MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota father who lied for months about the disappearance of his 10-year-old son, admitted Monday that he killed the boy, then asked for the community’s forgiveness.
Pierre Collins pleaded guilty Monday to killing his son, Barway, back in March. He’ll now spend 40 years in prison.
On March 19th, Crystal police first mentioned a boy named Barway Collins who disappeared from his apartment after school.
“Ten-year-old Barway Edwin Collins was reported missing by his dad, Pierre Collins,” Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering said during a March 19 press conference.
In the days that followed Pierre played the role of concerned father.
“We appreciate the effort to get our son back,” Collins said during an interview on March 22.
He talked to the media repeatedly, each time, denying involvement while highlighting his willingness to help police.
“Pierre Collins has nothing to do with his son disappearing,” Collins said during an interview on March 23.
“I did my DNA swab just to bring my son home. I’m doing everything needed to bring my son home,” Collins said during a March 25th interview.
But investigators started to view Pierre as a suspect. Surveillance video from Barway’s bus was their first clue. In the video, Barway can be heard saying “There’s my dad. Oh, my uncle’s here too.”
Over the next three weeks, the community searched along the Mississippi River. Then on April 11, a boy scout troop found a boy’s body bound in duct tape.
Two days later, police arrested Collins and charged him with 2nd degree murder. Six weeks later, a grand jury indicted him on first degree murder.
“None of us can explain or comprehend how a father could kill his son,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
Monday morning, Pierre Collins told the court about Barway’s final hours. He admitted that he struck the boy, knocked him unconscious and threw his body in the river.
For Barway’s family the guilty plea brings closure but not forgiveness.
“I want justice for Barway and I got justice for Barway today,” Barway’s mother Louis Karluah said.
Barway’s mother and family still question whether someone else was involved. The Hennepin County attorney believes Pierre acted alone.
In the months after Pierre’s arrest, WCCO learned that Child Protective Services had investigated him for allegations of abuse against his other children. Officials with CPS say they always review cases like this and, once the criminal proceedings are over, there is also a formal review by the county and state.