Police Suspect Foul Play In Missing Teen Case

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police say they are starting from scratch in their search for 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes.

Mike Schuh explains the new efforts being used in the search.

Officers, the FBI and an academy class hit the streets again.  It’s the ninth day in the search for Barnes.

“It’s extremely unique and extremely rare and we’re doing everything in our power to make sure we bring Phylicia home alive,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.

“I have not slept.  My whole family, from Atlanta to New York to Baltimore, everyone who knows me, has not slept.  People are crying all over this country,” said Phylicia’s father, Russell Barnes.

Volunteers are stepping in.  Twelve Baltimore-area motorcycle clubs are getting together to pass out flyers in Northwest Baltimore in order to help police get the word out.

“Right now, our main concern is to bring her home, so we want to get the information out to everyone,” said volunteer Shawna Prior.

And a message for whomever is responsible.

“Whatever happened, whatever went wrong, come clean with it.  Just let her go.  That’s all we want is her safe return,” said volunteer Vikki Carter.

The FBI used heat sensors on its helicopters to check dumpsters around Reisterstown Plaza.

Detectives believe the most likely theory is abduction.

“We have nothing to suggest that Phylicia Barnes is off on her own free will in some other part of the country,” said Major Terrence McLarney.

“She loved her sisters and her family in Baltimore very much,” Russell Barnes said.  “She was excited every time they talked.  We even had countdowns when she was coming to Baltimore.”

Police will go into the neighborhood Thursday, walking the streets, handing out flyers and talking to neighbors.  They set up a special tipline just for information on this case.  If you know anything about Barnes’ disappearance, please call 855-223-0033.

More from Mike Schuh
  • David

    Christain Churches thru out Maryland need have 48 hrs pray for wisdom of police deptment to find this young lady alive and comfort and encourage this mom and family at this time. Stop judge them only Lord is judge. Those who without sin throw first stone. We all sinner who you judge. There power thru pray only Lord bring child home alive. Put you eyes on JesusChrist.

    • amanodomini

      god and pray is no use now,evil has no mercy,plus why do so many people,all ways ask god something,when things go bad,me i deal with live ups,and downs,as they come,plus when you do that,you make your self special

      • DAVID

        our God is mercyful God. He want good for his child. Satan doesnt. He come to steal ,kill and destroyed.

  • nik

    Best post i seen David god bless you.

    • David

      Thanks God bless to.

  • NCDreamin

    I agree that David’s post is one of the best i’ve seen. And it’s true. Keeping our eyes on Jesus Christ. We’re continuing to pray, faithfully and earnestly for her safe return home to her family.

  • Tatum Moss

    My prayers are with the family.

  • Cassandra

    Good idea, God do miracles and if we ever need one it’s now….Let’s all fast and pray for her safe return….Family, my prayers are with you.

    Cassandra W.

  • delvecko

    This is the Worst I’ve seen in years this a BAD Image on Baltimore City Who wants to visit here and have fun NO BODY My Family won’t come hear to visit! thats BAD! The State Of Washington Murder Rate per yr is 31, Now smal as this city is the MURDER Rate 279 ,278.ect. Gangs we have to look that direction.The baltimore city police will find who and who did what BELEiVE THAT! Gangs.

  • police31

    The gangs we need to look forward in this kind of activity young people comming out of town a party Girls in gangs hating on other people, the boy friend the whole none yards, she near by, she,s somewhere close,whom ever posted she,s in leakin park that was to throw the police off from the original search to where she really is check vacant house,s check back yards .



  • annette

    She might be held as a sex slave to pay off a drug debt of the boyfriend of her sister. Look at known drug houses and get street cred people to inform to police. I would be stopping every known drug user, dealer in the area to question what they know. I agree with police31 look at vacant homes, apartments empty lots and industrial areas which are vacant. She wants to come home. The heat was on them thats why they tried to throw the police off the track. Check places and people you already checked thats the place you will find her. God bless and please bring her where she wants to be…home.

  • Katrice

    My heart goes out to this family…Please don’t stop looking for gods flower we need to plant more like her. I am a mother of 2 boys and I just want to let her mom know that I pray eberyday and night that Physiclia will have a safe return home.

  • Katrice

    sorry meant everyday…typo

  • A. Jones

    My heart is with the mom & dad. I can’t stop thinking about this. You send your child to visit a relative and this happens. Why do Baltimore always have to be viewed as the worst place to live. I continue to believe she is very close to that area. Patterson & Wabash is a dead end. A very wooded area and most of the time the victims are found very close to home. I pray that she’s found alive. She’s so beautiful and sound like she’s the daughter every parent wish for. I only have one daughter and it’s stories like this that will only cause me to keep her very close to home. I am sorry but this is what we have to do to keep our children safe. I been down this road. My oldest son when he was around fourteen would go over his friend house and i didn’t do my homework. Only to my surprise they would drink and smoke marijuana. I found out when they brought him home unable to stand up. So I must visit know mothers, fathers, sisters brothers. Hell I want to meet the whole family. I just pray this baby is found alive and well. God I Pray. Really hitting home…………………

  • T. Jones

    Come on Baltimore! Lets show this family we care. You are in our prayers
    from my family to yours. Offer a reward, money talks!

  • MAF

    The police wants the community to help. So far an eyewitness has not surfaced. Why can’t the Police Dept. call for a massive search and recruit volunteers from the community. It we can get an organized search party going and that includes calling Tim Miller, I think it is better than nothing. Also, it might put some pressure on the suspects who might have Phylicia or who know her wherabouts.

  • macnmome

    Why hasn’t the search extended into neighboring cities i.e.: DC, VA, DE? Why isn’t there a national alert for her? This is about some BS. I mean she has been gone for 8 days. I believe they turned every rock in b-more time to extend outward. I pray for her return everyday.

    • Jen Riley

      that’s what i said the first day she went missing. no amber alert on the key bridge sign. my post was deleted by the media. i wrote” since she is not a blonde hair blue eyed, white girl, she isn’t being advertised and i’m right…………it’s only now that the media is making big, b/c they don’t want to get called down for it. a couple of posts up, sounds real suspicious, are you sure you don’t know anything?

  • guyfrombaltimore

    I’d like to know why that dingbat Nancy Grace hasn’t made this national headline news yet..



  • christian crime solver

    always look at the last pearson to be with the victim detain the boyfriend as long as leagally possible and sweat him this will bring some results (my prayers are with the family as they will need this whatever the outcome prayer is the answer to all evil)

  • Jen Riley


  • TRJ

    why hasn’t this been on Nancy Grace? she”s been gone for 9 days, doesn”t that make it national news. Act like Linsay Lohan has been arrested.

  • LadyA

    So… am I the only one find this fishy? A 16 year old girl from NC goes missing after reportedly going out to get food ALONE in a strange city. Days later, the FBI and an entire academy class are in on the search. Her mom’s comments suggest that she is in fact alive and maybe was taken for ransom, etc. Yet, the police are searching dumpsters. I am pretty sure the police and the media know more than they are reporting. I understand the need to protect the victims by not putting all the info out there but if that’s the case, don’t say anything. They are all over the place with this story and the little bit they do report could negatively impact the search.

  • Mary

    Jen…I don’t know if it was my comment that alarmed you but let me put you at ease, okay. I am retired social worker and worked with kids in foster care in Baltimore City. I am concerned about the well being of this child and also I am concerned that the Police and the Mayor’s office did little on this case from the beginning. I have sent my concern to City Hall. I think a massive search with national media coverage would make the suspect(s) nervous because I am sure they would have never anticipated such a community concern. Remember the suspect(s) are idiots.

    • Jen Riley

      I WAS REFERRING TO annette’s comments. a bit suspect, but again, i guess anything at this point would be. i’m not trying to bring the race card into this but i feel the girl was neglected from the get go. This wasn’t made a big deal and i thinking any missing child is a big deal……….. thanks Mary.

  • matt

    i agree with you jen about annette’s comments they do sound really suspicious why would you post something like that if you didnt know something but again im not the type to point fingers blame somebody or judge them so anything thats said would sound really suspicious and about the amber alert i agree there should be an amber alert for this girl shes been missing what 8 days now ? and it should go national and i agree start searching in dc va and de but also there should be a amber alert for every missing child it doesnt matter what the race is there should be a amber alert

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