Watch CBS News

Crystal Police: Pierre Collins Arrested In Son's Death

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Crystal police have confirmed that the father of a boy whose body was found in the Mississippi River Saturday has been arrested.

On Monday afternoon, police arrested Pierre Collins for second-degree homicide in connection to the death of Barway Collins. He'll be processed and taken to the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center.

Searchers found Barway's body on Saturday along the Mississippi River in north Minneapolis.  He was last seen in March after getting home from school.  His father reported him missing shortly after.  Police say they have electronic evidence that puts Pierre Collins near where Barway's body was found.

Earlier Monday, a number of police guards were on hand at Pierre Collins' apartment complex ensuring his safety against any angered members in the community.

Crystal police have previously said Pierre Collins is the primary suspect in his son's death and have confiscated his passport. He has said multiple times that he is innocent.

Pierre Collins' wife, Yamah Collins, was also taken to the Crystal Police Department for questioning. She was released a few hours later.

While her husband was being arrested, Yamah called her pastor, Rev. Alexander Collins.

"We want justice for Barway, regardless of who it is," Rev. Collins said. "We want to send a message loud and clear, that says this is unacceptable in our community."

Volunteer searchers found Barway Collins body floating in the Mississippi River Saturday. The medical examiner confirmed Sunday that it was Barway Collins. An autopsy is now underway to determine how he was killed.

He had been missing since March 18, when a school van dropped him off at his home at Cedarwood Apartments in Crystal.

Community members are also raising funds to bring Barway's biological mother to Minnesota from Liberia, so that she can attend her son's funeral.

"Since 2011, she has not seen her son," Rev. Collins said. "She has requested to come so that she can get some closure of her son, for the burial."

Meanwhile, mourners gathered outside the apartment complex where Barway was last seen. A small memorial was formed near a tree outside, where community members have laid flowers and gifts below a picture of the 10-year-old.

Sunday Mendin of Brooklyn Center solemnly laid a cross at the memorial Satuday afternoon.

"Really, I don't know if he did it or not, but in my view I need justice to reveal," she said.

Barway's step mother sat inside their apartment Monday taking visitors, including Magdalene Menyongar.

"I saw her sitting on the floor when I got there, so she don't look good," Menyongar said.

Menyongar was among some of the many volunteer search parties, and says she doesn't understand why this happened.

"That's not how Liberian people behave," she said. "They don't do that to our children. It's sad."

Pierre Collins said as much, in interview after interview. On March 25th he told WCCO, "I would do no harm to Barway, I'm not that type of person."

Having heard the denials, Menyongar says she's at a loss for words.

"It's sad and very confusing. I don't understand," she said.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office has confirmed it has received the case from Crystal police. Charges could be filed as early as Tuesday afternoon.

The memorial service, "Peace for Barway," will be on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the North Mississippi Regional Park.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.