Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s one year ago exactly since 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes disappeared. Her family continues to search for answers.
Monique Griego has the latest on the investigation.
“We just want this person brought to justice.”
Russell Barnes is desperate to find his daughter’s, Phylicia Barnes, killer.
“Right now, this is really a hard time for my family at this hour, because it was 365 days ago around this time that we were calling and crying and couldn’t understand where Phylicia was at,” Barnes said.
One year ago, the teenager and honor student from North Carolina disappeared while visiting her sister in Northwest Baltimore.
Investigators found her body naked in the Susquehanna River in Harford County, but have made no arrests.
“A lot of people were not coming out telling the truth,” Russell Barnes said. “My family has been there since Dec. 28, stomping up and down, looking for answers, looking for Phylicia.”
The case gained national attention and unprecedented resources from Baltimore City Police: almost the entire homicide unit was working it.
State and city police detectives came out Wednesday night to support the family as they make progress in the investigation.
“No one in either police department has forgotten this case. We are still hoping that people with information come forward,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.
Brian Williams, whose mother lives in the building where Phylicia Barnes was last seen alive, remembers the exhaustive searches.
“It was a lot of attention everyday, all day and all night,” he explained.
Police say they found no evidence of foul play where she disappeared.
State police have since taken over the case and tell WJZ they’re making progress, re-interviewing family and friends, conducting forensic examinations and reviewing evidence.
“It’s not a cold case, it’s an active case, and we do not need it to go cold,” Russell Barnes said.
On this anniversary, at Phylicia Barnes’ high school in North Carolina, classmates dedicated a garden in her honor.
“It made my heart sing because they really cared enough about her to do something like that,” said her mother, Janice Sallis-Mustafa. “But it bleeds because it reminds me of the tragedy all over again.”
She’s gone, but far from forgotten. And someone knows what happened.
“I know God’s going to take care of everything,” Russell Barnes said. “He already knows who this person is. We just want the truth.”
A reward is still being offered for information leading to an arrest in Phylicia Barnes’ murder.
Phylicia Barnes planned to attend Towson University. Her family plans to announce a fund for scholarships in her honor.
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