She's a beautiful, straight-A high school student who's vanished from a big American city, triggering a massive police hunt joined by the FBI. And yet the case of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes has been slow to percolate to the national radar, complains a Baltimore police spokesman. "I can't see how this case is any different from Natalee Holloway," he said. "Is it because she's African-American? Why?"
Authorities are looking for all the help they can get in locating Barnes, a North Carolina resident who disappeared while visiting her college-aged sister in Baltimore on Dec. 28, reports ABC News. She left the apartment, apparently to go shopping, and hasn't been seen since. "At this point, you hope it's an abduction," said the police spokesman. Added her mother: "If she's alive, she's scared to death." Click for more on the case.