No signs, no clues: Search for Desirea Ferris grows past 1 year

Posted at 1:12 PM, May 02, 2018

LIBERTY, Mo. -- It's been one year, and there's still no sign of missing teenDesirea Ferris.

The last 365 days of endless searching have been a nightmare Ferris's mother, Patti Tam.

"I spend most of my time here in her room because it just makes me feel closer," Tam said.

She often curls up on Ferris's bed.

"I go through her pictures," she said. "Just everything's the same."

Tam keeps the twinkling pink lights draped around her daughter's mirror on. She keeps the posters on the wall and the makeup on the floor. It's exactly the way the teen left it one year ago.

"It feels like a lifetime," said Tam. "I'm teetering on the edge. One person can end this nightmare, put a stop to it and that's all it takes. But no one will."

Ferris, then 18, left her house in Liberty around 4 a.m. on May 1, 2017. Her phone activity went silent around 4 a.m. the next morning. That's the last time anyone heard from her.

Court documents say Ferris was with a man named Robert Jason Keegan on May 1. He dropped her off at a house in Kansas City's Marlborough neighborhood where Mark Arzola lived.

Based on Ferris's text messages from that night, a Liberty investigator believes Keegan picked her up from Arzola's house May 2.

Keegan is in federal prison on drugs and guns charges. Arzola has been in and out of jail and currently has a warrant out for his arrest for not showing up to a probation violation hearing.

"It should have never gotten to this point," Tam said, with a look of disbelief and grief covering her face.

"That's what I don't understand is why somebody hasn't given an anonymous tip somewhere," said a family friend that goes by Spike. "Because honestly, we're not going to go away until she's found."

Spike doesn't use his last name. He's part of "Desi's Army," a group of family and friends who continue to search for her.

They've uncovered a web of drugs and crime while tracking down people who they say know what happened to Ferris.

Her family assumes she's no longer alive and has heard awful stories. But the tipsters can never seem to remember how the story ends, and where the family can find Ferris.

Spike said he gets tips daily.

"What's really frustrating about it is every once in a while you run into that person that really wants to do the right thing, then there's something that's holding them back to open up," he said.

Liberty Police still haven't named any persons of interest. 

In January, investigators got a hold of five files from Ferris's online accounts, but can't release what they found.

Police will only say their investigation lies in south Kansas City.

Desi's Army is targeting that area too, raising money for billboards so her face is everywhere.

"Every corner they turn they're going to see her face," Tam said. "And I hope to God they start having nightmares, I really do. I'm not giving up. I'm not. This is my baby."

The family plans to meet at 85th & Brooklyn on Wednesday night, armed with candles and wearing pink, Ferris's favorite color. 


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