MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Investigators are now calling the death of 10-year-old Barway Collins a homicide. Volunteer searchers found a boy’s body floating in the Mississippi River Saturday.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner confirmed Sunday that it was Barway Collins. He had been missing since March 18, when a school van dropped him off at his apartment. Crystal Police say the boy’s father, Pierre Collins, remains the primary suspect in his death.READ MORE: Landscapers Encounter Mama Bear And Cubs Under Nisswa Deck
“We have electronic evidence that Pierre Collins was in immediate vicinity of where Barway’s body was found at the time of his disappearance,” Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering said.
The chief wouldn’t say if that “electronic evidence” involved cell phone pings, or perhaps surveillance video. She also wouldn’t say if there are any other suspects.
Now the community is looking on and awaiting the next steps.
Melissa Fostvedt is one of the volunteer searchers who came upon the body of Barway Collins along the Mississippi River. She gathered outside the Cedarwood Apartments Sunday with other members of the community.
“There’s always an answer sooner or later,” Fostvedt said.
Barway’s family, including his father, spent the day inside the home.
“Heartbreaking, devastating but at the same time it feels good. You get closure, you may not find out the truth but at least get to bring him home,” Fostvedt said.
Finding the truth is up the the Crystal Police Department.READ MORE: Hell's Angels Member Gets 14 Years For Selling Pounds Of Meth To Undercover Officer
“Our heartfelt appreciation to all our searches who made finding Barway a priority for our community. Our deepest sympathies extended to those who loved and cared for Barway,” Revering said.
Crystal’s police chief says Pierre Collins hasn’t been cooperative. Tipsters spotted him at North Mississippi Regional Park the day Barway disappeared. The chief says there is electronic evidence to back up that claim now, but still no arrest.
“We will act when we have all the evidence we believe is necessary,” Revering said.
For now, the chief says officers are guarding the Collins’ home but it’s for Pierre’s own safety against any angry community members.
“There is a deep sense of loss when you enter that home,” Pastor Harding Smith said.
Liberian community leaders lent their support but made it clear they want whoever is responsible to pay.
The medical examiner is working to determine the exact cause of death.
Police are also doing what they can to make sure Pierre Collins doesn’t flee the country, including confiscating his passport.MORE NEWS: Lisa Erikson, First Woman To Lead Minnesota Air National Guard, Assumes Duties
Pierre Collins is still in his home with some of his other children. Police said that does concern them. He is not charged in connection to the case, and he maintains his innocence.