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Family goes to home where they believe missing Liberty teen was last seen alive

Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 02, 2017

A small army gathers every week at a church at 77th & Troost. They arm themselves with fliers, water bottles and hope, setting out to search for Desirea Ferris.

Ferris left her Liberty home the night of May 1 to hang out with some friends and went missing in the early morning hours of May 2. After that, her social and phone activity went silent; her family hasn't seen or heard from her since. 

On Tuesday, the group was preparing to confront their worst fear — going to the place where her phone last pinged, just blocks away from their meeting place.

"It's been three months and nobody's talking," Patti Tam, Desirea's mom, told a neighbor.

Fliers with the 18-year-old's face are all over south Kansas City, tucked beneath windshield wipers and stapled up on light poles.

Desirea's big, brown eyes resemble her mothers, but Patti's reflect a fierceness only a mother on a mission could have.

Lead by men on motorcycles, the group marched to a house off 81st Street in the Marlborough neighborhood, the last place they believe Desirea was last seen alive.

When asked if she thinks she'll see her daughter again, Patti answered, "Come hell or high water, I will. It's not going to be the way that we want it to be, but she will be home. It's time to bring her home."

Working with Liberty police investigators, the family narrowed Desirea's last cell phone pings to two areas: an abandoned house in a wooded neighborhood and the house in Marlborough, only six minutes away. Both are known for drug activity.

"After she left this house, she dropped off the face of the earth. It's disgusting. Disgusting. My daughter didn't deserve this," Patti said, looking at the house. 

Through conversations and tips, the family believes the people connected to both houses did something terrible to Desirea.

"My worse time is when it storms. She didn't like storms, I didn't like storms. And all I can think of is that she's out there by herself, and they just threw her out like a piece of trash," Patti cried. 

The bikers, whom the family considers their body guards, walked up to the door in Marlborough and knocked. No one answered. Patti and Desirea's stepmother hoped to come face-to-face with the people inside.

Instead, they said a prayer.

"We're not backing down. We're not going away," Patti said.

A mother's intuition tells her someone knows something, and she'll bring it to light.

"I know she didn't go down without a fight. In the back of my head, I can hear her screaming, screaming for me, and I couldn't help her," Patti said, breaking into tears. "I just want her home."

Liberty Police couldn't go on camera with 41 Action News, but said they are still actively following up on leads.

They can't say whether Desirea is dead or alive. Captain Hendrick said they've gotten hundreds of tips.

Investigators have interviewed people in jail and out — people the family believes are connected to Desirea in the hours leading up to her disappearance.

There is more information police aren't ready to release yet.

Anyone who has information on Desirea's whereabouts should call the Liberty Police Department, or make an anonymous tip with the TIPS Hotline. The family is offering a $4,000 reward.