WINDSOR MILL, Md. (WJZ)—A family looking for answers. Phylicia Barnes’ relatives speak for the first time since her body was found in the Susquehanna River.
Weijia Jiang just talked to the grieving family.
Phylicia Barnes’ older sister and brother said that they had faith she would come back alive. But they say when they heard about the body in the Conowingo Dam, something in their gut told them it could be their little sister. And now they are desperate to find out how she got there.
“When I first heard that it was her, my mind skipped from ‘My sister is dead’ to ‘What’s the next step? What are we going to do as a family? How are we going to handle this?’” said Bryan Barnes, Phylicia’s older brother.
The high school honor student from North Carolina was visiting her family in Baltimore over the winter holidays. She vanished four months ago, prompting an unprecedented search.
On Wednesday, Barnes’ body washed up naked along with that of a man. Police used dental records to confirm it was, indeed, the missing teen.
Though they know where Phylicia Barnes ended up, the family faces a new challenge: finding out how. They’re making an emotional plea for help to anyone who may know.
“Just really come forward,” Bryan Barnes said. “It’s been too long. Now that we know where she is, it kind of helps. But now we gotta take it a step further and figure out why and who and to get that person behind bars as quick as possible.”
And right now, the family is planning a memorial service for sometime in early May. They are looking for a venue big enough. They say they expect thousands of people from across the country to attend.
Police pledge to find out what happened to Phylicia Barnes. At this time, they have not drawn a link between her body and the other body found in the river.