KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The family of a missing Liberty teenager now believes there is foul play involved in her disappearance. Dozens of people searched a wooded area near Norfleet and Bannister in Kansas City, Missouri.
"She pretty much just dropped off the face of the earth."
Patty Tam says her daughter Desirea Ferris hasn't been seen in 4 weeks. She says the 18-year-old left her house to hang out with some friends and sent this text soon after:
"I'll be home tonight. I'll see you in a little bit."
But she never came home. Desirea's family says both Liberty and Kansas City police are questioning the group of friends she was with that night. Her family hired a private investigator who got a tip that Desirea was in this area of Norfleet and Bannister before her disappearance.
"Just -- speechless. I'm scared to death of what we might find," Tam said.
Family says the 18 year old was wearing a pink jacket, a beige blouse and sweat pants. A group of dozens searched through the woods for hours Sunday afternoon and came up short.
"Do you think that something bad happened to her? Deep down I do. She wouldn't just disappear."
Family says Desirea is known as someone who befriended all and would never turn anyone away. Now her mom worries it's that giving trait that got her in a deadly situation.
"Just -- my hearts breaking. The whole family, and anybody that knew her is just devastated."
If you know anything about Desirea's disappearance, call Crimestoppers at (816) 474-TIPS.