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By Mary Bubala

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Ten days have passed since 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes vanished without a trace from Northwest Baltimore.

Mary Bubala talked to her father.

He issued a plea you will only see on WJZ Eyewitness News.

“We just want you to please just release her, just let her go,” said her father Russell Barnes.

In six days, Phylicia Barnes will turn 17.

Her father says marking Phylicia’s birthday without her will be unbearable.

“It’s grueling to me, definitely. But to the people that really reared her, it’s really even much grueling. I’m missing her. I miss her. It’s indescribable,” he said.

Mary Bubala: “What do you have to say to the person who may have taken Phylicia or may know where she is?”

Russell Barnes: “Please return our child. She has such a bright spirit.”

Phylicia was last seen at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2010. She sent a text message to her sister about getting food.

The 16-year-old honor student from North Carolina was in Baltimore staying with her 27-year-old sister for holiday break.

Mary Bubala: “What do you think happened to Phylicia?”

Russell Barnes: “I really do not know what happened, but we know that she would not just leave.”

Baltimore City Police say they have people of interest in Phylicia’s disappearance, and they have searched 11 different locations based on tips.

Mary Bubala: “Do you believe Phylicia is still alive?”

Russell Barnes: “Oh, yes. Yes. I have no inklings. My faith is positive. Nothing negative.”

Mary Bubala: “She’s a smart, smart girl. She’s resilient based on how you described her. How do you think she’s coping with this situation she may be in?”

Russell Barnes: “She’s strong. I believe, I feel in my heart and mind, she’s strong and she knows we are looking for her.”

Russell Barnes says he is grateful to the Baltimore Police Department for its efforts so far in trying to find his daughter.

Police have established a tip line for information on Phylicia Barnes’ whereabouts. If you know anything, you can call 1-855-223-0033.

Comments (39)
  1. KELL says:


    1. Niya TakinOva Scott says:

      thank u very much i loved her as a big sister and i would love to see her home with her family ( tears) and i mean that from my heart

    2. Nikki says: (please check this video out if you Support Phylicia Barnes Investigation) We have to find her!!!

  2. Tracey Reitterer says:

    Have police checked MD pawn shops for Phylicia’s jewerly? If whomever abducted her was in need of $, that may have been one of the first things they did. And maybe it would be a good idea to give that info to the media in case they tried to sell it to a friend, person on the street, or given it to a girlfriend, etc.

  3. Suzanne Elzey says:

    I have a son Phylicia’s age and I know the put wrenching feeling I get when I can’t find him, even for a short period of time. NOT KNOWING where your child is or if they are dead or alive or scared or in pain is the most torturous feeling in the world.

    Whoever took Phylicia – you have a mother. You would not want to put this kind of pain on her – don’t do this to Phylicia’s parents. No matter what the situation is right now, end the torture for her parents. Even with some kind of anonymous tip that will lead authorities to her.

    I wonder – if EVERY single person in the viewing area were to take 20 minutes and search the property the own or are currently on – chances are good we might be able to find her. Don’t just assume that she wouldn’t be there – take the time and look! YOU NEVER KNOW! Let’s work together to find her! No child deserves this! And yes – 16 is STILL a child!!

  4. Amanda Trigg says:

    My prayers are with Phylicia and her family and I pray that she is returned home where she belongs. I can’t even imagine what her family must be going through, but I pray with all of my heart that she is safe and well. God Bless

  5. brelyn says:

    I pray for the safe return for Phylicia to her family. I pray that she will be in good health and that her family can help her get her life back on track. May the people that are involved in bringing this type of devastation to her family get ther just reward.

  6. zelda says:

    i hop that phyicia is ok i no that her mom and dad is sick. if it was my child i be sick to.

  7. MAF says:

    I agree Pam…it is just not the churches but we need the police to provide the resources for the search on a big scale to be executed. We need to come together and show support and bring this thing to closure. m

  8. TAMMY says:


  9. taebee says:

    Who is to say that it was even Phylicia that sent the text to her sister saying that she was getting food… could’ve been the person who took her sending that just to throw everything off, cause it doesn’t make sense that Phylicia would send that and then leave without taking any money. To me it seems that someone close to her really knows more than they are saying and is trying to hide it…..whoever is responsible has got to be feeling some kind of way seeing this pop up everywhere. Just let her go….I really pray for her safe return. Then there is another young lady that went missing in Baltimore the same day but no coverage on that at all!

    1. Linda Brice says:

      did another young lady go missing in baltimore the same day

    2. PRAY says:

      “Who is to say that it was even Phylicia that sent the text to her sister saying that she was getting food” I THOUGHT THE SAME DAM THING! LOTS IS BEEN COVER BUT THRUE GOD GRACE ALL WILL BE REVEAL.

    3. Dionne says:

      I think the same thing. I don’t think at all she sent that text. It really sounds fishy to me and I hope this young bright child is alive and well. I hate to think about all the headlines it takes up when white kids go missing and then an african american goes missing and I am just now finding out about it today because of the absent flooding news coverage. I have 3 daughters and I could not imagine not knowing where anyone of them were. I went through it once when my daughter was 15 she disappeared all day and I was storming the streets in the pouring rain crying looking at bushes and houses thinking she could be anywhere. She made it home that night because she decided it would be ok for her to go to her school game and not mention it to me. The fear, the misery, the not knowing made me about to faint. I would never want any mother to go through that. Please come home to a safe return Phylicia.

    4. scooby doo says:

      thats the first thing i thought of! that she did not send that text! it’s going to be one of the guys that spent a lot of time in that apt- that knows exactly whats happened to this sweet innocent child!

  10. Nichelle Taylor says:

    My prayers go out to the family and i wish her a safe return. ill keep my eyes and ears out for you!
    Love always

  11. pamela baskerville says:

    My prayers go out to the family and i pray for her safe return hold on to Faith In Christ Jesus.

  12. A Mom says:

    I really thing police should check out the sister’s boyfriend.. From what I have read he was the last one to see her alive. i know its not legal,but why not give the people of interest a lie detector test. If they have nothing to hide they will take it. I am a mother of a 17 year old son, and I do not know what I would do if he was missing. My prayers are with the family, and I hope God brings her home safe.

    1. Rae Kirby says:

      Lie Detector results are legal and are admissable in Court in 20 States, including Federal Court. I think that those with whom she was staying know more than what they are letting on in regards to her whereabouts or possible location.

      Regardless, I hope that she is found soon and is safe and unharmed. I also hope that whoever did this gets caught and is forced to go through the same degree of torture and tourment that they are putting those who love and care about Phylicia through.

      Please, click “share” and send this link, or even just her picture, to the people that you have e-mail addresses for. Get her face out there – all over the country – someone, somewhere has got to know where she is!!!

  13. chrissy says:

    Pam-Seriously? This is a black and white thing? How freakin annoying! Always have to pull that damn race card dont you? From what I have read more than a usual amount of people are looking for this girl. Dont make it a racial issue.

  14. elizabeth says:

    I have lived in baltimore all my life. And know how bad it is in the city. But also have so much faith she is okay and pray for her and her fam. God bless her

  15. danielle says:

    i agree the sister knows more than what s he is telling this is your sister for god sakes what is she trying to protect someone girl you better start talking you cant get away from come a dime a dozen this is your sister

  16. Yasmiin says:

    I just hope she is found safe and sound and returned to her family. However; I do feel that someone that was in that home at the time is responsible. My prayers are with this family at this time. As a mother of a young child who was once missing for 18mos. (He was less than a year old); I can feel their pain. God blessed us and he was returned to us. I am praying the same outcome for this child. Now is not the time for pointing fingers, but to extend our prayers to God for this child’s safe return. In the end justice will be done.

  17. LYNN says:

    I believe the sister is hiding something to and ifs she’s protecting her boyfriend then her ass need to go to jail for life right along with him It’s no way in hell I would’ve let my sister go anywhere by herself knowing she wasn’t familiar with Baltimore. Lock the boyfriend and sister up with whatever freaking charges until this young lady is found.

    May GOD bless the mother and father of Phylicia. Please bring her back to her family safe and sound.

  18. Fran says:

    I watch the new everyday to find out if there is any news. I think of her as if it was my own child, I pray to god that this story has a happy ending and she is returned to her family alive and well..

  19. Tiara says:

    Everytime I see the sister on the news I’m immediately disgusted, she’s hiding something and for her to leave Phylicia alone is her excuse to say “I wasn’t there I was unaware” it’s sickening what people think of to do to others like God isn’t watching. When I see the sister she’s never looking upset, in pain, burden, or even regretful. Like seriously your on national television people see you and sense you’re guilty. I’m going to keep praying and praying and hope for a safe return. And shame on those who’s using Phylicia as a way to hurt or get back at someone.

  20. anna says:

    I think her stupid sister is hiding something to protect her man…Why would you let a young pretty southern girl walk around a city at night knowing she is not used to city life? I wouldn’t let anyone walk around like that…Something is not right and I hate when women protect bad men..I bet they know something. Regardless I keep praying for her safe return,

  21. Melissa Taylor says:

    im thinking nuffing but postive for this fam an there daughter she will return safe an sound i think they should give everyone that seen her that day a lie detector test if already wasnt given ..

  22. lynn says:

    I have never watched the news as much as I do now hoping for some good news that this young lady has been found. I’m praying that she is returned to her family soon. For the sister you need to speak up.

  23. Jackie Boyer says:

    i agree the sister is hidin somethin n so is the boyfriend dont let thm get away from the boyer family in delaware

  24. Jackie Boyer says:

    my heart goes out 2 the family im prayin 4 her safe return but her sister n ex boyfriend should b locked up they no more then wat they sayin im sorry that the family has 2 go through this pain shes a beautiful girl n dont give up on her this is from the boyers in delaware may god bless the family n we wont stop prayin until shes home

  25. Debra says:


    I just hope that the Baltimore Police are doing everything possible in searching for Phylicia. I feel more confident in the FBI. There are some things that I find whether puzzling in this case. The mother has said on CNN that it’s not like her daughter to put her clothes on just to take a nap on the couch. That’s not her behavior. Believe me a loving and caring mother knows her child. Also why did it take the mother to call the half sister to learn that her daughter was missing? Why did the half-sister not call right away to inform the mother that Phylicia was missing? I hope that the FBI are pulling up both the half-sister and boyfriends cell phone records for that day? It’s not hard to do when there is a investigation. I also hope that they are interviewing neighbors and the rental office about complaints received or any unusual activity with this half-sister and the goings on in her place. I read somewhere that marijuana was used in the apt. If so, the rental office should know. In my apt. bldg when it was alleged that one of our neighbors was using marijuana in their apt. the neighbors complained and the rental office said that if they find out someone is doing something illegal they will be evicted immediately by the Sheriff’s dept. I hope the authorities have requested a list of every single person (Male and or Female) that had access to the apt. and that the half-sister knows. Also they should speak with the half-sister’s employer. Supposedly she was working at the time her sister was missing or went out. I can only assume that the police and FBI have asked the necessary questions. I would watch the half-sister and boyfriend very carefully. Something is not right there.

    Lastly, I prey for Phylicia and her mother and classmates in North Carolina. This should have never happened. I’ve taken an interest in this story because Phylicia reminds me of myself at that age (smart, good student, attractive, and looking forward to going to college). I left home in the early 80’s from Michigan to go to Howard Univ. in DC. for a college degree and career. I live in the Baltimore County area. My parents were nervous at first to send me away to college but they knew I would be okay and that’s what I wanted. I did okay. Please bring Phylicia home.

  26. Shae says:

    Praying that this child will be found dead or alive, but hopefully alive!

  27. NC Mom says:

    This whole thing is a BOTCHED UP MESS!!! I am a mother of 2 teens 18, 19 years old and I would never agree to an arrangement like this. Not pointing finger at the mother, but you have to admit it sounds flaky.

    1st: why would u encourage your child to “reach out” to step siblings without confirmation from the father? Why couldn’t they reach out to her??? I wish she had invited the half sister to NC if it was so important they meet.

    2nd: you talking to this girl who you never met over the phone without investigating the environment where your children will be staying?

    3rd: you were surprised to learn that your daughter was allowed to have alcohol with men running in and out of the house? Excuse me but shouldn’t the rules have been covered during your conversation or did you just assume this young woman was responsible? And how did you find this out, was it AFTER the fact? who told you?

    Lastly: Where is the mother now? I would be camped OUT all up in and around that city. You can’t rely on the police. And some heads would be rolling!!!

    Next, the alleged half sister: I guess you forgot to mention that you were obviously having domestic problems, but yet you’re planning to have house guests?

    And the boyfriend who last seen her alive: Why are you the last to see her alive? Where was everybody else???

    I heard something about she was going to get a haircut. Are you kidding me? She’s not even from there! Who came up with that one?…and with no money? Please!

    Such a shame. This poor girl!!!

  28. Mattie Qualls says:

    I have two daughters and this just breaks my heart..I can’t imagine them coming up missing..I will be praying that she is found and the truth come out..My prayers go out to her family….

  29. ANNIE says:


  30. Mary D. says:

    I am obsessed about this child. I have lost sleepless nites. I would love to tell her parents we here in Dallas, TX is praying daily for to be found and that God will continue to give you peace. My God what does it take to get the media attention to this missing child. God Bless the Barnes Family. We will not give up stay strong in the Lord.

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