Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.
NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.
To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile a missing person weekly and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing.
Barway Edwin Collins
Case Type: Endangered
DOB: Jan. 1, 2005
Missing Date: March 18, 2015
Age Now: 10
Missing City: Crystal
Missing State: Minnesota
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Short
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Barway was last seen outside his home at Cedarwood Apartments in Crystal, Minnesota.
Circumstances of Disappearance: According to Crystal Police, Barway, a 4th grader, was last seen walking away the parking lot of his apartment building at about 4:30 p.m. after being dropped off by the school bus. A missing persons report was filed at 6:30 p.m. by the boys’ father.
Because surveillance video doesn’t appear to show Barway being coerced or abducted, police initially stated that the boy may have gone with someone he knows, a sentiment the family disagreed with.
On Tuesday, hours after the boy’s father Pierre Collins pleaded for his return during a vigil at the apartment building, police said the boy’s father is a suspect in the case, Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering told NewsOne.
Collins has not been arrested or charged in the case. But Revering said he failed a lie detector and police don’t believe Collins is being truthful regarding what he knows about his son’s disappearance.
One of the key pieces of evidence that has police concerned is video footage from the school bus minutes before Barway was dropped off at his apartment building.
“This video also has audio which reveals that Barway had verbally stated that he observed his father and another party which he refers to as his “uncle” as he exited the bus. As he approaches his home it appears he is called over to the parking lot area,” said Revering.
“The father and the party described as an “uncle” are the last known people to have seen Barway. Unfortunately, we have reason to believe that Barway’s father has not been completely truthful with us,” added Revering.
“At this point in the investigation the father has not provided us the name of the party that Barway referred to as his “uncle.” The term “uncle” may often be used to describe a relative or a close friend of the family,” she continued.
Revering referred to the “uncle” as “an additional person of interest” in the case.
The assertion from police that Collins is not being cooperative is in stark contrast to the plea the boy’s father made at a vigil the day before.
“We miss Barway,” Collins said Monday during a vigil at the apartment complex, the Star Tribune reported. “Barway has been gone for a very long time now. We are begging and asking everyone to look out there.”
Collins, who is Liberian, told Fox 9 that he had nothing to do with his son’s disappearance.
“I would never do that do my son. Where we come from, our African culture, we don’t do that to children, we protect them until they grow and they go on their own,” he said.
Police have involved multiple agencies in the search, including the FBI and have used K-9 dogs in an attempt to pick up the boys’ scent. Surveillance video from the area is also under review. They have also been monitoring flights to Liberia to make sure the boy is not on any of them.
Revering called on the public to help out in the case, particularly the Liberian community.
“We would like the help of the Liberian community and others in identifying who Barway may have been referring to as his uncle when he departed the bus,” said Revering.
Last Seen Wearing: He was last seen wearing a black jacket, white t-shirt, black pants, red shoes and was carrying a red backpack.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Barway is described as a very happy, well-mannered child.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of circumstances of disappearance for Barway Edwin Collins may contact the Crystal Police Department at (952) 258-5321 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.