N.C. Teen Remembered For Bright Smile, Passion

CONYERS, Ga. (WJZ)—A promising young student was murdered at just 16. But who killed her remains a mystery. Phylicia Simone Barnes was laid to rest in Georgia Saturday. 

Suzanne Collins has details about her funeral.

She was visiting Baltimore, planned to go to Towson University but disappeared. Phylicia Barnes’ body turned up last month in the Susquehanna River.

At a church in Conyers, Ga., her family, friends and schoolmates say goodbye to the murdered 16- year-old.

“This is a time where everybody needs everybody,” said the pastor.

The teenager’s family greets supporters. A video of Phylicia Barnes, a gifted and talented student, was played for those filling the church.

A teacher and school counselor spoke about Phylicia’s good nature, love for children and excitement about theatre.

“Simone was the type of student that would light up room with her smile or bubbling personality,” said her teacher Laurence Sullivan.

“Phylicia was one of those students who was highly motivated. She had clear goals and sought every opportunity for college search process,” said Chrissy Wright, school counselor.

The casket was wheeled from the church. Another young woman sang an uplifting tune.

A family member read a poem written by Phylicia’s mother—one as if the teenager herself is speaking from heaven above.

“If all you knew how much fun I’m having living with my father God, all of you would be glad. So please for me don’t cry. This is only a temporary goodbye,” the poem read.

Phylicia disappeared on Dec. 28 while visiting her sister’s apartment in Northwest Baltimore.

She was found near the Conowingo Dam and her death has been ruled a homicide.


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