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Entries in Phylicia Simone Barnes (6)

Monday
Jul112011

Child Porn Link Sought in Teen Phylicia Barnes' Murder

Comstock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The FBI is investigating whether Phylicia Barnes, the star student from North Carolina whose nude body was found in April, nearly four months after she went missing in Maryland, was a victim of sexual exploitation or child pornographers before her murder.

Federal investigators are seeking warrants to gain access to Facebook and email accounts belonging to Barnes, 16, and to four men from Baltimore, according to a report from ABC News affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C.

According to the Charlotte Observer, FBI Special Agent Jacqueline Dougher wrote in the request for the warrants that investigators have "reason to believe" the search will uncover evidence of child sex crimes or child pornography.

An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland determined Barnes' death to be a homicide, the state police said in May.  At the time, police said they knew the cause of death but were not releasing the information because it is an ongoing investigation.

"To release a cause of death at this time could jeopardize the investigation by revealing information known only to the person or persons responsible for her death," Maryland State Police said in a statement in May.  "The cause of death will be made public at an appropriate time in the future."

They have still not announced the cause of death and if police have identified a suspect, they have not told the public.

"If they get some suspects, they want to be able to talk to them about this, and say it hasn't been covered by the media so only they would know the details," Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley told ABC News in May.

Barnes went missing in the Baltimore area while visiting her sister from Monroe, North Carolina in late December.  She was last heard from Dec. 28 via Facebook when she posted a note saying she was at her sister's apartment with her sister's boyfriend.

The 5 foot 8 inch straight-A African-American student was listed as missing until her naked body was discovered in the Susquehanna River, nearly 35 miles from Baltimore, in late April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May042011

North Carolina Student Phylicia Barnes Was Murdered, Say Police

Comstock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- Phylicia Barnes, the student from North Carolina who went missing in Maryland last December, was a victim of murder, according to the first autopsy results released by Maryland State Police.

An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland determined her death to be a homicide. Police say they know the cause of death, but they are not releasing the information for now because it is an ongoing investigation.

"To release a cause of death at this time could jeopardize the investigation by revealing information known only to the person or persons responsible for her death," Maryland State Police said in a statement. "The cause of death will be made public at an appropriate time in the future."

Greg Shipley, spokesman for the Maryland State Police, told ABC News there are no suspects in the case, and the investigation is continuing.

"If they get some suspects, they want to be able to talk to them about this, and say it hasn't been covered by the media so only they would know the details," Shipley said.

The 16-year-old honor student's body was released to her family Wednesday. They have scheduled private funeral services for Saturday in Conyers, Georgia.

"Phylicia's family wishes to thank her school family, law enforcement and the thousands of people that have expressed sympathies following her untimely demise," Barnes' immediate family said in a statement. "They would also ask that we continue to pray and search for the scores of other citizens who continue to be classified as 'missing.'"

Barnes went missing in the Baltimore area while visiting her sister from Monroe, North Carolina in late December. Her naked body was discovered in the Susquehanna River, nearly 35 miles from Baltimore, in late April.

The body of Darryl Harper, 53, of Richmond, Va., was discovered in the same river several hours after the discovery of Barnes' body. Police believe there is no connection between the two.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr262011

Second Body Identified in Phylicia Barnes Case

Comstock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- The man's body found near the corpse of teenager Phylicia Barnes was identified Tuesday and police believe the second body has no connection to the girl's death.

The body of Darryl Harper, 53, of Richmond, Va., was discovered in the Susquehanna River last Wednesday hours after Maryland state troopers found Barnes' body three miles up the same river.

Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley told ABC News there is no known connection between Harper and Barnes.

Forensics matched fingerprints from Harper's body with prints entered in a missing persons database. Harper's wife told police her husband left Richmond in early March, and she reported him missing on April 15.

Harper had checked himself into a hospital in Harrisburg, Pa., on the Susquehanna River on March 25 and requested help with mental health issues. Harper stayed in the hospital one night. According to his wife, Harper made suicide threats to a relative in March, and he previously attempted suicide in 2006.

Police do not have any new leads in the investigation into the death of Barnes, 16, and the time of her death and the cause of her death remain undetermined. Barnes, who was from North Carolina, was visiting her half-sister in Baltimore last December when she disappeared.

Barnes' half brother, Bryan Barnes, told the Baltimore Sun last week that he believed she had no reason to visit the dam where her body was discovered. The dam was about 40 miles from where Barnes was staying.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr212011

Phylicia Barnes, Missing North Carolina Teen, Found Dead Near Baltimore

Comstock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- The body of Phylicia Barnes, a star student from North Carolina, was discovered in Maryland on Wednesday, police said. She had been missing since December.

Anthony Guglielmi of the Baltimore Police confirmed Thursday that investigators found not one, but two bodies Wednesday near the Susquehanna River about 35 miles from Baltimore.

One is that of the 17-year-old Barnes. The identity of the second body was not immediately made clear.

Workers at the Conowingo Dam spotted Barnes' body floating in the water around 7:30 Wednesday morning and notified state troopers in the area, according to Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley. While investigators were still in the area, they discovered a second body floating three or four miles south of the dam a few hours later.

At the Maryland state police headquarters in Baltimore, Guglielmi said they hope to have preliminary results from an autopsy.

Barnes was 16 when she went missing Dec. 28 during a trip to visit her half-sister. She would have turned 17 in January.

Barnes was from Monroe, N.C., a straight-"A" student, and was last heard from on Dec. 28, 2010, via Facebook when she posted a note saying she was at her sister's apartment with her sister's boyfriend.

The disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba nearly seven years ago sparked a media frenzy, as has the apparent abduction of the nursing student Holly Bobo in Indiana. But news coverage was relatively sparse in Phylicia's case, raising accusations of a double standard in media coverage.

Speaking about the lack of national media coverage back in January, a Baltimore police spokesman said, "Birds are falling out of the sky in Arkansas and two headed calves, and this girl may lose her life."

The Baltimore Mayor's Office said it shares the concern about the possible existence of a double-standard in the coverage of Phylicia's disappearance but is more distressed about the case because it was so heartbreaking.

"You see other cases that get attention, other kids that go missing and it's immediately up on television and you know, I know there's frustration," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan082011

Frantic Search for Missing North Carolina Teen

Photo Courtesy - Baltimore Police Department(BALTIMORE) -- The search continues for Phylicia Simone Barnes, a high school student from North Carolina who went missing in Baltimore. The 16-year-old honor student from Monroe, N.C., was visiting her half-sister when she disappeared three days after Christmas.

Phylicia was last heard from Dec. 28 via Facebook when she posted a note saying she was at her sister's apartment with her sister's boyfriend. The 5-foot, 8-inch African American student has been missing ever since.

The FBI and Baltimore police are conducting the investigation. Baltimore Metro Crime Stoppers has offered a cash reward of up to $2,000 for her discovery.

Police told ABC News on Saturday that they obtained additional security video from the area surrounding the apartment, but it has yet to shed new light on the case. FBI helicopters have scoured the area for days without finding any clues.

Police say several people who visited the apartment are considered persons of interest, and the two likely scenarios proposed by investigators are abduction or murder.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Search Continues for Phylicia Barnes, Missing for 11 Days After Trip to Baltimore

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The search continued Friday for Phylicia Simone Barnes, a star high school student from North Carolina who went missing in Baltimore last week. The 16-year-old honors student from Monroe, N.C., was visiting her half-sister when she disappeared three days after Christmas.

Phylicia was last heard from Dec. 28 via Facebook when she posted a note saying she was at her sister's apartment with her sister's boyfriend. The 5-foot-8 inch, African-American student has been missing ever since.

"I was going to turn this city upside down to find my child, and I was going to leave no stone unturned," Russell Barnes, Phylicia's father, told ABC News.

The FBI and Baltimore police are conducting the investigation. Baltimore Metro Crime Stoppers has offered a cash reward of up to $2,000 for her discovery.

Police told ABC News Friday they obtained additional security video from the area surrounding the apartment, but it has yet to shed new light on the case. FBI helicopters have scoured the area for three days without finding any clues.

"If there's any good news, we haven't found anything yet," Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Police say several people who visited the apartment are considered persons of interest, and the two likely scenarios proposed by investigators are abduction or murder.

"At this point, you hope it's an abduction," Guglielmi said.

Janice Sallis, Phylicia's mother, said, "If she's alive, she's scared to death."

Aside from Baltimore and her hometown near Charlotte, N.C., Phylicia's disappearance has garnered little media attention, raising the issue of a double-standard because of her race.

"I can't see how this case is any different from Natalee Holloway," Guglielmi said. "Is it because she's African-American? Why?"

The dissappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway while on vacation in Aruba nearly six years ago sparked a media frenzy. But news coverage has been relatively sparse in Phylicia's case.

Speaking about the lack of national media coverage, the Baltimore police spokesman said, "Birds are falling out of the sky in Arkansas and two headed calves, and this girl may lose her life."

The Baltimore mayor's office says it shares the concern about the possible existence of a double-standard in the coverage of Phylicia's disappearance but is more distressed about the case because of its heartbreaking nature.

Her father said, "Phylicia had a bright spirit and just a glow about herself. Our greatest hope is that she can walk in the door and...be reunited with her family."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio