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Former Boyfriend of Phylicia Barnes' Sister Indicted on Murder Charge

Michael Johnson was arrested Wednesday night.

A grand jury indicted a man Thursday in the murder of Phylicia Barnes, the 16-year-old who disappeared from her sister's apartment in Baltimore in December 2010 and whose body was found last April, according to Gregg Bernstein, the state's attorney for Baltimore City.

Michael Johnson, the ex-boyfriend of Phylicia Barnes' half-sister, is being held at the Baltimore City Detention Center on a charge of first-degree murder, Bernstein said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Johnson was arrested at 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Johnson was the last person to see Barnes alive and was also someone whom Barnes' parents told The Baltimore Sun they suspected in her disappearance.

"Based on a complete and very thorough investigation...we believe that we've got the right guy," said Bernstein.

Barnes, who was an honors student residing in North Carolina, had been visiting her half-sister on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore when she went missing Dec. 28, 2010.

In the months that followed her disappearance, area agencies conducted searches, including an .

Barnes' by people working on Harford County's Conowingo Dam on April 21, 2011. An her death was a homicide.

This article was updated at 1:15 p.m. on April 26 to reflect that Johnson was indicted.

JaySmith April 27, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Just curious.......why is this an Ellicott City Patch article? I don't see any connection to Howard County at all. And while I raise the question, I'll also state that I don't even want to read about every Howard County crime.
Polly April 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM
That's interesting, I'm reading on the Elkridge Patch. But, just because an article is posted doesn't mean you have to read it.
Maia April 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I am glad to hear they have made an arrest in this case and appreciate the update. I hope her sister and the rest of her family can have some closer soon and pray for them as they continue to deal with this tragic loss.
Elizabeth Janney (Editor) April 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM
The search for Phylicia Barnes hit close to home last April, when 140 fire and rescue personnel searched in Patapsco State Park, with a staging area off Ilchester Road in Ellicott City. http://patch.com/A-g4DY Among those participating in the search were firefighters from Howard County. In addition, the Maryland Search and Rescue group that coordinated the effort is based in Howard County: http://www.msar616.com/.

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