Updated: April 13, 2015 12:51 PM
Created: April 12, 2015 12:00 AM
Crystal police said during a news conference Sunday that the missing person investigation for 10-year-old Barway Collins has now turned into a homicide investigation.
Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering said Pierre Collins, Barway's father, remains a primary suspect. Police took Collins' passport, so he is not allowed to travel outside of the United States. Police said they do not think Collins has been truthful during the investigation.
During a March 24 interview with KSTP's Beth McDonough, Pierre insisted, "I had nothing to do with the disappearance of Barway."
Earlier Sunday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner identified the body that was recovered from the Mississippi River on Saturday as Barway. The manner and cause of death remain under investigation. Sources say his body was badly decomposed.
Revering said authorities have electronic evidence that Collins was in the vicinity of the river at the time the boy disappeared; she did not elaborate further on the nature of that evidence.
Revering said the FBI, BCA and Hennepin County Sheriff's Office all continue to assist in the investigation.
The Crystal boy was reported missing on March 18 after he was last seen getting out of his school transportation van near the 5400 block of Douglas Drive North. His body was found near North Mississippi Regional Park in Minneapolis Saturday afternoon.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call at approximately 1 p.m. from a volunteer involved in a search effort at the park who claimed to see a body several yards from shore.
Melissa Fostvedt, who claims she saw Barway up close when he was found, said, "He didn't fall in, he was put there. He didn't go into the water by himself."
Shortly afterward, officials arrived to the scene of 53rd Avenue North and Lyndale Avenue North and recovered the body of a child.
In a letter to parents from Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School, which Barway attended, Principal Sheryl Ray said:
We are saddened to report to you the death of student Barway Collins, who had been missing since mid-March.
We have brought in many additional support staff from the district to assist us. Students who are having difficulty will be able to talk with a social worker.
We will do everything we can to help our school community deal with this loss. We will continue to keep Barway’s family and friends in our thoughts.
Stay with KSTP for further updates on the story.
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