MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A grieving mother shared her gratitude with Minnesota Thursday for caring so much about her son.

Strangers spent weeks searching for any sign of Barway Collins, the 10-year-old Crystal boy who vanished one day after school last month.

Prosecutors later said he’d been murdered by his own father.

Louise Karluah arrived in the Twin Cities Wednesday from Liberia.

Enough money has been raised to pay for Barway’s funeral. So now the Liberian community and those who have supported them since the very beginning can concentrate on helping Karluah grieve, and get through this process.

From the time Karluah arrived in Minneapolis Wednesday, she’s been on the move and flanked by security. She appeared to be shocked by all the attention.

Her request to be present when Barway was laid to rest was heard by many mothers, who worked with lawmakers to get her to Minnesota.

She faced the cameras Thursday, and the entire community that has waited for months to see and hear from her.

“All those who stood by me even though I was not here for my son, I was here,” Karluah said.

She acknowledged all the hard work from those who searched for her son, and how thankful she is that they never stopped until he was found.

You could see and almost feel the pain in her eyes. She spoke softly, but her words were powerful enough to bring the mothers that have stood with her since she arrived to tears.

“You do ask why, but it is the will of God. I take this time today to thank you for your time, for your hard work. Thanks to all,” Karluah said.

She next visited the funeral home to see the son she hasn’t seen in four years — this time for the last time.

Karluah then traveled to Brooklyn Center’s Evergreen Park School, where Barway attended. She met teachers and some students who wanted to let her know how Barway was so special to so many.

Barway’s funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at Shiloh International Ministries in north Minneapolis. Karluah is asking for anyone who attends the funeral to wear white — the color that Barway will be buried in — which represents purity.

The entire community is invited to gather after the funeral at North Hennepin Community College.

Barway’s father, Pierre Collins, is charged with his son’s murder. Prosecutors think he killed Barway for insurance money. Collins has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. His next court appearance is set for May 14.

Reg Chapman