By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two months ago, Baltimore Police began the most intense missing person’s search in their history.  But they say they’re at square one, with no sign of missing honor student Phylicia Barnes.

Mike Hellgren has new insight from the head of homicide.

All the searches, the dozens of tips and hundreds of hours of investigation—none of it has turned up any sign of Barnes.

“I can’t tell you that we can keep this up forever.  We simply can’t,” said Major Terry McLarney.

McLarney, the head of homicide division, says he’s frustrated.  The department has an entire squad solely dedicated to finding Barnes.  She disappeared while visiting her sister’s apartment behind Reisterstown Road Plaza and was last seen the Tuesday after Christmas.

“We’re hoping, we just keep pressing and pushing and pressing and pushing and something will pop,” McLarney said.

Tips have come in from as far away as Washington state, but they’ve all led nowhere.

The deafening silence has alarmed those who love her and those who live near the apartments where she vanished.

“I have a sister that age.  That hit home, definitely.  She’s 17; she’s still a baby,” said neighbor Shaniqua Moore.

Ben Thomas was so moved he came to Baltimore from North Carolina, where his daughter goes to high school with Barnes, to personally search.

“I felt people who know the situation should be out of their comfort zone so that’s why I went to Baltimore,” he said.

Police have interviewed some 20 people—the last ones to see her alive—and believe someone’s not revealing all they know.

“There’s always somebody who knows something and there are a lot of different motivations for not telling the police,” McLarney said.  “The lack of anything is telling us she’s been taken far away; we always start from square one.”

They plan to conduct several new searches in March.

Investigators want anyone with information to call their 24-hour tipline at 1-855-223-0033.  The reward is $35,000.

Comments (25)
  1. Charlotte says:

    I watch a lot of this kind of case on tv. Why can’t police search the nearby apartments? . Maybe one of the residents have a dungeon, a basement or a torture chamber. You really never know what kind of neighbors the people have. I pray that they find the girl. I can just imagine what the parents are going through right now. I have a 17 year old and everyday I pray to God to keep her safe.

    1. derrickman says:

      Charlotte, You have been watching too much T.V. Your brain is pickled.

    2. T says:

      The police can’t just randomly search homes w/out a search warrant, and to get one the police need justification.

  2. WhySoSerious says:

    What’s so bad is that 1 or more of those ninjas did something to that girl and the police knows this but can’t force them to talk.. Turn their sorry az’ over to the Taliban, they’ll get answers for you!! SERIOUSLY, turn them over to the Taliban..

  3. 5hrhfhnfhdjdhftetetwg says:

    Most likely shes in the basement of some White guy in that neighborhood being raped & tortured on video. Black folks too sloppy with their crimes, you know some White guy is involved if it took this long.

    Somebody took Ghettogaggers a little too serious and need to play with a young negro girl as a sex toy.

    1. Robin says:

      You are an ass! I am reporting your comment as unappropriate. For your information, there are no “white guys” in that neighborhood you moron.

    2. still white still care says:

      Why did you make this a race thing?Is she in your basement?people like you keep the race war alive and well.

  4. Michele says:

    My heart goes out to this family, but I have too say I would hall of the People who were in and out of the apt , take them all to jail and starve the hell out of them, someone will squeel that is for sure. I also believe her sister was probably so far into drugs that she owes someone money and what better way to get back at someone. Her sister knows more then she wants everyone to know. So does the sister’s ex boyfriend.

  5. Lynn says:

    I have been following this story from the beginning. Can’t believe this child has not been found. I am just wondering if the authorities have checked all the surveillance cameras and videos within a 5-10 radius of where she was last seen. I can’t believe that not one of the many cameras in the Reisterstown Plaza area and within in 5- 10 mile radius in all directions provided any clues to what happend to this girl.

    A few years ago a gas station owner in Baltimore county was murdered right after he opened in the morning right as morning rush was beginning(basically broad daylight). The authorities pulled surveillance and security video from every place imaginable within a certain radius of the area during the time frame the crime ocurred. The pulled video from business, loading docs, office buildings, ATM machines, red light cameras, lobbies, etc. Basically, any place where a camera existed. In less than 5 days they had found not one, but, all six of the indiividuals involved in the murder, including his wife. In the plaza area there a number of government offices as well that should be outfitted with video, as well as a number of ATMs, and small business. Perhaps this has been done already, but, just putting it out there if not.

    Before closing the case, I would also bring in a registered psychic or clairvoyant who has a verified hit recordwith the feds and/or other states on missing persons cases. Sounds a bit far fetch, but, if it were my child, I would go to the ends of the earth and the pits of hell and beyond to find her.

    My prayers continue for the mother/father and family of this beautiful younger girl.

    1. ratm33 says:

      Im sure the police thought of all that and have allready done it. I do agree with you though when you say if it was your child. I would not stop until I was dead or I found her if she were my child. I would do anything including breaking the law myself.

  6. Willie man hanging says:

    Turn the case over to the FBI. I know they only get involved if there is across state lines action but who’s to say she isn’t buried in some landfill in Pa., Va?

  7. james the smart one says:

    i think that her sister knows what happend and she not saying

  8. james the smart one says:

    i think her sister knows what happen and she not saying they need to look at her

    1. robert10inch says:

      James,…..Smart people don’t repeat themselves twice.

  9. taking a crack says:

    $20 says the bf of her sister knows.. Last i remember is she left and then the sister bf and his friend left the place and there was a party there or some kind of get together. Probably someone hit on her and wasn’t pleased that she said no. I agree with pulling cameras because i bet she is on several camera before disappearing.

    I’d also say check in 5 -10 miles of that place and then start checking a landfill, bc that is most likely where she is. Probably dumped her body in a dumpster and then put stuff on top of it. That gets dumped in a truck and there you go. Also, i would check the sewer system with all the new crime shows out there, a body decomposes faster in the sewer then it does in a landfill. A body can be weeks old and look like its been decomposed for months after putting it a the sewer water for a few weeks.

    I would hope she’s alive but its been weeks and no sign or word from her. She is most likely dead. The bf knows where she is and it be best if cell phone records were traced and find out who was calling who from that party and when.

  10. whatnow says:

    Wow, I bet the police never thought to check cameras. Someone in that crowd will get arrested for something else and roll on the guilty party. In the meantime, the mother suffers because of “no snitching”! Great culture. Just great.

  11. Tay says:

    My question is have anyone tried consulting a forensic psychic to sit and interview the ex-boyfriend, half sister, and father? Or even used one of Phylicia’s articles of clothing or the couch she was “sleeping” on to find a clue, a location, or read body language? I think that at this point in the investigation, the police should not count out any viable source that could possibly bring this girl home. So my suggestion is to get a forensic psychic or a professional body language reader to interview the ex-boyfriend, half sister, and father, or conduct a lie detector test.

  12. a mother of 2 teenagers says:

    Have you checked Leakin Park again now that the snow is gone? I have been following this story from the beginning, and I still think the sister and her ex boyfriend still have some to do with this child’s disappearance. I know it is illegal to give a lie detector test, but if they have nothing to hide they will take one

  13. Anonymous says:

    All Of Yall Need To Sdee !!!!

  14. michele says:

    But the point is, is that SHE IS SOMEONE”S Daughter, sister, etc. Stop with the race thing it can happened to anyone.

  15. LLJ says:

    This is a real tradgedy. I’ve read all of the comments and some things are better left unsaid. Alot of ignorance is really being shown. The heart of the matter is this young lady still goes missing and if her sister really cared for her as she is probably claiming, she would let the police know something that can put the parent’s minds to rest. God bless to all of those who has anything but a nice word to say.

  16. agape says:

    this is a sad, sad case. It also seems like someone on this blog knows something. makes you kinda wonder!! Where is the love of family? Why couldn’t the sister take better care of her loved one. Why don’t you even act like you care? I’ve listened to the sisters on the radio show and I swear they aint got an ounce of compassion in them. What comes over the radio is a dull-lifeless response. Makes you kinda wonder…huh?

  17. sheniesha says:

    im fom south carolina ive only been here 2yrs why isnt the police making people take the polygraph

  18. Lynda Knight says:

    I also have been watching this case and somebody does know sonething. People dont just disapear on their own. My heart goes out to the family and I pray they find her alive.I cant imagin the parents going to sleep at night not knowing where their child is. I also think her sister knows more than is being said. I would hope not ,but … I just hope the search goes on until they find her. So the family can have some kind of peace wheter it be good or bad news. Closure is needed.