Thousands of dollars were raised for the funeral of slain Crystal, Minn. boy Barway Collins, and now, some of those donors want their money back, claiming they've been used. After a lot of arguing and shouting matches ensued at a Thursday press conference, the Estes Funeral Home is still out $2,000 and a generous donor is wondering where his $3,500 went.
During the press conference, some community members started yelling and pointing fingers at Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM), saying the group lacked transparency. From their Brooklyn Park headquarters, OLM officials continued to say they've responsibly collected money on behalf of Barway. The 10-year-old was allegedly killed by his father, Pierre Collins, who appeared before a packed courtroom on Thursday for his latest hearing.
A $3,500 check Edoh Akakpo donated specifically for Barway's funeral is still sitting unused. Akakpo said Barway and his father frequented his grocery store.
Ashleigh Hampton, a spokesperson for Estes, said OLM owes more than $2,000
"We figured once everything died down someone would come and pay, however, that never came," she said.
Now, OLM officials are trying to distance themselves from the donation process, saying they are just one of the groups collecting funds under the "Team Barway" name. They added they are not responsible for paying the remaining balance. Instead, OLM officials say former Collins family spokesperson Pastor Harding Smith is supposed to do that. And he did not take that well, claiming the majority of the group "has no accountability or credibility."
For now, Akakpo said he's disappointed this process has turned into a distraction and wants his money back immediately.
"If I have to deliver it personally to the funeral home, I would be happy to do it," he said.
As for the Team Barway account, a spokesperson said they've collected roughly $10,000 and almost $5,000 is left. Fox 9 is still waiting on documentation for verification.