It was a somber, sometimes tearful scene on Friday, June 23, 2023, as friends and family gathered at the Futa Islamic Center in Morrisania in the Bronx to funeralize 11-year-old Alfa Barrie.
The Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School student was last seen in Harlem on May 12, 2023, with 13-year-old Garrett Warren. The city was put on alert as a search was launched for the two boys. On Thursday, May 18, Warren’s body was recovered from the East River. On Saturday morning, May 20, 2023, it was announced that Barrie’s body was recovered under the Madison Avenue Bridge over the Hudson River. Multiple media sources stated that the boys climbed through a hole in a fence close to the 145th Street Bridge.
Reportedly, the medical examiner determined that both died from accidental drowning.
The NYPD said that they are continuing to investigate the case.
Warren was funeralized on June 1, 2023, at Unity Funeral Chapel in Harlem.
Barrie’s family held up his funeral as they unsuccessfully pushed for immigration authorities in Sierra Leone and electeds in the U.S. to grant an emergency visa for the drowned boy’s father, Abdoul Barrie, to return for the burial services.
Electeds joined the grieving community on Friday for the janaazah. Speakers included Alfa’s brother Ibrahim Diallo, Sheikh Musa Drammeh, and family spokesperson Ahmadou Diallo. Elected officials offering words of comfort and support were State Senator Cordell Cleare, Bronx D.A. Darcel Clark, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, and Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School Public Schools CEO Natasha Trivers. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams sent a proclamation for Alfa’s mother, Fatoumata Diallo, and the family.
The service was followed by the maqbarah at Marlboro Muslim Memorial Cemetery in Morganville, N.J.