MONROE, N.C. -- It's been a month since 17-year-old Phylicia Barnes was last seen. Now, her family hopes a new reward will help bring her home.
Phylicia attended Union Academy in Monroe before she was reported missing in Baltimore in December. Friday morning the public charter school announced a $25,000 reward for information that leads to her safe return home.
Friday afternoon Baltimore police announced an additional $10,000 added to the reward, coming from Baltimore neighbors.
She was visiting her half sister in Baltimore when she vanished. Police have questioned several men who were said to be in and out of where she was staying. That includes her half sister's ex-boyfriend who, police say, was the last person to see the 17-year-old.
At the announcement, Janice Sallis, Phylicia s mother, read a poem to her daughter.
I can only vision your presence to be bright, although the valley you're in seems with an abundance of darkness, just hold on baby, read Sallis.
She definitely would have called me or called Janice or someone, one of us, someone if she didn't feel like calling her mom, says friend, Tori Brown.
Sallis expressed gratitude to the Union Academy for the reward and says she hopes it inspires people to start talking, including Phylicia's half-sister.
I know you have more information than what you're telling, and I'm asking you to loosen your tongue so you can start talking, said Sallis.
Sallis also had strong words for the half sister's ex-boyfriend, who is said to be the last one to see Phylicia and has now hired a lawyer.
Only guilty people need a lawyer, says Sallis.
Friends say Phylicia was excited about going to Baltimore and they even spoke to her on Facebook the day before she went missing.
Just talking about how much fun she was having with her sister and she was ready to come back and talk about Christmas, says Brian Haithcox.
Sallis says she believes her daughter is still alive and tells her to come home.
I will be waiting for you to get home my beautiful sweet Phylicia Simone.
Anyone with information regarding Barnes' whereabouts should contact the Baltimore City Police at 855-223-0033.Police say they have a squad on the case continuously and they have tracked 80 leads so far.