MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The father of Barway Collins, a missing 10-year-old boy, said Tuesday night that he had nothing to do with his son’s disappearance.
“We miss Barway,” Pierre Collins said. “We miss Barway walking through the door, we miss Barway in the home laughing, dancing. We have nothing to hide. We did nothing wrong to Barway.”
Police are now calling Pierre Collins a suspect in Barway’s disappearance, saying they don’t think he’s telling the truth.
Barway was captured on video approaching his apartment in Crystal last Wednesday after school. Before going in, he turns and walks toward the parking lot.
He hasn’t been seen since.
Pierre Collins told WCCO-TV Tuesday evening that he’s done all he can to help law enforcement find Barway.
“I’ve been working with them every day, every night, even the middle of the night,” he said. “I would wake up and get whatever they want from me.”
Collins says the video police released Tuesday that captured Barway saying, “There’s my dad,” and, “Oh, there’s my uncle” has nothing to do with him.
“I don’t know who [he was] talking about,” he said.
Collins said African tradition dictates how children address their elders. He believes Barway could be talking about a number of people he’s encountered since moving to his apartment complex last December.
“Any older person is called uncle, any friend is called uncle,” he said.
Barway’s stepmother, Yamah Collins, defends her husband, saying police are making inaccurate statements.
“I am 100 percent sure that Pierre did not do any harm to his son,” she said. “He doesn’t know.”
Collins says he hopes people can focus on what’s important: the effort to find Barway and bring him home.
A source connected to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office told WCCO on Wednesday that investigators received a tip that sent them searching the Mississippi River. Based on that tip, the search near the river was for Collins. Authorities said they found nothing.