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Police arrest father in death of 10-year-old Barway Collins

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Barway Collins
Pierre Collins was arrested for second-degree homicide for the death of his son, Barway Collins, 10, according to officials.
Courtesy of Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

Updated 2:30 p.m. | Posted 1:19 p.m.

Police have arrested the father of 10-year-old Barway Collins, whose body was found in the Mississippi River over the weekend.

The Crystal Police Department confirmed Pierre Collins was arrested for second-degree homicide for the death of Barway. 

He has yet to be charged. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said charges could come as early as Tuesday afternoon. 

Police had previously called Pierre Collins a "primary suspect" in the disappearance of Barway, who was missing for nearly a month. Pierre Collins has said he is innocent.

Authorities said Barway's body was found Saturday, about 10 feet from the river's edge in Brooklyn Center.

On Sunday, Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering told reporters that Barway's case was now a homicide investigation. She would not comment on the evidence that led the police and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office to rule it so.

The medical examiner has not discussed how Barway died.

Barway was a fourth-grader at Evergreen Park World Studies Elementary School in Brooklyn Center.

Social workers were on hand Monday to help grieving students deal with their classmate's death.

The last time Principal Sheryl Ray saw him was the day of his disappearance on March 18 when he held the door open for students she was letting out for dismissal. 

Most Evergreen Park students and staff knew Barway and his death has been difficult for the entire school community, Ray said. 

She recalled his "wide smile" and his friendly, energetic, infectious personality.

"We're all devastated about the news of Barway's death. It's very tragic," Ray said. "We're trying to keep this as normal as possible."

As the news spread, organizers of a community search effort announced plans for a memorial event. The group will meet at 2 p.m. Sunday at North Mississippi Regional Park.

In a Facebook message, Penny Castano said the memorial will "help all of the amazing volunteers gain some sort of closure."

"This is a devastating loss," Castano wrote. "This child has touched the hearts of so many."