It is always sad and always unthinkable to experience the death of a child. There is nothing that can prepare you for it and most often you never get over it. The untimely death of Barway Collins, who in March 2015 was 10 years old, was especially sad, and not just unthinkable but unimaginable.
Why? Because the person who caused his death was the person who gave him life: his father, Pierre Collins.
Barway Collins was born in Liberia Africa to Pierre Collins and Louise Karluah. Pierre Collins, a young father who survived the civil war in Africa, set out on a quest for a better life and migrated to the U. S., fathered several more children, and got married twice.
Karluah was also young, in school, and had also survived the civil war. At some point Ms. Karluah looked at her son Barway and saw a child with a bright future. Naturally you want the best for your children and would do almost anything to ensure their success. Karluah sent Barway to the U.S. to live with his father so that he, too, could live the American dream, unaware that several years later it would turn into the American nightmare.
On March 24, 2015, Barway Collins woke up, had breakfast, got ready for school, and out the door to his bus — just like any other normal school day. However, we would soon learn that it was anything but normal. In fact, nothing about that day was normal. Some would say it was the worse day of their life.
Video surveillance shows Barway Collins on his bus being dropped off at his apartment in Crystal after school. The audio indicated that Barway stated, “There is my dad. And oh, my uncle’s here.”
Next, video surveillance shows Barway going to the front entrance of his apartment, opening the door, but he is then distracted. He never makes it into his building. Additional surveillance shows his father’s car by the side door. That is the last time anyone would see Barway Collins alive.
Early that evening Crystal Police Department received a call from Pierre Collins that his son didn’t come home from school and that he was missing. From the start, Crystal police investigators thought that something just wasn’t right, and due to outstanding work by Chief Stephanie Revering, Lieutenant Hacker, and Detective Julie Severson, the FBI, the Hennepin County sheriff and other law enforcement officials, they would name Pierre Collins a suspect and ultimately charge and successfully prosecute him for the murder of his son Barway Collins.
This was a senseless murder of a child that rocked a community’s sense of reality. But it did not shake the resolve of those of us who would do what was necessary to locate an innocent child and bring a monster to justice.
There are a lot of questions that still remain: How could a father do that to his own child? What was going on that was so terrible that he took his son’s life? Did he have help or did he act alone? Why didn’t God protect this innocent little boy?
The truthful answer is we don’t know and we may never know. However, there are two things that we do know without a doubt, and that is that evil does exist in this world and that there is someone out there called “uncle” that has yet to be identified, a co-conspirator.
We always pay for our sins in one way or another. If not now, you can be certain judgement day will come. And you will answer for what you did or didn’t do. God have mercy on your soul.
Minnesota Community Policing Services and Minnesota Missing Persons led the community search and rescue mission that ultimately recovered the body of Barway Edwin Collins. We thank all the volunteers, especially our Boy Scout group that was first on scene.
David A. Singleton, chief executive officer of Minnesota Community Policing Services, welcomes readers’ responses to email@example.com.