MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) – The body of 11-year-old Alfa Barrie likely ended up in the Hudson River due to a northbound current in the Harlem River where he died, police officials said Wednesday.
NYPD officials provided an update on the investigation into the deaths of Barrie and 13-year-old Garrett Warren, two New York City boys who died after falling into the Harlem River on May 12.
The body of Warren was pulled from the Harlem River near the Madison Avenue Bridge on May 18. Two days later, Barrie’s body was discovered in the Hudson River near 102nd Street and Riverside Drive on May 20.
Many people have been puzzled as to why Barrie’s body was found on the west side of Manhattan in the Hudson River when he is believed to have died in the Harlem River on the east side. NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Russo explained why Barrie’s body likely ended up in the Hudson River.
“If [Barrie] surfaced the night of [May] 19 into [May] 20, the Harlem River was traveling northbound. It was a northbound current, which feeds towards the Hudson River through the Spuyten Duyvil [Creek],” Russo said.
Warren’s body, however, was discovered south in the Harlem River. Russo said Warren’s body likely surfaced in the river before Barrie’s when there was a southbound current. Warren’s body likely surfaced in the Harlem River earlier because of his larger body composition. A person with more body fat is going to surface in the river faster than someone with less body fat, according to Russo.
The two boys were roughhousing and pushing each other when they both fell into the Harlem River, according to another boy who witnessed the incident, NYPD officials said. But investigators are still trying to find out more about what exactly happened.
“We are working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner to determine if there was any criminality involved or if this was just a tragic incident,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. “We want to find out exactly what occurred on that river. We owe that to the families for closure. We also owe that to the public as well.”
NYPD officials asked anyone with video that might shed light on what occurred to come forward.
“We know that kids take video, they post video, they exchange video on social media. If anyone has seen any video or heard of any video, please contact us. You are not in trouble for not coming forward in a timely manner. If we have any video out there, we’d like to see it,” Essig said.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).