Pierre Collins has been arrested for second-degree murder in the death of his 10-year-old son, Barway Collins. Pierre and his wife, Yamah, left the Cedarwood Apartments in Crystal, Minn. at about 12:40 p.m. Monday in separate, unmarked squad cars.Pierre Collins had been a suspect in Barway's 24-day disappearance, and remains the primary suspect in the boy's murder after the 4th-grader's body was recovered from the Mississippi River on Saturday. The Hennepin County attorney's office told Fox 9 that prosecutors are expected to review the case Monday afternoon.
"We have electronic evidence that Barway's father, Pierre, was in the vicinity of where his body was found at the time of his disappearance," Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering said at a Sunday afternoon press conference.
Pastor Harding Smith, a spokesman for the family, said Yamah returned home before 4 p.m. from questioning at the Crystal Police Department. She is worried for Pierre and what's next for their family, Smith said.
We just saw Pierre Collins in the back of an unmarked squad car leaving his residence at Cedarwood Apts in Crystal. Stay tuned— jonathan choe (@choefox9) April 13, 2015
Crystal police had been at the Cedarwood Apartments since 5 p.m. Saturday evening. We were told the police presence was in place to protect Pierre Collins. Family spokesperson Pastor Harding Smith said Pierre and Yamah's other children are being taken care of by other family members.?
Pierre's wife Yamah also in back of separate unmarked squad— jonathan choe (@choefox9) April 13, 2015
Barway's body was found about 10 feet from shore, at North Mississippi Regional Park, near 53rd Avenue N. and Lyndale Avenue N. A member of the volunteer search party told Fox 9 the body was first spotted by a group of Boy Scouts who had been canvassing the river's edge since 11 a.m. Saturday.
The manner and cause of death are still under investigation.
Barway Collins had been missing since the afternoon of March 18. The police investigation has focused on what happened after Barway left a school van in front of the Cedarwood Apartments in Crystal, Minn. In video footage, Barway looks out the window and is heard referring to his father, Pierre Collins, and a man he calls "uncle."
Defense attorney Christa Groshek said community agreement by way of a grand jury could mean Collins' presumed second-degree murder charge could be upgraded.
"I'm pretty sure investigators right now have a great deal of information already. That's probably why they waited until they had this to arrest him and bring him into custody. They had to wait until they had an accumulation of evidence called probable cause," Groshek said.
A full autopsy report, Groshek said, will also guide prosecutors on exactly how severe a charge Barway's father should face. Charges could come as early as Tuesday.
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