LIBERTY, Mo. — It’s been more than four years since anyone has seen Desirea Ferris. Now, a new podcast about her disappearance is raising some serious questions. Several of her family members want the record to be set straight.
Anatomy of Murder is a podcast that goes in depth on homicide cases across the United States. Last week, they released an episode on Ferris. Comments made by her mother, Patti Tam, have family members questioning everything.
“It’s slowly killing me. Her room is still the same. Everything is still the same. I’ll do whatever I need to do to keep her name out there,” Tam said.
In 2017, the 18-year-old went out with her sister and a group of people, and never came home. On the podcast Anatomy of Murder, Tam talked about her daughter’s case. During the interview Tam is heard saying that night another one of her daughters relapsed on heroin and was involved with drugs the night Ferris was last seen.
Some listened to the podcast and heard what sounded like the group may have done heroin together, when Tam says what could sound like: “shoot ’em up with heroin.” A public relations representative for Audiochuck, which produces Anatomy of Murder, later clarified outside of the episode the transcript reads “shoot him up with heroin,” referring to a specific person in the friend group.
Tam says people misunderstood what she said in the podcast.
“I did not say that. I mean, if something like that were to happen, surely a podcast wouldn’t be the first one I’d tell,” Tam said.
A section of the podcast discussed addiction, drug use, and relapsing. Tam says Ferris and one of her daughters spent time with two men that night. At least one of them was planning to use heroin, and it is unclear how many in the group used.
Ferris’ sister relapsed around the time she was last seen. Tam says in the podcast that Ferris’ sister tried to get her to come home. Her sister was dropped off at a McDonalds near their house, and Ferris was never seen again after that night.
One of the men Ferris was allegedly with told investigators he took her to a house where people use drugs regularly, and she left around 1:30 a.m. Ferris did not have a car. Tam says the last call made and received on Ferris’ phone were from the same man.
The second man in the friend group did message with Ferris on Facebook about getting a ride home. According to phone records, his pings line up with Ferris’ phone. Her phone stops working, and his phone shows multiple short phone calls afterward. He is currently in federal prison after being convicted of distributing meth, and allegedly will not talk to investigators on the case.
Jennifer Ferris is Desirea’s stepmother. She says the revelation about what the group was doing that night is a shock to the whole family, and the detective on Ferris’ case. She says even with the confusion, the information that came out of the podcast was new, and surprising.
“We had to play it back. Kept playing it back. Kept playing it back, and I was stunned. I was like – did that just say that?” Ferris said.
Now, Ferris and others don’t know where to go from here.
“We’re no closer. After that podcast came out, and some of the things that were on that podcast we kind of feel like we’re back at square one as far as information that was given. I feel like it was given incorrectly,” Jennifer Ferris said.
However, Tam says her words were taken out of context. She says they were talking about theories, and not facts. Tam is pushing to have the podcast removed from the internet.
“We were on the phone for two, two-and-a half plus hours and they consolidated it to 45 minutes,” Tam said.
FOX4 reached out to the hosts of Anatomy of Murder but did not hear back until hours after this story’s initial airing on Monday. A public relations representative for Audiochuck described many listeners’ belief about Tam’s comment as misinformation.
“We are saddened that others are spreading misinformation and bringing additional heartache to the family. From the very beginning our goal has always been to shine a light on Desirea’s story to help the family get answers.”
If you have information that will help investigators solve this case, call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS or contact (816) 945-2722. You can also visit this page.