Family Marks Phylicia Barnes’ 17th Birthday

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Phylicia Barnes turned 17 Wednesday, but she will not get to celebrate with friends or family.  It has been two weeks since she disappeared without a trace.

Weijia Jiang explains no one is giving up hope.

Vibrant, beautiful, straight A student Phylicia Barnes would be celebrating her 17th birthday Wednesday with friends and family…if they knew where she was.  The teenager from North Carolina vanished at the end of December during a trip to visit her sister, who lives in an apartment complex behind Reisterstown Plaza.

“Every morning, I cry.  Every evening, I cry.  We have not…I have not slept.  My whole family from Atlanta to New York, Baltimore…people are crying all across this country,” said her father, Russell Barnes.

Barnes’ story spread quickly after a national media blitz.  On Facebook, hundreds posted birthday wishes, along with countless prayers that answers will surface.

Authorities launched a near unprecedented search for Barnes, passing out 4,000 fliers in the Baltimore area.  K-9s, dive teams, specialized FBI detectives and even an entire police academy class scoured Leakin Park, but nothing turned up.

Barnes’ mom says the sister told her there was drinking, pot smoking and several men in and out of the apartment and that she always suspected foul play.

“God gave her that life and no one had the right to take it from her, if that is the case,” said Janice Sallis.

Police served a warrant at seven locations.  They’re also re-interviewing family members.

Meanwhile, Russell Barnes made a plea for help.

“I miss her.  It’s indescribable.  It’s like a bad dream,” he said.

Baltimore police have yet to make a break in the case.  They say she may have been abducted and taken out of Maryland.


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