Child advocate talks about impact of Michael Johnson arrest

BALTIMORE - Michael Johnson was arrested around 11:30 Wednesday in connection with the Phylicia Barnes case.

Don Rondeau, a missing children's advocate and close friend of the Barnes family talked with Barnes' father last night after news of the arrest broke.

"There is a realization that this is a very critical milestone in the legal process. This is a necessary step."

But the family understands that it is still a long process he said.

Family and friends involved who've worked on passing ' Phylicia's Law' expect for there to be greater value on the lives of children, starting with Phylicia Barnes.

The family takes great pride in the fact that we have just not let this go, that there is a triumph out of this tragedy, he said.

What is 'Phylicia's Law?' Click to the next page to find out.

The Phylicia Barnes Law was passed in the house and senate. It's a bill to draw more resources to immediately search for missing children of all ages. It ensures law enforcement will coordinate with volunteer search groups, post details of the case online and coordinate with local, state and national authorities within the crucial first hours of a disappearance.

The Phylicia Barnes law also raises the requirement for immediate police action from age 14 to 17 years old. The bill requires state officials to publish a list of missing children and annual statistics. Several laws around the country are named for high profile missing children, but this bill named for Barnes could be the first named for a missing minority child.

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