Steps away from where a 10-year-old boy from Crystal was last seen last week, his parents, Pierre and Yamah Collins, huddled together Monday evening as friends and community members pleaded for his safe return.
Police have released very little information about Barway Edwin Collins' disappearance. He was last seen walking away from the entrance to his apartment building in the 5400 block of Douglas Drive N. after school on Wednesday.
"We miss Barway," Pierre Collins said Monday during a vigil at the apartment complex. "Barway has been gone for a very long time now. We are begging and asking everyone to look out there."
At the vigil, about 40 people, including Crystal police officers and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) officers gathered, prayed and sang hymns at the apartment complex's parking lot.
Members of the Liberian community, of which Barway's family is a member, offered prayers and words of sympathy. "He could be our next teacher … physicist … chemist … astronaut," said Mamadee Sesay, executive director of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota. "We are not losing hope. … We pray Barway be found … alive."
Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering, who attended the vigil, said she had no updates on Barway's disappearance. Revering previously has said that police do not believe the boy is in danger.
Surveillance footage shows the boy starting to enter the building, looking inside, then walking away.
Revering did, however, offer words of encouragement to his family. "We are working very hard in bringing Barway home … we will not stop until he is found," she said.
Revering said Crystal police have called in the FBI, the BCA and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office to help with the search.
Police are seeking public assistance in identifying two people who may have "witnessed Collins being dropped off from school … at his apartment complex," according to a statement. The image of the two people was captured on surveillance video from the lobby of the apartment building around the time the boy disappeared.