Vigil Held For Missing Teen

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Eight weeks ago, Phylicia Barnes disappeared without a trace.  Friends and family begged for her safe return Tuesday night.

Andrea Fujii reports on the vigil held in Barnes’ honor.

Family and friends of Phylicia Barnes want the public and whoever is responsible for the 17-year-old’s disappearance to know they haven’t lost faith.

“Of course it’s been hard, especially with us not knowing where she is or any changes,” said her sister, Deena Barnes.

The search has continued now for eight weeks.  Police have found no sign of Barnes.  Her picture is everywhere.

“I was in Wal-Mart the other day and there was her picture, which is a good thing, but it also gets us down because we don’t know what’s going on,” said her sister, Kelly Barnes.

The North Carolina teen was visiting her Baltimore family for Christmas. She was last seen by her half-sister’s boyfriend on Dec. 28.  On Jan. 3, homicide detectives took over the case, suspecting foul play.  The next day, police searched Leakin Park on a bogus tip.

Community groups continue to walk the neighborhood. 

Jan. 12 was her 17th birthday.  Later that week, the family retained a private investigator to help.  On Jan. 20, an old well was drained on North Bend Road.  Nothing was found. 

Friends seen at the apartment were reinterviewed, including the boyfriend, Feb. 3.

Just last week, officers visited her friends in North Carolina.

“We were talking to associates and friends that Phylicia hung out with and that’s to corroborate information that we’ve gotten through interviews,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.

The Barnes family is happy with the city police investigation but want to keep her name out there.

“Whatever happened, we just want her back,” Deena Barnes said.

Once the weather improves, police plan another massive search in Baltimore to look for any signs of Barnes.

Thanks to donations, the reward for information leading to Phylicia Barnes is now up to $35,000.


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