime Stoppers reward program, designed the message and donated the space on giant digital signs. Each ad cycles through in a series for eight seconds each.
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The billboards show Ferris posing in selfie photographs with the message that she has been missing since May and that tips on her whereabouts can be anonymous.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).
The billboards are scattered around downtown and across the area, from Platte Woods to Liberty, Edwardsville to Lee's Summit.
The billboards bolster an exhaustive effort by family and friends who will not quit, said Angela Renfrow, a step-aunt.
"It's all we do is try to search and figure out what happened to her," Renfrow said. "We constantly think: Where could she be? What happened?"
The family used money from past fundraisers to purchase a drone, hire a pilot and a specialist to interpret images taken of woods, especially along the Blue River, Renfrow said.
Search parties have plied the river by canoe and trod through the wooded banks, "but we can't get everywhere," she said. The drone will try to find places they've missed.
Much of the information on fundraising and encouraging messages are shared on a Facebook page, Bring Desirea Ferris Home.
"If anybody knows anything, they can do it on the phone, they can go online," Tam said. The website Missing and Endangered Northwest Missouri and Surrounding Area is also aiding in the search and taking tips, Tam said. Its site is missingandendangered.org.
Ferris was described as 5-foot-1, 101 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She may have been wearing a fuzzy pink jacket and a cream-color crop top.
It's been an unending ordeal, Tam said. A prayer vigil in November, six months after Ferris' disappearance, carried on the plea for help and information.