*Minnesota police say that a father is the primary suspect in the investigation surrounding the homicide of a 10-year-old boy who had been missing for nearly a month. The boy was found in the Mississippi River over the weekend.
The 10-year-old Minnesota boy, Barway Collins, was found on Saturday, about 10 feet from the river’s edge in Brooklyn Center. According to Crystal, Minnesota, Police Chief Stephanie Revering the authorities have electronic evidence that shows his father, Pierre Collins, was in that area at the time the boy disappeared. She gave no further details on the nature of that evidence.
“This location is consistent with our knowledge of Pierre Collins’ activities on March 18 and he remains a primary suspect,” Revering said Sunday.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner is still investigating the cause and manner of the boys death. According to Revering, the case is being investigated as a homicide based on the autopsy and information from the medical examiner.
Although the authorities have taken the passport of Pierre Collins, he has not been arrested or charged. Police were stationed at his apartment complex for his own protection.
Pierre Collins has proclaimed his innocence.
In a March 25 interview with the Star Tribune, he said that 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 didn’t know who took the boy, and they pleaded for his safe return.
The Star Tribune spoke with the family and said that Barway emigrated from his home country of Liberia to stay with his father in 2011.
The boys mother lives in Liberia.
The last time Barway was seen was on March 18. Video surveillance showed him after school in front of his apartment complex. He was about to go inside, before he turned around towards the parking lot as if responding to the voice of someone he knew, according to the police.
Video from a school van shows that right before he was dropped off, he had said that he saw his dad and a man who he referred to as his “uncle” nearby.
Pierre Collins failed a lie detector test.
Barway Collins was a fourth-grader at Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School. Volunteers helped search for him in recent weeks before a Boy Scout troop found his body and notified authorities on Saturday.