Tigard Police Department Public Information Officer Kelsey Anderson confirmed that on the afternoon of Saturday, January 8, 2022, Jesse McFerran’s body was found in Tigard, not far from where he was last seen in October 2021. There were no signs of foul play. Anderson told Dateline, “Our hearts go out to his family, as we know they have been waiting a while for answers.”
Jesse’s wife, Victoria Ward, posted the update on Facebook, saying, “I don’t know what else to say. Melanie Lowe (my step-sons Mother) and myself will be working together on ways to honor his life and involve his community. We will notify everyone on our next steps when it’s been decided… this is so hard… I’m so sorry, Jesse… .”
For the past six weeks, loved ones and clients of Jesse McFerran, a 38-year-old father of three and tattoo shop owner in northwest Oregon who went missing in October, have been desperately trying to find him.
But they’ve found no trace of Jesse and are growing increasingly concerned for his well-being.
“He just vanished without a trace,” his wife Victoria Ward told Dateline, breaking down in tears. “I don’t know how a person disappears like this. But we have no updates, no answers, nothing.”
The Lafayette, Oregon resident who owns the Fancy Rabbit Art Collective tattoo shop in McMinnville, was last seen in the early morning hours of October 23, 2021, Victoria told Dateline.
She explained that just a couple of weeks before he went missing, they had decided to take some time apart because their marriage had been struggling. Together for five years and married for three - their anniversary would have been celebrated on December 1 of this year. They share a 2-year-old son and Jesse is stepfather of Victoria’s 6-year-old daughter and a father to an 8-year-old he shares with his previous partner.
“No matter what struggles we had, he has always been the most amazing father to those kids,” Victoria told Dateline. “He loves them all so much and would do anything for them.”
During Jesse and Victoria’s separation in October, they each spent time away from their home in Lafayette, Oregon. Jesse often stayed with friends in the area of Tigard, Oregon, which is where he was last seen when he disappeared.
Victoria told Dateline that on the night of October 22, Jesse had spent the night with friends in Tigard, but was gone before they woke up the next morning. She later discovered through his friends and his cell phone records that he had contacted another close friend to meet up so he could grab some stuff he had left in his vehicle. They met up around 4:30 a.m. and Jesse collected his things, told his friend not to follow him and left on foot.
“He was in a bad mental state so I’m just worried about what might have happened to him,” Victoria said. “I don’t know that he’s even with us anymore. But if that’s the case then where is he? We should have found him by now.”
About an hour after he was last seen, Jesse sent out a text to the mother of his oldest son, which Victoria tells Dateline is the last time his cell phone was active, according to phone records. She added that she knows he has cash, but there has been no activity on his bank account or social media accounts since he disappeared. His vehicle also remains unused at their home in Lafayette.
Victoria filed a missing persons report with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office on October 25. Captain Christopher Ray told Dateline that Jesse’s case is “actively being worked” but that they “won’t be releasing any additional information at this time.” He encouraged anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office.
In the days and weeks following Jesse’s disappearance, his family, friends, even his clients from the tattoo shop have gathered to search the woods in the area where he was last seen, nearby neighborhoods, shelters and hospitals. But there was no sign from him.
“Jesse is the kind of person who stands out,” Victoria explained. “Not only with his physical appearance, and being all tatted up, but he just loves to be seen. He loves to be social and he’ll always find someone to talk to.”
There have been reported sightings of Jesse in recent weeks, including a sighting by one of his clients in Washington County on Boones Ferry Road between Tonka and Warm Springs streets, but none have been confirmed to be him.
Victoria, along with other family members and close friends, created a Facebook group “Finding Jesse McFerran” to post recent updates. She said that a new search is planned to be held within the next week, but details have not yet been finalized.
“I feel like I’m doing everything I can to find him, but there are still no updates, and no Jesse,” she said. “We just need him back. His kids need him back.”
Jesse is described as being 6’4” and weighs 180 lbs. He has brown eyes, has a shaved head, has a nose ring on each nostril and is heavily tattooed. A distinctive feature is a bird tattoo on his left cheek.
Anyone with information on Jesse’s whereabouts is asked to call the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office (503) 434-7506 or (503) 434-6500. His case number is 21-3397.