The birth mother of 10-year-old Barway Collins arrived from Liberia on Wednesday afternoon to attend her son’s funeral, which had been postponed until this weekend to give her a chance to be present.
According to a US based Star Tribune, Louise Karluah arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport around 1:30 p.m. Dressed in black, she did not address the media and was rushed into a car, according to several Liberian community leaders who were present.
Barway’s father, Pierre Collins, is in Hennepin County jail, accused of killing the boy to collect insurance money.
Karluah was questioned by Crystal Police before leaving the airport, said David Singleton, chairman and chief executive of Minnesota Community Policing Services, which is providing security for her. Singleton said that after Karluah left the airport, she was escorted to the Estes Funeral Chapel; she did not view Barway’s body.
Karluah, who was granted a temporary visa, is expected to address the public at 2 p.m. Thursday, Singleton said.
Barway’s funeral, originally scheduled for April 25, was rescheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis. It took negotiations among three groups to move the services so that Karluah could attend.
“We have all wanted the mother to be here and lay her son to rest,” Pastor Harding Smith, who has represented the family, said late last week.
The Organization of Liberians in Minnesota, African Immigrant Services and Liberian Ministers Association worked to postpone the funeral.
Part of the reason for the delay was that Pierre Collins’ sister, not Karluah, was listed on Barway’s birth certificate. Smith said Friday that he didn’t know the reason for the error, but that Collins confirmed Karluah is the birth mother.
She and Pierre Collins’ wife, Yamah Collins, will help plan the closed-casket funeral.
Barway was last seen alive getting off his school bus in front of his Crystal apartment March 18. His body was found in the Mississippi River April 11.
Now his father sits in jail on $2 million bond, charged with second-degree murder. His request to see his son’s body before the burial was denied by a judge.
Barway came to the United States from Liberia when he was 5 to join his father, who had arrived a few years earlier.