The body pulled from a Maryland river has been confirmed to be 17-year-old Phylicia Barnes, according to The Washington Post. The teenager’s body was pulled from the Susquehanna River on Wednesday. Searchers were able to use a tattoo on her lower right leg to identify the North Carolina native, who went missing Dec. 28 from Baltimore.
Baltimore police have repeatedly gone on national television, encouraged family members to speak publicly and sought help from law enforcement agencies across the country. They put up billboards, searched a streambed and drained a well behind an apartment associated with someone who knew the missing girl. Authorities have not ruled out that Barnes was the victim of a random abduction.
Detectives have been perplexed by a lack of physical evidence, with no one coming forward with a credible tip or sighting. Barnes, who lived with her mother in North Carolina, was visiting her half-sister Deena Barnes in Baltimore for Christmas. The track star and honors student had planned to graduate early from high school and attend Towson University. Police said they found nothing in her background to indicate that she would run away or become a victim of a domestic dispute. They said she had no psychological or legal troubles.
“She was doing what any young person would do, visiting her family, and she vanished from the face of the earth,” Detective Daniel T. Nicholson IV, the lead homicide investigator on the case, said in February.
I’m not a criminologist, but could the lack of physical evidence indicate the possibility of a serial killer–or someone who has experience in thorough cleaning–being involved in Barnes’ death?
This news is indeed heartbreaking as myself and other bloggers/activists have been trying to get the word out about Barnes’ disappearance. While the chances of her being found alive greatly diminished each day, it is always distressing when an ending is indeed a sad one.
I really hope someone will consider coming forward and telling law enforcement any information that could lead to a break in this case. That decision could save some family from having to go through the same agony Phylicia Barnes’ family has gone through.