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Community Holds 2 New Searches For Missing N.C. Teen

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missing teen, North Carolina, Barnes
Hellgren Mike 370x278 (2) Mike Hellgren
WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP)—Two new searches have begun for missing honor student Phylicia Barnes.

Mike Hellgren explains what prompted these new efforts.

They’ve been in the works for some time.  Police want to keep this case in the public eye, but it’s growing colder. They’re asking the volunteers to meet them near Reisterstown Road Plaza on Saturday morning.

The two searches will last until sundown. Police hope to crack one of the highest-profile missing person’s cases in Baltimore history.

How did 17-year-old Phylicia Simone Barnes–a promising high school student visiting her sister in Northwest Baltimore–seemingly vanish?

“I wish that I would be in her place, and she would be in my place,” said Janice Sallis, victim’s mother. 

Police want volunteers for one search—canvassing the area around the Reisterstown Square apartments and Reisterstown Road Plaza, where Barnes was staying. A community is still on edge.

“Truthfully, I think it’s crazy for it to happen in this area,” said Jaron Hansley, neighbor.

“It’s just very sad, and I’m glad that they’re still looking,” said another neighbor.

“I do wonder about her, though, and I hope she’s still alive,” said Porsche Dyer, neighbor.

A second search will canvass a wooded area police are keeping secret.

Police say they picked the spot because of information they gleaned from a person of interest.

It’s a place they’ve searched before. More than 200 cops will do it again.

A criminal justice class taught by former police commissioner Leonard Hamm is helping in the volunteer search, along with several churches.

“As a father, I would want to know that somebody’s helping today and is anxious to help on this,” said Bishop Walter Thomas, New Psalmist Baptist Church. “So when the call came, there was no second thought.  Let’s get involved.”

Barnes disappeared Dec. 28.

“I hope that God sees me worthy enough to lead me, to give me the insight to where she’s at,” Sallis said.

Volunteers will knock on doors, distribute flyers and hopefully help solve this case.

WJZ will continue to follow this case and will let you know as soon as Barnes is found.

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