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From Black Voices — As soon as they were called in on the missing persons case of Phylicia Simone Barnes, Baltimore Police knew something was gravely wrong.

A gifted student from North Carolina who was visiting family in Baltimore over the holidays, Barnes was scheduled to graduate early from high school. She did not have a history of running away or being a troubled child.

“Based on the timeline and background we were pretty certain she did not run away and we expected foul play almost immediately,” Baltimore Police spokespersonAnthony Guglielmi told Aol. BlackVoices in an interview.

Police thought that Barnes might have been abducted and taken out of the state ofMaryland. The now-17-year-old was reported missing on December 28. They wanted to get her face on as many televisions and billboards across the country as quickly possible.

“In the event someone picked her up in van and drove outside of Baltimore no one knows she’s missing unless we get the word out. If they drove her to Conneticut, no one knows she is missing,” said Guglielmi.

That’s when police reached out to the national media for attention. The response was less than enthusiastic.

“I noticed the reaction from national media was a bit anemic. It was very frustrating to turn on cable news channels and see the big story of the day was birds dropping out of the sky in Arkansas and dead fish. Meanwhile Phylicia is missing and could be in danger. I just wanted them to flash her face out there for a few minutes,” said Guglielmi.

The reason soon became clear to Guglielmi when he thought about other missing persons cases such as that of Natalee Holloway, a white girl who went missing in Aruba in 2005.

“I didn’t feel Phylicia’s case was being treated the same way as Natalee Holloway. Phylicia is a wholesome, good student. She’s not in a gang and not into drugs. She is a beautiful young lady who graduated high school early and is going to college,” said Gugliemli. “The only difference between Phylicia Barnes and Natalee Holoway is that Phylicia went missing in Baltimore and is African-American.”

(Continue Reading @ Black Voices..)

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  • Alexandra

    CNN also covered this story. The mother was being interviewed.

  • SoulfulOne

    One soultion: Place a missing ad(picture) on this website and stop waiting for others to take action. SOS..save our selves!

  • Me27

    It’s sad but unfortunately this is not uncommon. We all know that missing minorites get less attention in the mainstream media. I agree with everyone else. Black media (like this site and others) needs to step up and starting airing our own missing person cases. We cannot wait for the mainstream media to take notice…

  • Heather

    Post it on your facebook, myspace, share her story with all your friends, they will share it and get the word out about her!

  • MAY have been a factor??? What country is this? Of course it’s a factor.

    @SoulfulOne I agree.

    We have to take care of each other, please stop expecting white amerikkka to do so. They won’t. We are our power and our voice.