Second vigil set for Alfa Barrie, 1 of 2 boys who died after going missing in Harlem
Family and friends of Alfa Barrie will gather Tuesday for a second vigil to remember the 11-year-old who died too soon.
Mourners packed the Futa Islamic Center Monday night as they prayed and wept for Barrie, who vanished after school nearly two weeks ago, along with his friend, 13-year-old Garrett Warren.
After days of searching, police divers found both of their bodies. Warren was found on Thursday in the Harlem River while Barrie was found on Saturday in the Hudson.
On May 12, police believe the two were horsing around on the bike path by the Harlem River Drive. A third boy who was with them saw them fall into the river. It took him hours to find an adult to call for help. Police searched all night but found nothing.
“As it shapes out, it seems to be more of a profound tragedy and probably horseplay gone wrong,” former NYPD Deputy John Miller said
It was several days before the two families actually reported the boys missing, but by then, the fierce river current had separated their bodies. Warren was eventually found about a mile south of where they went in, near 145th Street.
Barrie’s body was found all the way on the other side of Manhattan at 99th Street, off Riverside Park.
“Which struck everyone as odd but if you know those currents it can carry you north around the tip and then back down…very treacherous waters which is why they probably disappeared so quickly after going in,” Miller said.
None of it adds up for Barrie’s family. The young boy planned to be an engineer when he grew up and had planned gifts for his mom on Mother’s Day, but never came home from school.
“This is someone who didn’t just care about himself but also his family and the people around him,” Barrie’s brother Ibrahim Diallo said. “He smiled at everyone.”
The second memorial for Barrie will be held at Democracy Prep Middle School.
Meanwhile, the medical examiner still hasn’t determined a cause of death and hasn’t released his body, meaning the devout West African Muslim community can’t hold a funeral and lay Barrie to rest.
Warren was pulled from the East River Thursday. His death was ruled an accidental drowning.