BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 16-year-old is still missing. Phylicia Barnes was last seen exactly one week ago in Northwest Baltimore. The FBI has joined the search for her, and now, her mother is revealing some troubling information.
Mike Hellgren reports Phylicia’s mother now says some bad behavior was going on in the house hours before her daughter went missing.
Phylicia’s mother is not only heartbroken, but also livid at one of Phylicia’s sisters, who she says didn’t do enough to keep her safe.
Phylicia Barnes is an “A” student from North Carolina. She was in Baltimore visiting family for the holidays when she disappeared a week ago.
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.
Phylicia Barnes missed her flight home, never updated Facebook, and while she took her cell phone, it hasn’t been used.
Sallis says she just found out that her 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 — more than a dozen of them — 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.
Sallis said her daughter was uneasy around one of the men.
“She’s a country girl. She doesn’t know anything about hard city life,” said Sallis.
Baltimore City Police say they are worried about what happened to her.
“I have to tell you that we have very serious concerns now into several days,” said Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld.
“She would’ve used her cell phone at least once and that hasn’t been the case,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police spokesperson.
Baltimore City Police have served a search warrant at the apartment of the missing teen’s sister on Eberle Drive in Northwest Baltimore. It’s not clear what they were looking for. They still do not have any suspects or even a person of interest yet.
City Police have two teams of detectives searching for Barnes. They have used dogs and their chopper. They’ve also sent text messages to 25,000 people in Baltimore and are pressing the national media for attention. The FBI is also now part of the search for the missing teen.
“We need people who know something, people who’ve seen something, people who think they know something, to get in touch with the police department,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
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.
Police have scheduled a Tuesday afternoon news conference to discuss the case.