MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  Crystal Police say the father of a missing 10-year-old boy was seen near a river shortly after his son’s disappearance.

Pierre Collins has denied knowing anything about the disappearance of his son, Barway, who was last seen outside his apartment building on March 18.

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Investigators searched the Mississippi River near a park in Minneapolis Wednesday and Thursday but didn’t find anything.

“We are hopeful he’s still alive,” said Crystal police chief Stephanie Revering.

On Thursday, the eighth day in the search for Barway, police said his father remains a focal point of their investigation.

Revering said Collins was in the area of the Mississippi River near 694 shortly after his son’s disappearance. Revering said Collins has already failed a lie detector test.

“Because Pierre Collins continues to not be truthful with our investigators, we must rely on the discovery of other evidence,” Revering said Thursday.

Calling this a “complex” case, police said the last known video of Barway was recorded just outside his apartment over a week ago.

Minutes earlier, he was seen riding in a school van talking about seeing his dad and uncle out the window.

Police want to find the man Barway called “uncle.”

They have released a map of the search area, and they are also asking any businesses in the area for surveillance video or dash cam video from the day Barway disappeared.

(credit: Crystal Police)

(credit: Crystal Police)

A $12,000 reward remains for anyone who can help police find Barway Collins.

A Community Searches

Friends and family will be back out Thursday, spreading the word to find Collins.

The community’s efforts to find him Thursday all started with a concerned community member, Shelia Bradley-Smith. She lives about a block away from Collins’ home.

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Bradley-Smith was in North Carolina when she heard Collins had been reported missing and knew right away she wanted to help.

“Somebody’s seen something. Somebody knows something,” Bradley-Smith said. “But they may not realize what they witness may have been a crime. We need to bring Barway Collins home.”

She expects hundreds of volunteers will show up Thursday night to help her canvass the area in efforts to bring Collins home.

Bradley-Smith said two of her nieces were kidnapped in Chicago back in 2001 and never found. That’s why she helps anytime someone is reported missing.

She said she her goal is to keep this story front and center until Collins is located.

Bardley-Smith also created a Facebook page called “Find Barway Collins.” So far it has more than 3,000 followers.

Another search for Barway will take place beginning at noon on Saturday at Cedarwood Apartments in Crystal, where Barway was living.

A Principal’s View

Sheryl Ray is the principal of The Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School.

She last saw Barway Collins just before he left school on the day he went missing. He was holding the door open for other students, something she said he would often do.

“He is a polite student, he is well known in this school,” she said.

Evergreen Park sent a letter to parents letting them know of Barway’s disappearance and that making students feel safe is a priority.

“We are trying to keep school as normal as possible for all our students,” the letter reads.

“We’re just using really good listening skills, we’re responding to the students as appropriate and we have our school social workers in place,” Ray said.

Barway’s teachers and classmates hope to see him back at school soon.

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“[We’re] hoping that this concludes soon and that he will be back with us,” Ray said. “We miss him.”