Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Custodial dad charged with probable cause 2nd-degree homicide in murder of 10-year-old son; non-custodial mom in state of "disbelief" (Crystal, Minnesota)

Finally it is revealed that this little boy indeed had a real mother--referred to here (rather condescendingly) as a "biological mother." And that her name was Louise.

My heart goes out to you, Louise. And to all the mothers who lose their children to abusive fathers.

Dad is identified as PIERRE COLLINS.


Barway Collins' father, Pierre Collins, arrested

Campaign to bring Barway's Mother to MN

KARE 11 Staff, Lou Raguse and Karla Hult, KARE 12:02 a.m. EDT April 14, 2015

CRYSTAL, Minn. - Authorities have taken Barway Collins' father into custody from his residence in Crystal.

Crystal Police confirmed early Monday afternoon that Pierre Collins was arrested on probable cause second degree homicide. He was transported from his apartment to the Crystal Jail then to Hennepin County Jail. Investigators will work with Hennepin County prosecutors to prepare formal charges.

According to the County Attorney's Office, charges will come no sooner than Tuesday afternoon. They must charge Collins by Wednesday at noon or release him.

At a press conference on Sunday, Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering said Pierre Collins is their primary suspect in the case.

Pierre has maintained his innocence throughout the investigation.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner confirmed the body found in the Mississippi River Saturday afternoon was that of Barway Collins. The 10-year-old boy had been missing for nearly four weeks.

For some members of Twin Cities Liberian community, the arrest was a relief.

"I have never supported him," said Horace Gbanoe. "It was obvious. The little boy said, "That's my dad and my uncle." Those two were the last to see him."

Horace Gbanoe is referring to the video of Barway Collins on his school van just before he disappeared.

Pierre Collins has insisted he never saw Barway that afternoon and had nothing to do with his disappearance.

Crystal Police have said all along that he's lying. And that they have electronic evidence placing him near the spot Barway's body was found -- back on the day he disappeared.

Finally, 20 days after first calling Pierre a suspect, they arrested him.

"This is very strange for our community, that a father is being arrested for the death of his son. That is heartbreaking," said Magdalene Menyongar.

Many Liberian-Americans like Menyongar refused to believe a father in their community could do such a thing.

Larry Thomas wants everyone to know this tragedy affects many people beyond the Liberian community.

"Everybody is taking this personal. Especially people with kids," Thomas said. "This name is in everybody's household right now."

But perhaps no one's household more so than Liberian community members who now are calling for Justice for Barway.

"If he's the one who killed this boy, I believe in the justice system in America. He will be held accountable," Menyongar said.

"The full weight of the law to be applied, as quickly as possible," Gbanoe said.

Meantime, members of the Liberian Ministers Association of Minnesota say they're trying to help Barway's biological mother -- Louise Karluah -- travel from Liberia to attend Barway's funeral.

"We will see how much we can raise to help Louise come over," said Rev. Alexander Collins, executive director of the association.

"She's in disbelief. Trying to make sense out of all of this," he added.

Friends at Barway's school -- Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School -- understand.

"Everyone is grieving, staff, students, families. And so we are here to support all of them," said school principal, Sheryl Ray, adding that 15 extra staff members -- many of them social workers -- were on hand Monday to assist students.

She described Barway as: "[he] always had a great smile. He enjoyed what he was doing. He had many friends."

"[We will] grieve for some time. But hopefully find strength, too, in the memories that they do have," she said.