Missing Wyoming mom case eerily similar to Gabby Petito story

Posted at 11:06 AM, November 27, 2023

CODY, Wyo. (Scripps News Billings / Court TV) — A family is fearing the worst for the 33-year-old mother of two who went missing somewhere along a trip from Alabama to Wyoming in October and believes her ex-boyfriend may have the answers they are seeking.

“I never in a million years thought he would do something to her, I didn’t. But now I think he did and I think it was really bad,” Katie’s sister Nicole Ferguson said. “I don’t think she’s alive. I really don’t.”

Adam Aviles, Jr and Katie Ferguson with one of their daughters

Adam Aviles, Jr and Katie Ferguson with one of their daughters. (Scripps News Billings)

Katie Ferguson, who was last seen by her family in October, was officially reported missing to Cody police on Nov. 2. Katie had relocated to Alabama with her two young daughters to live with their mother while she and Aviles Jr. were having problems, Nicole said.

Three months later, Katie asked Aviles to bring her and their four-year-old and eleven-month-old back to Wyoming.

“She was doing good in Alabama, and then I do think that was when the ex-boyfriend came up that maybe something happened,” Nicole said.

Katie, Aviles and their young daughters started driving back to Wyoming in early October, but only three of them made it back. According to the family, Katie was last seen in Trumann, Arkansas around Oct. 5 and was not in the vehicle on Oct. 9 when Aviles was pulled over in Texas.

According to Nicole, she saw Aviles in Cody on Halloween but did not speak to him. On Nov. 4, the vehicle Aviles drove from Alabama to Cody was found in the Oregon Basin area near Cody. Just two days later, Nicole watched as police searched the vehicle at the police station. Investigators told the family there was a large quantity of dried blood found inside. The family later found out from a newspaper article that multiple bullet holes were found in the passenger seat door.

Katie Ferguson

Katie Ferguson (Scripps News Billings)

“It all points in a very tragic direction, and so it’s hard. It’s hard to hear the rumors, to hear what might have happened to her. It’s just unfathomable,” said Katie’s stepmother, Angela Ferguson. “It’s devastating. It’s the most tragic, awful thing.”

Aviles was arrested on Nov. 8 for charges of possession of a controlled substance, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and a previous warrant.

Nicole said the family is now waiting to hear back from investigators on the DNA results from the blood found in the vehicle.

“I just really hope he, Adam, will talk and just really say what happened,” Nicole said. “I love her and I don’t want to be negative but I don’t think she’s coming home, but I at least want her to be found.”

The family has set up accounts at Big Horn Federal Bank and U.S. Bank under the Katie Ferguson Memorial Fund to go towards any searches or memorials in the near future.


This story was originally published by Scripps News Billings, an E.W. Scripps Company.