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Search Still On For Missing N.C. Teen

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–The search is still on. Despite some promising leads, investigators have not been able to find 17-year-old Phylicia Barnes.

Gigi Barnett explains that police are not giving up.

It has been an around-the-clock search for Phylicia Barnes. The teen went missing from her sister’s apartment near Reisterstown Road Plaza late last month.

Since then, Baltimore city detectives have searched by air, with flyers, and even called in national media help.

Tips keep pouring in.

“We’re going to follow-up on every lead,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police spokesperson.

Then late Thursday night, a possible break—one of three dozen tips led police to a house in Southwest Baltimore near the county line. There officers drained an abandoned sewer well, looking for Phylicia.

Nothing turned up.

Public safety expert Rob Weinhold says until the girl is found, a roller coaster of emotions will continue for her family and detectives.

“The issue of resiliency is very important in this investigation,” Weinhold said.  “The reason it’s important is because detectives are humans, just like relatives, just like acquaintances of the young woman, and so they have to pace themselves.”

Detectives have received hundreds of leads in the case. Weinhold says the more, the better. But he says too many poor tips will stall the search.

“The more quickly the credible lead can be determined and ultimately followed up, the greater likelihood of having a favorable outcome,” Weinhold said.

Police are leaving nothing unturned. They also looked into Phylicia’s past.  They say they could not find anything in her past that would indicate any questionable or criminal activity.

Phylicia was visiting from North Carolina when she went missing. Detectives do not believe she ran away.

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