MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Louise Karluah — the mother of Barway Collins — arrived from Liberia at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Wednesday before heading to the north Minneapolis funeral home where her son’s body is being preserved.
She was surrounded by compassionate strangers who’ve dedicated time and money to help her.
“It’s difficult because there is so much interest and there are so many hands that are trying to help,” Estes Funeral Home Director Tracy Wesley said. “And with so many people trying to help, it causes a lot of confusion sometimes.”
Wesley says the funeral was postponed a week because it was important for Karluah to be in Minneapolis and have a voice in the arrangements.
“There have been misconceptions that it’s been the funeral home that is holding up the process of moving forward with the funeral,” he said. “The thought of that is because of finances – which is not true.”
Wesley says he is confident the expenses will be covered by a crime victims advocates’ fund and donations, and has no plans to delay Barway’s funeral until all the money is in hand.
“We also wanted to let people know that’s not really been an issue with us doing what we have to do to prepare for Barway’s service,” Wesley said.
Supporters of Barway’s mother say she was first questioned by investigators from the FBI and Crystal police before leaving the airport.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar worked with the State Department to secure a temporary visa for Karluah so she could have a chance to say goodbye to her son.
WCCO has been told by several people that it was difficult for Karluah to get a visa to come the United States for the funeral because her name was not listed on his birth certificate. It is unclear why.
Barway’s funeral is scheduled for this Saturday at Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis. The service is open to the public.
Barway’s father —Pierre Collins — was in court last week, requesting a leave from jail so that he could be escorted by deputies to the funeral home to say goodbye to the son he is accused of killing.
A judge denied that request. Collins’ next court appearance is May 14.