BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Relatives held a memorial in Baltimore for a North Carolina teen whose body was found in a Maryland river months after she went missing while visiting family. 

Weijia Jiang reports the memorial for Phylicia Barnes was held Saturday at Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries in Baltimore. 

Detectives reminded loved ones they are still aggressively looking for whoever took this young life away.

Hundreds celebrated the life of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes at a memorial service Saturday morning.

Last weekend, Barnes’ funeral was held in Georgia, and before that there were several vigils to say goodbye.

“I can’t express how special she is. I’m not going to use the word ‘was’ because she’s still special,” said Janice Sallis, Barnes’ mother.

When they were planning the memorial, Barnes’ siblings said they wanted to pick a place big enough to accommodate the large crowd they were anticipating. Loved ones flew in from across the country to attend.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, even though it didn’t turn out the way that any of us wanted to,” said Kelly Barnes, sister.

“It is often a slow and tedious process, but they spend hours and hours looking at what someone might consider minutiae, but could be very important in triggering a significant lead,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.

The 16-year-old from Monroe, N.C., went missing Dec. 28.  In April, workers at the Conowingo Dam spotted her body in the Susquehanna River, an hour’s drive from the Baltimore apartment where she was last seen. 

Authorities are investigating Barnes’ death as a homicide, but have not released the cause of her death.

Comments (38)
  1. just me says:

    Such a shame that in 2011 there is still so much ignorance. I pray that God has mercy on your pitiful soul. R.I.P. Phylicia Barnes!

  2. C says:

    Note: The comments that the person made have been removed and we are thankful. They were sad. Bottom line we are thankful that something like a memorial will be made and it will be looked after and taken care of with love. The kind of love that people showed when trying to locate her and comfort her family afterwards and now !!!

    1. truthteller says:

      no ones comments should be removed just because others may be offended. what the hell is happening to america?

    2. truthteller says:

      if there were a memorial made for evere child murdered in baltimore , the sad truth is , we would run out of space.

  3. RodneyTony Dorsey says:

    Although I didn’t ms.barnes personally,but,her missing and death has had a profounded affect upon me.

  4. delores perry says:

    people always has something bad to say about everything what you mean your black people man get a life in may god bless your soul williejoie

  5. John Kenney says:

    To the Barnes family, God will take care of it, and remember that anything that is under his control is NEVER out of control

  6. Enough already says:

    How many times do we need to say good bye to this younge lady, yes it’s sad and yes it’s tragic but she’s not the only murdered person in Baltimore, could we please move on.

    1. Newsdiva75 says:

      Perhaps when it is your family to sit in the front row of a funeral home or church we will say the same thing. That your loved one isn’t the only one murdered in Baltimore, could we please move on. Just remember that ok (rolling my eyes)??

  7. Kendy says:

    My deepest condolences to Phylicia Barnes’ family and close friends. I am saddened by the tragedy and I’m thankful that she was found so the healing process can begin. Giant hugs and best wishes to you all.

  8. TooMuchHateToday says:

    It shouldn’t matter the race the point is a young girl was killed. There is enough hate in this world to be worried about the color of someone. Not taking sides because I am an educated white female with a wonderful Black Soldier as my husband with a handsome mixed child. Judging by color isn’t right. If you want to look at the past how many black serial killers do u here about around here the dc sniper…ok well there are a lot more white serial killers. both races need to pay attention to their childrens where abouts and stop looking at everyone elses flaws. Alll that should matter is this child didn’t live because someone took her life. In God’s eyes she is a child of no color because he doesnt see color only love for all of his children. I pray for all of those with hatred and racism in their heart. How would you feel if someone randomly chose to kill your child? It could happen to anyone. God bless you all.

    1. truthteller says:

      just because you made a tragic mistake of going to bed with someone outside your race ,dont try to make it sound acceptable,TO MOST PEOPLEyour parents and grand parents must really be proud of you, or let me guess ,you had no family, still dosent make it acceptable,discracefull to your own race.

      1. Odalis says:

        Disgraceful? You’re disgraceful to HUMANITY! Race does not reveal anything about a person. Your action and your words, however, will. Clearly your words reveal that you’re an ignorant, belligerent person. Truth teller? I think not. Guess what race I am? Oh wait, DOESN’T MATTER!! R.I.P Phylicia Barnes

  9. MAF says:

    WJZ.. please start screening the comments that people are posting. I am white and tired of the negative comments that are being made toward a particular race. It is so ignorant. To those of you who have chosen to follow this tragic story about this beautiful girl, if you choose to take the time to post your comment fine, but please show you have some class with educated thoughts instead of stereotyping.

    1. D. Bos. says:

      Why is it that CBS BALTIMORE/WJZ let hateful posts stay on this page?? I think I know the answer but they’d probably delete it!! But do you know that On my Facebook Group, black and white people, there has never been one racial or hated post in the 6 or 7 months that i’ve been on FB… Why is it so widespread here!!!

      1. Danielle says:

        Unfortunately, even though they are mean, hateful and ignorant they are a persons opinion. We may not agree but their opinion is protected by our wonderful constitution and it’s ammendments.

    2. truthteller says:

      maf,you say you are white ,lets see……. you and your teenage girlfriends went to a party and got high and or drunk ,so you slept with a black dude and you and the rest of your white family havent been racist since ,or did they disown you?YOU SHOULD BE ASHMED TO POST.

    3. Newsdiva75 says:

      As a black woman I thank you for your comments and you are 1000% correct!!

  10. T.M. says:

    saddest story in my entire life as a Dad.

  11. MAF says:

    Sheriff….I am not a least bit upset of your distasteful comment. You are making a total ass out of yourself. Go find a site that calls for idiots like you. This is open for comments to share about this beautiful girl whose life was cut short and the focus now is for the police to seek justice on behalf of Phylicia. Your screen name does not fit with your character. I have a better screen name for you….ASS—-!

  12. kell says:

    i think sheriff should be band from this site or committ suicide , the comments that he often leaves here are sooo ignorant . the world be be a much a better place if you were no longer in it and to think this young girl lost her life they should have took you instead suck that.

  13. Questionable Jenn says:

    Just a question..I am still puzzled at all the media, FBI,Billboards,Guardian angels, this missing person case recieved. What differs from any other missing person report. I mean for the mator and the governor to speak out,Who in that family has rankings??!

  14. Danielle says:

    First I would like to express my condolences to her family. May her light and love stay with you forever. No one deserves to leave this earth the way that she did. It is even harder to cope with after you did the majority of the work looking for her. We all know the police were not much help. Dont get me wrong, there are good and hard working police out there. Unfortunately, 1 or 2 per precinct is just not going to cover it. It is also nice to see that her first name is finally spelled right. After reading the comments I am convinced DaRedneckKing has got to be the editor and proofreader for this site. We are not your homies on the corner, speak english please. Just some advice, ebonics in the real world does nothing but make you sound ignorant and uneducated,

  15. MAF says:

    Thanks WJZ for eliminating the comments that were made by the “sheriff”. This case is so tragic and I hope the police are closer to finding the person/people responsible. We don’t need inappropriate comments from people who are really not interested in this tragic story, the sheriff was only interested in stirring up negative attention for himself.

  16. truthteller says:

    i agree ,there are children killed everyday in baltimore,that havent received the media attention this girl has. someone in her family must work for the media, or someone has alot of money.celebs that pass dont get this much media there no murders in baltimore since this girl? ,guess not.

  17. georgeanna says:

    People of all races must unite and instead of worrying about somebodys skin color, worry about righting the wrongs in this country, especially how the Federal Goverment is taking constantly from the needy and not caring about all of our people who need the things they are denied. Instead of cutting programs that help us, they should be getting their priorities straight. We are all children of God and hating a person for skin color makes as much sense as hating a person who has a big nose.
    This dear lady is with God and I pray for justice and comfort for her loved ones,

  18. MAF says:

    Truthteller….you are so wrong. You think you know everything about me. I am a retired social worker who worked with children all my life in Baltimore. My family taught us to be kind and loving to everyone regardless of the person’s ethnic background and or race. For your info., which is none of your business, I did not marry outside of my race or dated anyone outside of my race. I have nothing against interracial marriages and or relationships. You are just as stupid as the sheriff and comments do need to be screened when people are using derogatory comments about any race. Comments should be made about this beautiful girl who was killed tragically while visiting from North Carolina. This is not a site to talk about your views on race or anything else. You are without a doubt a racist, why are you expressing yourself on a site about a child who lost her life in such a tragic way? I am glad I don’t know you and you should be ashamed to post. By the way, your spelling and grammar shows just how dumb you really are.

    1. truthteller says:

      who are you MAF ? the blog police ?go get a hobby, go to as a social worker i guess you told kids,its ok to sleep outside of your race when you get old enough and start a new race.your pathetic lady.

  19. sarita miles says:

    i agree with u deeply sheriff truthteller is a ass!!!

  20. sarita miles says:

    this is for questinoable jenn don’t question gods work and im glad phylica is geting the coverage that she so well deserve!!!!!!!

  21. sarita miles says:

    this is for truthteller and sheriff you both are idiots you both have no feellings at all. You both need to respect PHYLICA BARNS and pray to god that neither one of you go through this.

  22. sarita miles says:

    sheriff i mad mistake in post 19 u are just as much ass as truthteller and you both don’t known nothing you’ll don’t know up frm down right or left because if you’ll did you’ll woundn’t say the things you’ll say!!!!! I HOPE GOD TRUELY TOUCHES BOTH OF YOU’LLS HEART!!!!!!

  23. MAF says:

    Sarita….I am with you 100%. Truthteller and Sheriff are both idiots. Questionable Jenn,,,Phylicia deserved the media attention because she came to Baltimore to visit her family from North Carolina. She disappeared with out a trace and the police did not rule out the possibility that she was abducted. That is why the media put so much attention to this case in an effort to locate her.

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