Feds probe Internet for clues in Phylicia Barnes case

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By Franco Ordoñez and Maria David
Charlotte Observer

Federal authorities investigating the death of Monroe teen Phylicia Barnes are examining whether she was a victim of sexual exploitation or child pornography, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

An FBI agent with Maryland’s child exploitation task force filed three search warrants seeking access to the 16-year-old’s email and Facebook accounts and the accounts of at least three other people.

It’s unclear whether a sex crime was committed. The warrant’s affidavits are under seal, but a former FBI official told the Observer that the agency must have probable cause that exploitation occurred in order to secure the warrants.

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