Matthew Ferris (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Matthew Ferris (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Matthew John Ferris

Missing Person

Matthew John Ferris
Age at Report: 20
DOB: November 15, 1970
Weight: 140 lbs.
Height: 5′ 10″
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue
Incident Type: Endangered / physical
Missing From: Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Case Number: 1991-9217
NCIC Number: M-478282492
NamUs MP Number: 17065
Missing Since: March 7, 1991

Matthew John Ferris, 20, was reported missing to the Des Moines Police Department on March 7, 1991.

Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Des Moines map Des Moines in Polk County

Ferris first disappeared from his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, on July 25, 1990. He told his family he needed the day off work to help a friend move.

His father later discovered a note from Ferris at the family’s home, in which his son apologized for any pain his disappearance may cause his loved ones. Ferris returned to Iowa one week later, apparently frightened.

Ferris underwent psychiatric treatment for the next six months. He also enrolled at Iowa State University.

Ferris was last seen by his family in February 1991. He was behaving abnormally, and Ferris’ father stated he seemed to be exhibiting manic behavior and was happy, which was unlike Ferris’ character at the time.

After telling his family he was going to the movies, Ferris disappeared. He apparently headed to Custer State Park in South Dakota. His family believes that Ferris elected to travel to that destination because he enjoyed Native American folklore.

Ferris was never heard from again, and was reported missing on March 7, 1991.

Officials have categorized Ferris’s case as “Endangered/Physical,” meaning a person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that his/her physical safety is in danger.

Information Needed

If you have any information concerning Ferris’ whereabouts, please contact the Des Moines Police Department at 515-283-4811.

Sources:

 

24 Responses to Matthew Ferris

  1. Lunn, Terri says:

    Concerning the above case for Matthew John Ferris.

    There is a case listed on the Doe Network that is of a man, matching Matt’s description who was found 6 months after Matt went missing. The interesting item which caught my eye was that the car they found of this young man’s was bought in North Dakota. His parents reported he had been in South Dakota. The age/height/weight are all possible matches and the hair/composite sketch seem to look alike.
    The case number is: The Doe Network:

    Case File 502UMAL

    1 2
    Reconstruction of Victim

    Unidentified White Male

    The victim was discovered on December 21, 1991 in Dekalb County, Alabama
    Estimated Time of Death: August 1991
    The man died from asphyxiation caused by hanging, which was ruled a suicide.
    Skeletal Remains

    Thought I would submit this possibility. Thanks for considering this and I hope it helps!

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Thank you, Terri, for making us aware of the similarities. I couldn’t help but notice them as well, and have submitted the information to the IA Dept. of Public Safety for review. Thank you for taking the time to alert us!

  2. Jenni says:

    Did anything ever come of this? I looked at the Doe Network case and agree there is a resemblance.

    • Pam says:

      I went to high school with Matt, the only thing about that doe case that doesn’t make sense is the weight they says was 180, I think it would be hard for Matt to gain that much weight in any amount of time especially a few months, he was always slender. I wonder how correct the weight of 180lbs was, did they just guess by looking at the skeletal remains?

    • Mandie says:

      I think they based it on the clothing size jeans 34

  3. what a terrible thing to never know what happened.

  4. Seemed like every couple of years a boy or young man would vanish in Des Moines.

  5. Tom Friendly says:

    Was Matt an avid book reader? Did he smoke cigarettes?

  6. I have no idea about the reading and smoking cigarettes, sorry

    As for the submission of the information to law enforcement, I never heard anything about this until I stumbled upon it here. I am curious. I wonder if I can call DMPD and ask where to ask about cold cases?

  7. I actually have found information that may be helpful, waiting for return call

  8. Atom Budd says:

    Did your information help? I can’t find any newspaper articles on him.

  9. Ann says:

    I wonder if anyone has looked into this: a public records search lists a Matthew Ferris in Idaho, age 45. Idaho courts online lists a case from 1998-1999 regarding a fish & wildlife charge against a Matthew J. Ferris, born in 1972. This would fit with someone traveling to and from state parks and perhaps illegally fishing or killing wildlife as a food source.
    https://www.idcourts.us/repository/caseHistory.do?schema=LEMHI&county=Lemhi&roaDetail=yes&partySequence=6259&displayName=Ferris%2C+Matthew+J

  10. Pam Heintzleman says:

    C:\Users\froggzzz\Pictures\Picasa\Collages\Movies-001.jpg The 1972 would not make sense as he will be 45 in November of this year,. but what you are saying could be true… I emailed this photo (not sure if it wil post) to the DMPD and did not get any reply.

  11. I never even got a reply.. here are the photos side by side though

  12. Pam Heintzleman says:

    It says that there is a new comment but I do not see it

  13. I will pray this young man is found safe. God please be with this young man. I also pray for the family and friends. .amen!

  14. Jodi Frye says:

    Oh gawsh thats sad. I try to read these each day and say a little prayer. Cant imagine how hard this is on a family.

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