Barnes family remembers one year later

REISTERSTOWN, Md. - The honking went on for an hour.  The appreciation from the family of Phylicia Barnes may be endless.

One year ago, the teen traveled from North Carolina to stay with her sister at her Northwest Baltimore apartment.  The youngest relatives are still trying to understand she's gone.

"Where's Phylicia?," asked one family member.  "Phylicia is in Heaven with Jesus, remember?," said Bonnie Briscoe, Barnes' aunt. 

It is believed the 16 year old went to the Reisterstown Road Plaza before she was reported missing on December 28 th.  Four months later, and over 50 miles from the city, Barnes' body was found near the Conowingo Dam in Cecil County.

Police have said she was murdered, but they have not released details of how she died.  Sunday afternoon, her aunt and other family members came back to that Plaza holding pictures and thanking supporters.

"It lets us do something, where we haven't heard a lot from the police or FBI or anything.  This feels like we're doing something," said Briscoe. 

A year ago, Rhoda Hall was a stranger to the family.  But the case captured her attention.

"Everyday I was going out places trying to look for her, and I'm still supporting the effort of finding and bringing justice to Phylicia Barnes," said Hall.    

The Guardian Angels say the Barnes case has increased their focus on missing persons.

"The missing person problem is something we got into since Phylicia Barnes and it's just amazing to me that not many people are aware of just how many people do go missing and are never heard from again," said Marcus Dent, Chapter Commander, Guardian Angels of Baltimore.

Months have passed since Barnes' family was forced to accept that cold reality.

But they don't want police to let the case go cold.

"We're counting on them to solve it.  That's what we want,"  said Briscoe. 

We checked in with Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley, who says the case is still open and ongoing.  He says detectives have made some progress but would not elaborate on any details. 

The family is planning a vigil for Wednesday, December 28, the day Barnes was reported missing.


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