BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A teen honor student vanished from Baltimore 23 days ago.
Mary Bubala reports Baltimore City Police say they are satisfied Phylicia Barnes’ case is finally getting the attention it deserves from the national media.
In their quest to find Barnes, 17, Baltimore City Police urged network and cable newscasts to put her story on days after she vanished in December. Most did not, until police pointed out what appeared to be a bias in missing persons cases that get national exposure.
“This is Baltimore’s Natalee Holloway case,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.
Holloway is the Alabama teen whose disappearance in Aruba became a cable news sensation.
The director of public affairs for Baltimore City Police told WJZ he was upset Phylicia’s case was being ignored by the national media.
“I see what’s captivating the headlines are birds falling out of the sky in Arkansas, fish coming up dead in the harbor. There were a couple of high-profile missing people cases, and I kept saying, ‘What about Phylicia? Where’s Phylicia? We need help,'” said Guglielmi.
Guglielmi says he is now satisfied that Barnes’ disappearance has gotten the attention it deserves. New leads have been generated nationwide.
Barnes — who is from North Carolina — was visiting her sister when she disappeared from an apartment behind Reisterstown Road Plaza.
Police now hope they’ll get the break they’ve been waiting for.
“If something terrible did happen, it’s very difficult for someone to act alone. Usually they tell a family member, a girlfriend, a friend and we are asking those people to come forward. This has totally destroyed the lives of Phylicia’s mom and dad,” said Guglielmi.
Police are following up now on more than a dozen leads from out-of-state in the wake of the Phylicia Barnes case getting national exposure.