MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The funeral for 10-year-old Barway Collins will be delayed a week, so that his mother can come from Liberia.
Barway was last seen outside his Crystal apartment building on March 18. Nearly a month later, his body was recovered from the Mississippi River on April 11. Barway’s father, Pierre Collins, has been charged with murder.
The funeral was originally scheduled for Saturday. But, a family spokesman said delaying it another week will allow Barway’s biological mother to say goodbye. His mother, Louise Karluah, lives in Liberia.
Family spokesman Reverend Harding Smith told the press Friday afternoon that the service would be delayed another week, until she arrives.
On Friday afternoon, leaders of Minnesota’s Liberian community said that she had been granted a humanitarian visa to travel to the U.S.
In a video posted on Facebook, she thanked community members for their support.
Reverend Alexander Collins, with the Liberian Ministers Association of Minnesota, has been in constant contact with Karluah through this entire ordeal.
Smith said if Barway’s homegoing service is delayed, the condition of the body would demand a closed casket.
He said that’s unfortunate since so many community members helped search for him and wanted to see him one last time.
“I didn’t know him personally, but I did talk to him. He was a great kid. He used to carry groceries in for people and he never caused any problems or anything. He was just a good kid,” Barway’s neighbor Randy Copeland said.
OLM, “The Organization of Liberians in Minnesota,” has been raising money to pay for travel arrangements for Barway’s mother.
So far, community members have donated more than $2,500.
The decision on if the funeral will be moved is expected to be decided by 2 p.m. Friday.