BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Sixteen-year-old Phylicia Barnes has been missing for a week and now the FBI is involved in the desperate search to find her.

Kelly McPherson went into the apartment where the girl was last seen.

More than 100 officers combed through Leakin Park Tuesday based on a tip that they thought would lead to Phylicia.  Instead, police say they’re nearing a dead end.

City police have been searching for Barnes since she disappeared from her sister’s Northwest Baltimore apartment last week.  Tuesday, there was a big announcement: police were checking Leakin Park.  But by the evening, it seems the tip posted on the Baltimore Sun’s website was merely a suggestion.  Later, the same poster wrote that she was suggesting that address because dozens of bodies have been discovered there, not because she knew anything.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said over the phone that the poster should be “ashamed.”

“Every single lead that we get, whether it’s through the media or the public directly, we’re going to do everything we can to try to find Ms. Barnes,” Guglielmi said.

Family members would not go on camera but Phylicia’s father says that he personally spoke with Commissioner Fred Bealefeld and that he and his daughter Deena spent more than 18 hours with detectives going over the last few days of Phylicia’s time in Baltimore.

Police have executed seven search and seizure warrants at homes of people who interacted with the teen.  That list consists of 20 people who were in and out of the sister’s apartment.  Right now, they are being re-interviewed.

All along, Barnes’ family has said they think she was going to get food, when she suddenly stopped answering her cell phone.

“I feel that she is being sexually assaulted against her will. I feel that she is being physically abused. I feel that she could be a part of the human trafficking,” said Barnes’ mother, Janice Sallis.

Sallis says she just found out that Phylicia Barnes’ sister created a bad environment for Barnes at her apartment, where she was staying.

Sallis says there was not only lots of alcohol and marijuana, but also men coming in and out of the apartment.

“You allowed her to drink. And you drank vodka with her. You’re 28 and she’s 16-years-old. And then I find out that you’re allowing her to smoke marijuana,” said Sallis.

At Barnes’ high school in Monroe, N.C., counselors have been brought in.  Friends have made purple ribbons in her honor.

“So we can remember and keep hope,” said one friend.

Police are talking to many people, including the sister’s boyfriend, who was one of the last to see her.

The FBI is going to help with its technology, such as checking to see if Phylicia was on Facebook at any point over the past week without posting.

Comments (26)
  1. JAYE LYNN says:


    1. E'Lexis says:

      I Also Believe so . I Said The Exact same thing Thats My Bestfriend Cousin Never meet her but i love My Bestfriend family they are good to each other.

  2. D. Bos says:

    If something has happened to this young lady, everybody who had something to do with it should get life or death penalty….. But hopefully she is safe..

  3. Sheila Allen says:

    It sad to even think that her sister had something to do with this childs dissapearance,and to give her alcohol and drugs thats just sick.

    1. Wednesday says:

      Why is it sick? She’s 16! I’m sure it wasn’t pushed on her. All 16 year olds drink and even smoke weed, it’s not a big deal. I think people are so stupid these days everything in moderation is fine it’s not like she gave her crack or something. Ugh get over it

  4. Bridget Wilson says:

    Sis was probably jealous of the life her younger sister had and was going to have. Jealousy is an ugly thing. Cops need to really look into the boyfriends history, as well as his associates and the sisters. I’m sure there is more than meets the eye going on there…God knows and will avenge!

  5. Latice Keys says:

    My deepest prayers is with everyone involved and I pray for answers and healing very soon.

  6. VJS says:

    I know the sisterand know she would do anyting to find Phylicia. She would not put her in harms way. Stop jumping to conclusion just because something is reported by the media.

    1. AJF says:

      I’m with ya!!!!

  7. AJF says:

    WOW… I am really amazed at how easy the media can put out a story and people read into it like its the GOSPEL truth… That’s actually kinda scary. But anyway, I know Phylicia’s sister and I can honestly say that 75% of what the media put out is just not true.. First off, if you’ve been paying attention to all the news reports, none of them have even been consistent.. I have actually been present when reporters have asked family members certain questions and I heard the responses they’ve given, only later to watch the news and hear the story reported TOTALLY incorrect… I’m only saying that to say before you place judgement on anybody, KNOW what your talking about…
    Phylicia’s mother is very upset and that should be understood; she is mad, she is hurt, she is scared, she is everything that a mother should be if thier child is missing. But her blaming people won’t resolve this situation, it only takes away from what is really important.. Finding Phylicia. That’s what the media needs to focus on as well.. Getting the story correct so people can truly assist in the investigation, not in the gossip..

    1. chlo says:

      Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been so upset about the way they make D seem I couldn’t even find the words to say! I hope & pray everyone focuses on Phylicia right now and worry about the GOSSIP another time!

    2. CMJ says:

      Thank you so much for posting what you did. I am also a family friend and was so appalled by ppl attacking D like they know her just because of some speculation by the media and some out of line comments by the mom. The focus should always be on finding Phylicia and getting her home to her loved ones. My continued prayers for everyone close to this matter and my continued love to her family.

  8. katrina Jones says:

    My prayers goes out to the family.

  9. JCJ says:

    We know how the media be at tmes they could care less abut the truth…It is about a story. Furthermore, who are we to Pass Judgement? We are not God and it is so easy to place blame or pass judgement when it is not your situation. I know someone in the family and this is a devistating situation…WE NEED TO PRAY!!! HOW ABOUT THAT!!! Instead of placing blame we should be praying for all involved that is what is needed at this time. GOD KNOWS ALL AND SEES ALL! The truth will prevail!!!

  10. kell says:

    i pray for everyone all the family and friends i pray for this city i pray that she is found no matter the outcome shes a child shes somones loved one and far as the mother i’m sure shes hurt and hurt turns to anger and right now shes mad @the world and has every right to be she cant fine her baby because of some idiot.

  11. MICHELLE says:


  12. Leigh Ann says:

    Yes the media said it so it MUST be true…please let the investigators do their jobs without the armchair CSI agents.

  13. carolannedwards2008 says:

    I say check everybody,the person is usually the last person you would suspect…

  14. Mary says:

    I agree Michelle. I am sure the police is looking deeper into his background including any criminal history if any. The police did confirm that there were evidence of marijuana in the apartment. Whether it is misinformation or not, we don’t know. To the people or person involved in her disappearance, you will be caught. Why not turn yourself in. I agree mom is upset but rightfully so. That is her child.

  15. MAF says:

    I saw Phylicia’s myspace page and noticed she posted a comment on 12/28 but the comment only read, “visiting sis in b-more. There was not a time included in that posting and nothing from the post that she was upset or in danger. It was upsetting to read it only thinking to myself she had no idea what was to become of her.

  16. sarita says:

    My heart hurts for the family and for miss barnes i pray that they find her no one should have to go though this much pain

  17. sarita says:

    i can feel the mother’s hurt it tears to my eyes thinking about what the family is going though

  18. Demetrius says:

    Honestly…I don’t want to hear any foolishness about passing judgments and what the truth is and what the media reports. The bottom line truth is this here people…there was a child left in the care of an adult and this adult allowed a child from out of town roam the streets of NW Baltimore, unsupervised? To get food? Did I mention Baltimore City? If my memory serves me correct, stray dogs have been tortured and murdered in the streets of Baltimore (NW Baltimore to be exact). This Deena person is 28 and should know better. So you can say what you want, the mother has every right in the world to blame this low life of a woman for being careless with her child’s life.

  19. annynomous says:

    trace her damn cell phone calls,,like hello damn yall are intelligent

  20. Sandra Howell says:

    I pray that they find her soon.

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