Media criticized on response to case of missing N.C. teen
Story not getting much play because she’s black? Mother pleads for help
The mother of a missing North Carolina teen is pleading for information about her 16-year-old daughter in a case police say might have gained more media attention if the girl had been white.
Phylicia Simone Barnes disappeared while spending Christmas break with relatives in Baltimore, her mother, Janice Sallis of Monroe, N.C., told NBC News on Tuesday.
She last talked to Phylicia on Christmas Day, just three days before she disappeared from her half-sister’s apartment in northwest Baltimore.
“I told her how sad that I was because all of the children were gone and that next year, they’re not going to be able to go because I was lonely without them. And she said, ‘Mommy, I miss you, too,’” Sallis said.
Her disappearance has been reported in local media, NBC’s TODAY show and CNN. But a Baltimore police official told NBC News that had the missing person been white, the case might have received even more media attention, perhaps aiding investigators in finding a suspect.
Entering their third week of searching for a missing teenager–a North Carolina honors student who vanished while visiting relatives–police in Baltimore, Maryland are frustrated that the case isn’t getting more attention. NBC Justice Correspondent Pete Williams reports
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