It was her birthday — the last day she saw her daughter. Her youngest child had left a birthday card on her pillow.
That was six months and thousands of hours of worrying ago.
Desirea Ferris, 18, hasn’t been seen or heard from by her family since. Her mother, Patti Tam of Liberty, fears the worst. She’s been told by police that they have identified subjects of interest, and she suspects one man who knew her daughter is involved.
“Not knowing where she is, if she’s OK, it’s killing me,” Tam said. “There’s a chance I will never see her big brown eyes or her smile or hear her say, ‘I love you, Mom.’ ”
On the last night she was heard from, May 2, Ferris told her sister she was headed to a friend’s house, but she never arrived.
Ferris then made a call at 2:06 a.m. and then a text to the same number at 5:14 a.m. Her last Facebook activity came at 3 a.m. Then all communication stopped.
Capt. Andy Hedrick with Liberty police said detectives have spoken with hundreds of people. Many leads have led them to south KC. Names have come up, but no charges have been filed.
Though Ferris remains classified as a missing person, “obviously the concern is that it’s something much worse than missing,” Hedrick said.
One person of interest said he would speak with investigators if granted full immunity, Tam said, but investigators didn’t agree to the deal.
“This is my baby — she did nothing to deserve what they’ve done to her,” she said.
The family hired a private investigator, conducted searches and distributed fliers — all came up empty.
“We need help from anybody who has information,” Hedrick said.
Ferris is 5 feet, 1 inch, 101 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She might have been wearing a fuzzy pink jacket and a cream crop top. She was last known to have a tan purse.
The family will hold an event Sunday that will include a balloon release and prayer vigil in Kearney.
The public is welcome to attend, but individuals are asked to first contact Ferris’ stepmother to ask permission at 816-520-3308.
Tam said the event was prompted after Ferris’ younger sister said she didn’t want to move out of their home because “it was the last place I got to see Desi.”
The event, Tam added, is to “keep (Ferris’) name out there and so her little sister can have some kind of closure.”
Anyone with information about the teen’s whereabouts is urged to contact Liberty police at 816-439-4701 or the TIPS hotline to submit an anonymous tip at 816-474-8477.