BALTIMORE (WJZ)–There are new leads and renewed hope in the search for missing teenager Phylicia Barnes. It’s been almost two weeks since anyone has seen the straight-A student. 

Adam May reports that no one’s giving up.

On Sunday, there was an emotional prayer service held for missing teenager Phylicia Barnes.

Her father Russell Barnes was surrounded by hundreds offering hope at Brown’s Baptist.

“I’m not ever gonna stop until I find my child,” he said.

The 16-year-old North Carolina resident vanished Dec. 28, while visiting her relatives in Baltimore.

Numerous searches, such as one on Sunday near Catonsville, have left investigators empty-handed, but with a new focus on Patapsco State Park.

“Through the investigative process, information has been developed, and Maryland Natural Resources Police are conducting this search at the request of the Baltimore Police Department,” said Sgt. Arthur Windemuth.

Officials will not elaborate. But as they continue to follow leads, the Barnes family, friends and concerned strangers are turning to a higher power.

“The faith community is using the greatest weapon we have, and that’s the power of prayer,” said Rev. R. Lee Johnson.

“This is the work of the devil, so we know we want the devil to release our child and bring her back to our family, and when I say our family I mean everyone, all the community,” said Russell Barnes.

WJZ is going to stay on top of this case. As soon as there are any developments, we’ll let you know on TV and online.

Comments (21)
  1. Grandmom Barrett says:

    Thanks to everyone who is praying -searching and staying with us on the search for our precious Phylicia. Please keep the prayers and search on going we must not and can’t give up until she comes home to us. Phy;icia we love you abd want you back. To God be the Glory in all things.

  2. Jen says:

    My prayers are with the family. The above premonition is very sad, yet probably true, unfortunately.. Can you offer any deeper clues? I still pray since day 1 that she is found alive…..Nurse Jen

  3. YAzzle says:

    I pray to God that she is alive, but I agree that the boyfriend knows something. I don’t usually like to point the finger at the last person who saw a missing person, but come on now. EVerything pretty much points to HIM! PLEASE PLEASE BRING THIS GIRL HOME—ALIVE!

    1. Melissa Taylor says:

      i also agree with u yazzle i been saying it the whole time an so is everyone one i know i think they should do a farther investigating with the boyfriend an his friend an family lie detector tests u know …i pry fpr her safe return

  4. KELL says:


    1. Loving Nana and Mother of 2 says:

      What could someone have said that was so sick -peopele never cease to amaze me with their ignorance. I pray that they find and their hearts are filled w/joy and have closure to move on. Not sadness – I truly feel in my heart that these young lady is alive and been traded to someone for drugs by the step sister. She couldnt even look at camera or seem concerened through her own issues as you clearly saw. I think the sister needs to tell the truth and get this girl back home safe n sound to her mother and father. I can’t imagine for a moment how this family could be feeling let alone how frightened Phylicia is at this very moment not having anyone to come rescure her or anyway to communicate to at least hear the words “i’m okay……” somehow. God w/the entire family and mostly w/Phylicia and bring back home safely to the one’s who her love her so dear. I am extremely hopeful that when she does come home she can pick up the academic pieces and emotional part of her life and attend TSU – Baltimore would be proud to have a survivor such as her to represent any college. COME HOME PHYILICIA! Bad people who took just drop her on any street corner anywhere……on a dark road within reach of safety quickly….behind a shopping center or office building drop her anywhere within reach of safety you know it’s possible…..let her go and if you dont want to be caught do it discretely but bring her home she is frightened, emotionally scarred already – haven’t you done enough – let her go let her begin to heal and begin to put the pieces of her life and this terrible ordeal behind her! Please just release her safely – your soul still might have a chance! Then make a run for the border or something but don’t hurt her to free yourself!!!!! Let her go safely she is a good girl and has dreams, hopes, ambitions that hopefully you haven’t taken away from her emotionally!!!! Come home Phyilicia and don’t give up!

      1. mookie says:

        i totally agree. myself and so many other people think that …the sister and her boyfriend know what happened and where she is!!!!!

  5. leya norris says:

    she came to me in my dream just standing there i woke up cant sleep now hope she ok everybody in my prayers

  6. Nana says:

    everytime I go anywhere I look at everyone hoping to see this pretty girl alive so I can help her get home!!!!! What can I do, been praying but feel as if I should be doing more. Will go look or put out pics whatever

  7. Janice says:

    My prayers are with the Barnes family that she is found alive.

    We all would like to keep our family members, young and old, wrapped in a security blanket to keep them safe. Unfortunately, society is filled with people who have no regard for others lives, and no respect for themselves or other human beings.

  8. lauren wilson says:

    My prayers are with Phyllicia and her family and friends. I am truly paying close attention when i am out in the street. Please be with her God.

  9. nikki says:

    Wow my prayers are still with y’all I been prayn for this family since the first day I read about her! I dnt kno her or the family but I am a prayn young woman n God fearing so in my eyes we are family! And I will cont to pray her mom n dads strength n the Lord n her safe return! Amen

  10. lanae says:

    To the family,fast and pray. Ppl always blame God for the bad things that happen in life but only the devil is responsible for those things. May God be with her and her family.

  11. Anny Jacoby says:

    Keeping Phylicia, family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. May you feel God’s loving embrace as He wrap His arms around guiding and protecting you on your journey. Take care and STAY SAFE!

  12. Loving Mother says:

    All Mothers
    I dont understand how her father could of let this young child stay with his daughter and her boyfriend who hosted alcohol and drug parties while in her care. As parents we know the lives our children live and if we don’t its our responsibility to find out before we place a child in their care. For the half sister and boyfriend her blodd is on your hands.Thats your punishment for life. My heart goes out to her mother and God Bless Phylicia.

  13. Maria Marino says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family! I hope you find her soon!

  14. Towanna says:

    I pray that this young lady is found soon. I can’t imagine what the family is going thru. God is able to do all things. Don’t give up hope, no matter how it looks.