Body of missing Liberian boy, 10, is found in Mississippi River, father now a primary suspect

(PHOTO CAPTION: The Late Barway
According to the Associated Press report on a UK Daily Mail Online, said a  body found in the Mississippi River over the weekend has been identified as Minnesota fourth-grader Barway Edwin Collins, a Liberian who has been missing for nearly four weeks.

Authorities said the body of the ten-year-old was found on Saturday around 1pm by searchers from a Boy Scout troop – about ten feet from the river's edge in Brooklyn Center.

Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering said authorities have electronic evidence that shows the boy's father, Pierre Collins, 33, was in that area at the time the boy disappeared. However, she did not elaborate on the nature of that evidence.

Police said on Sunday that the boy's father is a primary suspect as the case becomes a homicide investigation.

Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering said authorities have electronic evidence that reveals that the boy's father, Pierre Collins, was in that area at the time he disappeared (above Revering during a news conference on April 12, 2015 in Crystal, Minnesota)

'This location is consistent with our knowledge of Pierre Collin's activities on March 18 and he remains a primary suspect,' said Revering.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said the cause and manner of Barway's death are still being investigated.

The case is being considered a homicide based on the autopsy and information from the medical examiner, said Revering.

A report last month by Fox 9 said that according to sources, Pierre Collins, took out a life insurance policy in Barway's name totaling $30,000 not long before the child went missing.

The boy's father, who has said he is innocent, has not been arrested or charged in relation to the incident, but Revering said authorities have his passport to ensure he stays in the country.

Police were stationed at his apartment complex for his own protection after reports of death threats.

On Sunday, Pastor Harding Smith, of the Spiritual Church of God who has been acting as the family's spokesman said when the family received the news, there were a lot of tears, according to Twin Cities.

'There were lots of tears and lots of screams,' he said. 'There was disbelief, hurt, sadness. There is a deep sense of loss when you enter that home.'

Alexander Collins, executive director of the Liberian Ministry Association, said: 'We also want to make clear to the perpetrator of this tragedy, that wherever you are, you will be found. This evil will be found.

'Wherever you are hiding, under a car, underground, make no mistake our community does not abide this evil.'

In a March 25 interview with the Star Tribune, Pierre Collins said he was not home when his son disappeared and he was upset to be considered a suspect.

'I've been working with the police just to bring my son home,' he told the newspaper. 'I will do whatever they want just so Barway can come home. I have nothing to do with Barway's missing.'

His wife and Barway's stepmother, Yamah Collins, also said she and her husband did not know who took the boy, and they pleaded for his safe return.

Police released a video of Barway riding a bus after school. In the video, the boy said 'there's my dad' and 'there's my uncle.'

'The father and the party described as an 'uncle' are likely the last known people to have seen Barway,' Revering said, as reported by the Star-Tribune. 'Unfortunately, we have reason to believe that Barway's father has not been completely truthful with us.'

Addressing the footage on the bus, Pierre Collins explained to Nancy Grace that in the Liberian community, children commonly refer to adults as 'uncle' or 'auntie.'

When pressed by Grace about the failed polygraph test, Collins explained that he was 'very emotional' during the test.

'I wasn't…myself when I took the polygraph,' he said.

Barway, who was a student at Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School, was last seen after school last month.

The boy was reported missing by his father at around 6.30pm on March 18 after the child failed to come home from school.

A call to the school bus company revealed that the 10-year-old was dropped off outside his building at around 4.15pm.

Video surveillance from his apartment complex shows he was about to go inside, but then turned around as if he was called over to the parking lot by someone he knew, and he walked away, police said last month.

A young boy adds a donation for Barway Collins' family to the pile during the vigil last month

The family told the Star Tribune that Barway emigrated from his home country of Liberia, where his mother lives, to stay with his father in 2011.

The father said he wanted 'to make him better' and for Barway to eventually go to college.

While looking for Barway, local police, federal agents and Hennepin County's sheriff's deputies searched the area with K-9 dogs, reviewing footage from surveillance cameras and interviewing family members and witnesses.
Click link below to see more photos of the missing child:


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