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Family Of N.C. Teen Missing In Baltimore Speaks Out

Concern is growing for a 16-year-old girl from North Carolina who is now missing in Baltimore.

WJZ spoke with worried family members who haven't seen her in three days.

Mike Schuh reports there also may be a strange turn of events in the case. 

Her family describes her as an "A" student who was graduating high school early and wanted to attend Towson University. But right now they have no idea where she is.

The Barnes family in Northwest Baltimore is at a loss.  They can't find their sister Phylicia Barnes who was visiting from North Carolina for the holidays.

"This is no runaway," said her father Russell Barnes. "This is no child that's having a bad day or a bad night.  We don't feel that she's fell in love.  That's not her character."

Her sister agrees.

"I think somebody might have taken her," said Deena Barnes, her half-sister.

Deena Barnes says she left Phylicia sleeping Tuesday morning when she left from her Northwest Baltimore apartment.  Her sister's boyfriend last saw the girl at 1p.m. Tuesday.

Phylicia's last Facebook post at 11:30 a.m. mentioned being hungry.

The family wonders if she walked to the nearby plaza for food.

"She texted me while I was at work and asked me to come pick her up," said Kelly Barnes, her half-sister. "I started calling her, texting her, leaving her voicemails, everything. And nothing."

"My daughter's friends came home," said Russell Barnes, "and the door was unlocked and the music was loud.  That's all they can tell me."

WJZ has confirmed Phylicia tried to stay at a 24-hour emergency shelter on Guilford Avenue. But a staff member who answered the phone overnight told WJZ they didn't know she was a missing child adding, "We called the police to come get her because minors aren't allowed to stay here."

The staff member tells WJZ a police officer picked her up, but it's not clear where she was taken. It's also unclear on what day Phylicia was kicked out of the shelter.

The 16-year-old girl has only visited Baltimore a handful of times to see her dad and siblings.  Her family says that when she left the house on Tuesday, she was only wearing her slippers and she left behind her money.

"We don't want to speculate that something bad has happened, but we feel that she's been missing and somebody has her," said Russell Barnes. "You can't put it into words when you're missing your child, when you know your daughter is fragile. You know she's fragile."

Meanwhile, back at Phylicia's high school in Monroe, N.C., her friends are heartbroken at the news she is missing.

"I was very surprised.  I couldn't see her becoming missing. She's not the kind of person to become missing," said Jeniece Tims, friend.

"My heart just broke basically.  Very upset. So we're all praying and we know that she's going to come back to us," said Sandee Thomas, after school director. 

Baltimore City Police and Maryland State Police are working this case, but they say have little to go on and need to hear from the public.

She was last seen wearing a navy blue peacoat with a hood, a turquoise thermal shirt, blue jeans, white slippers/boots and a caramel-colored purse.  She is 5'8″ and 120 pounds.

If you have any information on Phylicia Barnes, you can call the Missing Person Unit at 443-984-7385.

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