Honor Student Phylicia Barnes Goes Missing While Visiting Family

Phylicia Simone Barnes — Abducted, Baltimore, MD — 12/28/10

Phylicia Barnes, a 16-year-old teen from Monroe, NC with a huge smile and personality “that could light up a room” went missing while visiting family in Baltimore, MD, on December 28, 2010.

A track star and honors student, the teen went to Baltimore for the holidays to visit with her father and three half-siblings–Deena, Kelly and Brian Barnes–whom she had reconnected with about 2 years before. In fact, she’d been planning to graduate high school early and attend Towson University to be closer to her siblings.

Phylicia was staying with 27-year-old half-sister Deena, a pharmacy technician who’s studying to become a midwife, at her Eberle Road apartment behind Reisterstown Road Shopping Plaza in Northwest Baltimore.

At the time, Deena shared the apartment with Michael Johnson–a boyfriend of 10 years she was in the midst of splitting up with–and a teen who is alternately referred to by those involved as both a younger brother and cousin of Johnson.

No one has reportedly seen Phylicia since her Johnson saw her asleep on the couch about 1:30 PM that day.

Timeline for Tuesday, December 28*

  • Deena last saw her sister sleeping when she left for work around 8:45 AM
  • Johnson came to the apartment to pick up his little brother/cousin and take him to another relative’s home about 9 AM
  • Around 10 AM Johnson returned to the apartment to do laundry and start moving his stuff out, which Deena says she did not know he planned to do that day
  • Phylicia woke up and started texting both Deena and half-sister Kelly, the latter of whom was going to pick her up after work to go shopping and the like
  • Sometime between 10 AM and 11 AM Deena says Johnson texts her, asking to get back together.
  • Last text from Phylicia to Kelly at 11:08 AM, asking Kelly to come pick her up early (uncomfortable perhaps at being alone with Johnson?)
  • Deena and Phylicia speak by phone at 11:09, Phylicia mentions she is there alone with Johnson and Deena asks her to look for a photo of Johnson with his new girlfriend on Facebook
  • Phylicia makes two Facebook postings–one that she is at her sister’s apartment with her sister’s ex, and another that she was hungry–around 11:30 AM
  • Deena and Phylicia speak by phone about making a hair appointment 11:38 AM.
  • Last text from Phylicia to Deena was 12:23 PM, confirming that she found the photo of Johnson and the new girlfriend
  • Kelly repeatedly tried to contact Phylicia 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM and gets no answer, she was supposed to pick her up 1:30-1:45 but decided not to since she wasn’t getting an answer
  • Deena tried to reach Johnson at 1:04. He texted her and said his phone died and he was trying to find a charger for the phone. He also said Phylicia has fallen asleep on the couch and her phone’s been ringing.
  • Johnson reportedly left the apartment at 1:30 PM, and said Phylicia was still sleeping but muttered that she was going to get up and go get something to eat after her nap
  • Kelly contacted Deena at 3:08 PM because she still couldn’t reach Phylicia–Deena suggested maybe she’s still asleep
  • Michael Johnson returned to apartment to pick up his younger brother (we don’t know what time the brother returned) at either 4:50 or 5:10–says the front door was unlocked and music was turned up loud. One report says he texted Deena to say Phylicia was up and moving around at that time
  • Deena returned to the apartment about 6:00 PM and Phylicia wasn’t there. She then got worried and called a bunch of people, including Kelly, Brian, their father Russell, and Johnson. The call to Johnson was at 6:11 PM but he didn’t answer.
  • Johnson called her back around 7:00 PM and said the last he’d seen, she was sleeping when he left the apartment about 1:30 PM (so did he or did he not go by at around 5 PM?)
  • At 7:30 PM, Deena called police to report Phylicia missing

*The timeline is mostly sourced from the Websleuths’ thread about Phylicia Barnes, which lists their sources, except where noted.

What We Don’t Know Yet

  • Why didn’t Kelly stop by anyway to check on Phylicia after getting no answer?
  • Why wasn’t Deena concerned about not talking to Phylicia again after getting the Facebook confirmation? Was she just so wrapped up in fighting with Johnson?
  • When and how did the younger brother/cousin return to the apartment?
  • Did the friends actually enter the apartment in the 3PM time frame, or just knock?
  • Did Johnson actually send Deena a text around 5 PM saying Phylicia was up and moving around?
  • And, of course, was Phylicia really sleeping when he left?

Next up, the investigation into Phylicia Barnes’ disappearance…

Tipline: 1-855-223-0033
Reward: $36,000

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