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Police To Lead Massive Search For Phylicia Barnes This Weekend

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Phylicia Barnes
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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There are new details emerging in the search for missing teen Phylicia Barnes.

Mike Hellgren reports police are going to be doing two different large-scale searches this weekend. 

They will lead one at an undisclosed location with help from the FBI and other police agencies.  The other one is where Phylicia vanished and they need the public’s help with that.

Three months ago, teen honor student Phylicia Barnes disappeared from her sister’s apartment in Northwest Baltimore.

“I feel in my heart and mind that she’s strong, and she knows we’re looking for her,” said Russell Barnes, Phylicia’s father.

Police just announced they are planning a massive search with more than 200 officers from around Maryland and the FBI at an undisclosed wooded area this weekend for any signs that could lead them to her.

“Through our investigation, we identified this as an area of interest. It was associated with one of the people of interest we talked to, one of the 30 individuals that last saw Phylicia. This location was identified as a location we needed to search,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.

Police are also looking for volunteers to help them canvas the area around Reisterstown Road Plaza. That’s where Barnes was last seen alive and where people are still on edge.

“I got a sister that’s 17-years-old.  That hit home definitely,” said Shaniqua Moore, who lives near where Barnes was last seen.

“We are putting tremendous resources behind this effort. We’re going to have roughly 200 members of the community canvassing, going door-to-door, putting fliers on cars, trying to generate as much intelligence as possible so that we can properly investigate the case,” said Guglielmi. “We know there are people out there who know more than they’ve possibly shared with police. We’re asking those individuals, if you know anything about the case, please come forward.”

Barnes was visiting from North Carolina when she went missing. Police suspect foul play is involved.

Despite nationwide publicity, involvement of top elected officials, numerous interviews and dozens of search warrants, police are no closer to finding Barnes now than they were the day she vanished, seemingly without a trace.

“That homicide squad that started this case is still actively working this case,” said Guglielmi. “Our resources expand and contract based on intelligence and the needs of the investigation.”

Tips are beginning to dwindle. Only five have been called in to the dedicated hotline in the past two months.

“I miss her…it’s indescribable,” said Russell Barnes. “Please return our child. She has such a bright spirit.  We know that she would just not leave.”

Police will be putting out information on the search on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Several rewards are being offered for information in this case.  There is still a tip line at 855-223-0033 that’s staffed 24-7.

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