Murdered US-Liberian kid’s last gift to mother

Seyon Nyanwleh welcomes the press as Pastor Collins, Louise and City Commissioner David Singleton (seated) look on

Seyon Nyanwleh welcomes the press as Pastor Collins, Louise and City Commissioner David Singleton (seated) look on

Majority of African teenagers who are lucky to make it to the US never bothered to call back home and greet parents left behind after the first few months. Never even mention kids as young as 5 year-old; they are just too young to keep a better memory of closed relatives, including their biological parents; writes James Kokulo Fasuekoi in Minnesota 

But for little Barway Collins who at age 5, had to leave his biological mother Louise and travel to the US to live with his dad Pierre Collins, that motherly touch was always present and it didn’t go away till recently when he got missing followed by the discovery of his body in the Mississippi River, near Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Unlike most typical American teens of Barway’s age who will run to the toys store whenever they get some money, little Barway Collins remembered his mom each time he raised a considerable amount of money through his piggy-bank. It is said the last amount he sent to Louise prior to his tragic demise was $50. 00.  

This information was revealed by Liberian immigrant pastor Alexander Collins during a news conference Thursday, at the offices of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM), located in Brooklyn Park, Minn. The gesture no doubt confirms the African adage that a child destined to do great things in life shall exhibit the signs at an early age and such was 10 year-old Barway. 

Barway's mother Louise is being escorted to a waiting car

Barway’s mother Louise is being escorted to a waiting car

The kid’s father Pierre Collins has been charged in connection to the boy’s murder and is currently awaiting trial in the state of Minnesota.  

At the press conference, the boy’s mother Louise spoke briefly to US media for the first time since she arrived from Liberia Wednesday, in preparation for her son’s funeral slated for today, Saturday, May 2nd. 

She thanked the American people and Liberian women for their continued support to the grieving family, including finding the remains of Barway so he can be given a decent burial.  

Overcome by severe grief, Louise appeared agitated, unable to answer questions from the media. She didn’t acknowledge a female reporter that tried to persuade her to narrate story about Barway’s childhood in Liberia. She stayed silent during much of the conference, and often stared at news reporters and TV Cameramen who scrambled to get their best out of the event. 

At Louise’s request, the committee for the Barway Search Team made a special appeal to sympathizers to wear all-white attires during funeral rites today for the purpose of honoring the deceased, Barway, who according to the master of ceremony, will be dressed in all-white.

Louise tries to get into a car

Louise tries to get into a car

Louise was later escorted to the Estes Funeral Chapel in Minneapolis to get her first glimpse of her son’s corpse but she immediately broke down while viewing the body and was led away. 

She sobbed endlessly in the chapel’s hallways and it was such a devastating scene that even some family-friends and religious leaders who had tried to comfort her ended up giving in to tears. 

As she screamed in her native language and English, Louise kept asking why her son was murdered. It is a question that perhaps no one will ever find a straight answer for.

Meanwhile, a wake-keeping over the deceased took place last night at the Cross of Glory Lutheran Church on Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.  
Photos: James Kokulo Fasuekoi