Barway Collins' mother arrives in Minnesota for son's funeral


The mother of the 10-year-old boy whose body was found in the Mississippi River has secured a temporary visa and has arrived in Minnesota for her son's funeral.

Barway Collins' funeral was postponed after members of the Liberian community requested it be delayed until his mother, Louise Karluah, could travel from Liberia to attend.

"This has been a tragic situation, but I'm glad that Barway's mother will be able to travel to Minnesota to help lay her son to rest," U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement Wednesday. "My office was in close contact with community leaders and advocates who were locating Barway's mom, and we worked with the U.S. embassy to help the mother obtain approval for a visa so that she can attend Barway's funeral."

Jackie Mccay, a woman who says she has been working with Karluah in Liberia through the Angie Brooks International Centre, posted on Facebook that Barway's mother is "definitely overwhelmed, but happy that so many people from the diaspora and in Liberia have come to her aid."

Karluah arrived in Minnesota around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, FOX 9 reports.

Karluah didn't speak publicly Wednesday, but she is expected to do so at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

Barway's funeral

Barway's funeral has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, WCCO reports.

The public is invited to attend the memorial service, according to a Facebook event, where community members plan to pay tribute to "his innocence, his exuberance, his irresistible smiles."

A report earlier this week from KSTP said Barway's funeral may have to be delayed again because not enough money has been raised to pay for it.

But the director of the Estes Funeral Home, which is handling the funeral arrangements, told WCCO Wednesday that's not the case.

Tracy Wesley said "that's not really been an issue with us," adding he has no plans to delay Barway’s funeral. He told the station he's confident the funeral home's expenses will be covered by donations.

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Barway Collins was last seen outside his Crystal apartment building March 18, and about a month later his body was recovered from the Mississippi River. His father, Pierre Collins, has been charged with murder in his death.

A judge denied Collins' request to see his son's body before he is buried.

The community has rallied together, holding vigils and organizing searches when the boy was still missing. Since his body was found, different groups have been raising money to help with funeral costs, as well as to help fund Karluah's trip to Minnesota.

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