Phylicia Barnes Update: School of Missing NC Teen Offers $25,000 Reward, Police Still Have No Leads
(CBS/WJZ/AP) The North Carolina school of missing 17-year-old Phylicia Barnes is offering a $25,000 reward for her safe return, one month after she vanished from Maryland while visiting relatives.
Barnes, an honor roll student from Monroe, N.C., located about 25 miles southeast of Charlotte, was last seen Dec. 28 at her half-sister's apartment in northwest Baltimore.
Despite intense searches in more than three dozen locations, more than 100 detectives being assigned to the case, and billboards displaying the young girl's face where she was last seen, police say they still have no leads in the investigation.
The $25,000 reward was announced Jan. 28 and comes from the Phil Hargett Memorial Fund, created last year to help students at the school in financial need. Officials at the public charter school say the committee that runs the fund decided the biggest need for its students right now is the safe return of their classmate.
"There are no words to express my appreciation," Phylicia's mother, Janice Sallis, said of the award.
TV and newspapers in Phylicia's hometown report the half-sister's boyfriend was the last person to see her alive, according to CBS affiliate WJZ.
"This is a young girl who was well-liked in high school," lead investigator, Detective Daniel T. Nicholson IV of the homicide unit, told The Washington Post. "She was doing what any young person would do, visiting her family . . . and she vanished from the face of the earth. That's hard to believe."
Detectives involved in the investigation fear foul play and say there is reason believe the teen may have been abducted in part because of items that she left behind at the apartment, including money.
"We're in full throttle," Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Gugliemi told WJZ. "We have the FBI, homicide, Maryland State Police, all of our partners that were here from day one will continue to be here...we will keep up at this pace as long as we have to."
Police have established a tip line for information on Phylicia Barnes' whereabouts. If you know anything, you can call 855-223-0033.
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