Burial Postponed for Barway Collins; Father's Request to See Body Denied

Cassie Hart
Updated: April 24, 2015 08:55 AM
Created: April 23, 2015 12:00 AM

The funeral for the 10-year-old boy who went missing and was later found in the Mississippi River is being postponed one week.

According to Liberian Ministers Association and Pastor Harding Smith, the services for Barway Collins are May 2 in order to give his biological mother time to get to Minnesota from Liberia.


The original funeral was set for 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, at the Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis. A family spokesman said the services needed to be held at that time due to the condition of Barway's remains.

In the meantime, a judge denied a request for Pierre Collins to visit the funeral home to say goodbye to the son he is charged with killing.

After a 10-minute hearing Thursday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Tanya Bransford denied the request.

“I am not aware of any legal right to see his son prior to burial,” Bransford said. “I’m denying it because of the risk to public safety.”

Collins' lawyer, Shawn Webb, wanted the judge to authorize the sheriff’s department to transport Collins to the funeral home where he could “say goodbye to his son” in a secure room.

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Amy Sweasy opposed the request, pointing out that this would be a furlough from his $2 million bail and not at all similar to other inmates being transported to the hospital for treatment. She said there was no legal precedence for Collins’ request, a release stated.

“During points of the investigation, law enforcement had to know where Mr. Collins was and it wasn’t always easy,” Sweasy said. “So the request should be denied because, A, it presents an unreasonable flight risk and, B, just having Mr. Collins out there, the propriety of the request. He is under $2 million in bond because he is charged with murdering his son. To do something for his convenience is troubling.”

Barway Collins went missing from his Crystal apartment March 18 and his body was discovered in the Mississippi River on April 11. Collins is charged with second-degree murder in his son’s murder based on cellphone records, surveillance video and other evidence.

According to a search warrant, investigators say a silver knife was found near the body.

His next court hearing is scheduled for May 14.

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