Second vigil held for Alfa Barrie, 1 of 2 boys who died after going missing in Harlem

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Second vigil set for boy who died after going missing in Harlem
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Family and friends of Alfa Barrie will gather Tuesday for a second vigil to remember the 11-year-old who died too soon.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Family and friends of Alfa Barrie gathered Tuesday evening for a second vigil to remember the 11-year-old who died too soon.

The second memorial for Barrie was held at Democracy Prep Charter School in Harlem. Mourners gathered to remember Barrie as the smiling, happy young man who aspired to be an engineer.

"Alfa's looking down upon us and he's seeing the community he's brought together," Emmanuel George said. "Alfa brought us all together."

The Tuesday memorial comes a day after 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 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."

With the medical examiner's office still silent on the cause of his death, his family still in disbelief.

Barrie's uncle Amahdou Diallo demanded an independent autopsy on Tuesday.

"We want all the questions answered, which is how, and how Alfa lost his life," Diallo said.

Sources say the medical examiner's office hasn't ruled on a cause of death, as they wait for detectives to determine whether, while roughhousing, Barrie fell or was pushed by his friend.

Warren was pulled from the East River Thursday. His death was ruled an accidental drowning.


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