NEW YORK (PIX11) — A vigil and memorial will be held Tuesday for Alfa Barrie, the 11-year-old Bronx boy whose body turned up in the Hudson River more than a week after he disappeared.
The boy’s family and school, Democracy Prep, will honor Barrie during a service in the school gym at 4 p.m., according to a Democracy Prep spokesperson.
Barrie was a sixth-grader at the school. Democracy Prep CEO Natasha Trivers remembered the student as “a funny, bright, witty, inquisitive and brave child.”
“No matter what I do, when a mom loses a child, there’s no comfort that can come with that. This is one way to comfort her, to figure out what exactly happened. What happened to her child?” Barrie’s brother, Ibrahim Diallo, told PIX11 News.
Barrie’s family said they called the police on May 13 after the 11-year-old didn’t come home from his Harlem charter school. Barrie’s body was found in the Hudson River — on the other side of Manhattan — on Saturday.
Barrie was with his buddy, Garrett Warren, 13, when the two disappeared, police said. Barrie’s family said they didn’t know how close the boys were because they went to different schools and lived in different boroughs. Warren was a Harlem resident and attended NEST+M school in Lower Manhattan.
PIX11 News obtained photos over the weekend of a broken fence that leads to the Harlem River shoreline, not far from the 145th Street Bridge where the boys were spotted on surveillance video on May 12.
“It is just unimaginable that those kids were playing around and (ended) up in the water. Looking at the wall, the fences on the river,” Barrie’s uncle, Ahmadou Diallo, said.
The NYPD searched for the two boys in the river the same night after receiving 911 calls about the incident but did not find them.
Warren’s family reported him missing on May 15. The 13-year-old’s body was discovered on Thursday near the Madison Avenue Bridge — nearly a week after he and Barrie had disappeared.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office determined Warren accidentally drowned. The office has not yet released Barrie’s cause of death, as of Monday morning.
“This is someone who had a lot of potential and this potential we will never be able to see it. So we are asking everyone in the community to come together once more and try to figure out what happened,” Ibrahim Diallo said.