HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- Human remains were found in rural Cass County late Friday night. While investigators work to identify those remains, the family of a local missing woman are on edge.
Deputies were called to the area of south Mopac Road between East 235th and East 239th streets after the remains were found in a wooded area by mushroom hunters.
“We received a call last night, at about 19:00 hours, seven o’clock last night. We had a mushroom hunter in the area who located what they thought were human remains,” Cass County Sheriff Jeff Weber said.
It could take days or even weeks before the medical examiner can identify the remains.
“We don’t have anybody that we believe it may be, however there are numerous missing people around the metropolitan area and obviously that’s one of the first things we do is begin to try and correlate that list with what we may have here,” Weber said.
In April 2017, mushroom hunters discovered the remains of missing women Jessica Runions and Kara Kopetsky in a rural location about 10 miles west of this latest discovery.
Desirea Ferris of Liberty, Missouri has been missing since may of last year. Her family is on edge after learning of Friday's find.
“It’s heartbreaking. You tear up, you’re sick at your stomach, you’re panicked because you want to get to where she is so if it is her and they can identify her quickly, she’s not alone,” Jennifer Ferris, Desirea’s stepmom, said.
She and some others went to the scene as deputies were investigating Saturday morning.
“We asked a lot of questions about belongings around, hair color, anything they could tell us and they couldn’t tell us anything about it,” Ferris said.
But Mrs. Ferris and others who have been helping with the search have several hunches given the location of this discovery.
“The people that she was last with are very familiar with it and connected to that area. Family members live within miles of that area. We’ve had tips that she was taken down there and dumped,” Ferris said.
This finding comes just days before the one-year anniversary of when Desirea went missing.
“I think it would be closure as in putting Desirea to rest, it will never be closure in what the real problem is in the Kansas City area, what people did to her, it will never be closure for that,” Ferris said.
Family, friends and a slew of other concerned people say they’ll continue to look for Desirea.
“Until we know 100 percent for sure that she has been found we will keep looking,” Spike, a close friend of the Ferris family and search party coordinator said.
In the meantime, many are praising the mushroom hunters for making this discovery.
“I think anybody coming across something like that would not expect it. I can’t tell you how they’re doing today. We appreciate the fact that they responded to us immediately and let us know to get out here. They’ve been cooperative and we appreciate that,” Weber said.