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Honor student missing since Dec. 28

BALTIMORE, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Baltimore authorities say they have no idea what happened to a high school honor student visiting from North Carolina who disappeared nearly three week ago.

Phylicia Barnes of Monroe, N.C., a senior at Union Academy who turned 17 Wednesday, had been staying at the apartment of her stepsister, Deena Barnes, during the Christmas holidays at the time she vanished, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported.

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She hasn't been seen since 1:30 p.m. Dec. 28 when she said she was going out shopping, the newspaper said. Authorities say she has not used her cellphone or bank card. She also has not updated her Facebook page.

"We are pretty much at square one," police spokesman Anthony Gugliemi said. "We have no physical evidence to help us find Miss Barnes."

CNN reported the student's mother, Janice Sallis, was shocked to learn of "20 different guys" visiting the apartment and that her daughter had been allowed to drink alcohol.

"I want my daughter back," Sallis told Baltimore's WBFF-TV. "She doesn't belong to whoever she's with. She doesn't belong with them. They are not her friends, they are not her family, they don't care anything about her. If they did, she wouldn't be where she's at."

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The efforts to find the missing teen have involved more than 100 local, state and federal law enforcement officers. Search dogs, helicopters and dive teams have been utilized in the hunt for the missing girl. Thousands of flyers have been posted in the metropolitan Baltimore area and billboards featuring her photo have gone up, as well.

Authorities say they need the public's help to find Phylicia.

"What will put us over the top is information from the public," Gugliemi said. "Somebody out there knows something.

"We are starting to fear the worst."

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