BILLINGS — On Oct. 5 in Trumann, Arkansas, a police officer approached a Dodge Durango parked in a parking lot with the passenger door open. Sitting in the passenger seat was 33-year-old Katie Ferguson of Cody and that body camera footage from the police officer is now the last known time she was seen.
“I started crying because I think that was the last time she was seen alive,” Ferguson's older sister, Nicole Ferguson, said on Tuesday. “My mom thought she looked scared, but honestly, I think she looked like, she didn’t look good. I think she looked like she maybe, just was tired.”
The body camera footage shows the officer approaching the vehicle that Ferguson, her boyfriend Adam Aviles Jr., 26, and their two kids were occupying. The officer tells the couple he stopped because the vehicle looked "suspicious." He asks for identification and Aviles asks if Arkansas is an ID state. One of their children can be heard crying in the background.
“I think she looked worn out and you know with Everly crying in the background, you know Adam's like ‘be quiet’ and he was kind of just a jerk,” Nicole said.
The family of Ferguson said that while watching the footage, it was hard to not think of the what-ifs.
“I can’t help but think if the police officer looked more into what was happening there, she (Ferguson) would still be with us,” Ferguson's stepmom Angela Ferguson said. “We want to keep the momentum going so the search doesn’t ever stop until she’s found.”
Ferguson was first reported missing to Cody police on Nov. 2, but her family fears something happened to her long before then. According to Nicole, Aviles was pulled over in Texas on Oct. 9, and Ferguson was not with him.
The nonprofit in Texas, Solve the Case, was started by a detective who wanted to be able to help more people around the U.S. The body cam footage surfaced because the president of the nonprofit, Aaron Benzick, filed a public records request for it. He said the video shows helpful information, such as what Ferguson was wearing, her jewelry and details on the vehicle.
“So, we know something between Oct. 5 and then Oct. 9 in Texas when a stop happens and this projectile-like defect in the door is found and Katie’s not found in the vehicle,” Benzick said.
That defect, according to Ferguson's family, was a bullet hole covered with duct tape.
Aviles was arrested in Wyoming on unrelated charges. The family said they are expecting to hear from police about the DNA results from the blood found in the Dodge Durango.
“I think closure would help the healing process so much,” Nicole said.