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Phylicia Barnes case: North Carolina girl still missing on 17th birthday

January 12, 2011 - 09:50 AM
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Phylicia Barnes is missing. Does anyone outside of Baltimore care?

Since Barnes went missing in late December, Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says, more than 100 law enforcement officers have been assigned to the case. Authorities have received about 30 credible tips, none from outside of Maryland. Barnes' case has been featured on CNN and NBC, according to an Examiner report, but Guglielmi says he's still not satisfied with the national coverage.

“I feel like we missed our golden window in trying to find her,” Guglielmi says. “Not that we don't appreciate the efforts, but it would have been great if we had gotten a little more exposure when this day was a day, two days fresh."

Guglielmi wonders what makes Barnes' search different from that for Natalee Ann Holloway, whose 2005 disappearance in Aruba caused a media firestorm? And how is this case different from Caylee Anthony, the Florida girl whose “fawnlike eyes and chubby cheeks” were mentioned in an Associated Press report about her mysterious disappearance?

“She’s a perfect girl, perfect student,” says Guglielmi. “No history of drugs or alcohol abuse ... It's just extremely strange for us.”

Barnes, who is from North Carolina, was in Baltimore visiting family when she went missing on Dec. 28, authorities say. Police have set up a tip line. They monitor her cellphone, ATM activity and account on Facebook, where Barnes was previously an active user. There are no leads.

"At this point, we just haven't found anything,” Guglielmi says. “I know that we're not ruling out polygraphs. We're really at square one, to be frank."

Phylicia Barnes turns 17 today.

Happy Birthday, Phylicia. Wherever you are.

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  1. eoakitobi eoakitobi

    Mister A.

    Jan 12, 2011 - 11:16:24 AM

    I think we all know why there isn't the same amount of coverage.

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  2. Off the cuff Off the cuff

    Laura Sines

    Jan 12, 2011 - 11:00:05 AM

    As far as the difference from this case and Caylee Anthony is the circumstances surronding the case. Her mother didnt even reprot her missing for a month. Sparks intest and the lying that has gone on. almost like Jerry Springer. And I can say that I have seen more media attention be put on missing cute caucasion kids. There are tons of missing kids everyday, My nephew was one, but only a select few get the attention that all deserve. I hope for her safe return!

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  3. Sigmagrrl Sigmagrrl

    BJ Christine

    Jan 12, 2011 - 11:00:29 AM

    She doesn't fit the profile of the "missing white woman syndrome", so no one is going to care. It's sad but so damned true. Society doesn't care much for African American women and it's a painful thing to realize!

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