Organization of Liberians in Minnesota owes Barway's funeral home over $2K


Edoh Akakpo owns an African supermarket in Brooklyn Park, Minn., and said Barway Collins and his dad Pierre Collins used to shop there a couple times a month. Akakpo donated a check for $3,500 for the slain Crystal 10-year-old's funeral expenses to the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM), one of the groups collecting money on his behalf. Pierre Collins is behind bars accused of killing Barway to collect insurance money.

Ashleigh Hampton with Estes Funeral Chapel conducted Barway's funeral at Shiloh Temple on May 2 and says all the groups that promised to pay for the costs totaling more than $17,000 eventually paid, except for OLM. Akakpo said OLM has cashed his check. Hampton said OLM has not paid a single penny to the funeral home and owes more than $2,000. She added the group's leaders have been giving her the run-around.

Fox 9 reached out to Victoria Peabody and Penny Castano -- their names are both associated with OLM's donation fund. They declined comment and refused to provide paperwork showing where all the money went. Instead, we were told to contact Pastor Alexander Collins with the Liberian Minister's Association, which has worked closely with the group. He also declined comment.

Meanwhile, Pastor Harding Smith, who initially raised funds for Barway and was the Collins family spokesperson, stepped aside after some community leaders said his involvement posed a conflict of interest because he represented Pierre Collins. However, Hampton said Smith's group actually paid the funeral home money that was promised.

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