Barway Collins' death: Father charged with murder


The father of Barway Collins is charged in connection with his son's death, two days after the boy's body was found floating in the Mississippi River.

Pierre Collins, 33, was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in the death of his 10-year-old son.

Police used video and cell phone evidence to track Collins to an area of the Mississippi River on the day Barway went missing, a news release says. His son's body was discovered in that same area Saturday.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said at a news conference Tuesday officials believe Collins took Barway to the river and dumped his body into a storm water system, where it remained underwater for 24 days before it somehow moved into the river and was discovered by a group of Boy Scouts Saturday afternoon.

Pierre Collins has publicly denied any involvement in earlier interviews.

He's expected to make his first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Prosecutors plan to seek $2 million bail, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said in a news release Tuesday.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Collins could face up to 40 years in prison, state law says, although Freeman said Tuesday he will ask a grand jury to up the charge to first-degree premeditated murder.

Freeman said they still aren't sure how Barway died, but it is part of the investigation.

Freeman said he is pleased with the charges, calling it a "strong circumstantial case."

Details from the criminal complaint

The criminal complaint gives a detailed timeline of the case, according to the attorney's office:

Officials say Collins was waiting in his car outside the family's Crystal apartment building when Barway got home from school around 4:17 p.m. March 18 – the last day the boy was seen alive.

Officials tracked Collins' movements that day, and found he went to an area of the Mississippi River twice – once in the morning, and then again around 4:42 p.m.

Barway's body was eventually found in that same area of the river.

"The condition of his body was consistent with that of a person who had been in the water for several weeks. His feet were found together with duct tape. A piece of duct tape was wrapped around his torso."

Collins denied being at the river and had no explanation why his phone was tracked there.

The complaint also says Collins made several statements to police that were contradictory in nature and there were inconsistencies in his account of the day his son went missing.

Investigators also found Collins, who has a significant amount of debt, had two life insurance policies on his son, one worth $30,000. And on March 16, two days before Barway went missing, Collins made a payment on the policy and inquired about raising the policy to $50,000.

The second insurance policy covers Collins for $100,000 and his dependents, including Barway, for $20,000 each.

Police spoke to the defendant Monday and Collins told them "if they had enough, they should come and get him." He was then taken into custody.

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