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Classmates Of Missing N.C. Teen Raise Reward Money

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Phylicia Barnes’ devastated mother pleads for her daughter’s safe return on the one-month anniversary of her disappearance.

Mike Hellgren has the revealing new interview and a major new reward being offered in the case.

Phylicia Barnes vanished from Baltimore one month ago. Now there’s a new $25,000 reward.

“It’s priceless,” said her mother Janice Sallis. “There are no words to express my appreciation.” 

Phylicia’s mom praised her daughter’s classmates for raising the money and spoke about the investigation.

“The Baltimore police, they keep in contact with me to let me know they’re still out there diligently looking,” Sallis said. “However, there are still dead ends.”

Phylicia was visiting–staying with her half-sister at an apartment behind Reisterstown Road Plaza — when she disappeared. 

“My family and I, we’ve been to Baltimore.  We did a lot of searching in bad neighborhoods–drug-infested neighborhoods, neighborhoods where they said where young girls are turned out,” Sallis said.

Her mom says communication with that side of the family was cut off after what she told police about bad behavior at the apartment.

“She said, ‘I only allowed her to drink one time, and it was vodka to let her open up and talk with me,’ and my thought was ‘You had to get her drunk to get her to open up with you?’”  Sallis said. “She said, she only took two puffs of marijuana.  So she opened up, and she confided, and that’s where I got the information–from her half-sister.” 

TV and newspapers in Phylicia’s hometown report the half sister’s boyfriend—the last person to see her alive—has now hired a lawyer. Police say they have no suspects.

“Everywhere we went, it still turned out to be a dead end—just like now,” Sallis said.

Investigators have found no physical evidence.

“We’re in full throttle,” said Anthony Gugliemi, Baltimore police spokesman. “We have the FBI, homicide, Maryland State Police, all of our partners that were here from day one will continue to be here. When asked this morning, the head of homicide said we will keep up at this pace as long as we have to.”

Police do believe foul play is involved in Phylicia’s disappearance. There’s no trace of the honor student whose friends are devastated.

“It really hit the heart because it’s someone you know and you love, and you never think it would happen to you until it does,” said Tori Brown, classmate.

“I love her, and I’m praying for her, and I just want her to come home,” said classmate Jeniete Tims.

WJZ promises to keep following this case and will let you know as soon as Phylicia is found.

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