In a solemn announcement as the bodies of two young boys who had mysteriously disappeared were discovered in the Hudson and Harlem Rivers.
Alfa Barrie, an 11-year-old Bronx native, was last seen on the afternoon of Friday, May 12, disappearing along with 13-year-old Garrett Warren. Their bodies were found in separate rivers, marking a somber conclusion to an intensive week of search efforts by authorities and concerned community members.
Early Saturday morning, the FDNY responded to a call that led them to the Hudson River, where the body of young Alfa was retrieved. This discovery followed the extraction of Garrett’s body from the Harlem River on Thursday, located near the Manhattan side of the Madison Avenue Bridge.
The cause of death in both instances is yet to be determined, pending a thorough investigation by the Medical Examiner. However, initial findings suggest no foul play, leaving their families and the community grappling with questions about how the two boys ended up in the city’s rivers.
The boys, last seen together and known to be friends, have stirred the city into a state of mourning. In a press conference held earlier this week, Deputy Chief Commanding Officer Brian Gill conveyed the police department’s commitment to the investigation, utilizing “all assets” at their disposal.
Alfa’s sister, Fatima Diallo, conveyed the family’s heartbreak, stating how it was very much unlike Alfa not to check in with his family. Garrett’s grandmother echoed a similar sentiment, indicating that this kind of disappearance was out of character for the boy who would usually be found playing basketball at a nearby playground.
Ahmadou Diallo, the uncle of Alfa Barrie and representative for the family, said, “We are saddened by the sudden missing and tragic death of our beloved son, brother, and nephew. The family thanks all those who assisted in the search and recovery of Alfa’s remains. We ask that you please pray for Alfa’s parents, siblings, and extended family.”
Natasha Trivers, CEO of Democracy Prep Public Schools, a network of free, open-enrollment public charter schools with two locations in New York City in the Bronx and Harlem, said, “We are devastated to learn that Alfa Ousmane Barrie is no longer with us. Our hearts go out to his family and friends, and the community that is grieving for him. Alfa was a 6th grader at Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School, where he stood out as a funny, bright, witty, inquisitive, and brave child. He will be sorely missed by his teachers and fellow students. We also stand in solidarity with the family of Alfa’s friend, Garrett Warren. While he was not a student, we understand that this is a difficult time for his community as well and share our prayers with them.”
In these mournful times, the stories of Alfa and Garrett serve as a stark reminder of the fragility of life. As the community comes together to grieve, the investigation continues. The NYPD’s dedication to uncovering the truth behind this tragedy offers some solace to a city in mourning, even as the final chapter in the lives of these two young boys concludes in a way no one had hoped for.
As we wait for the full details to emerge, the city shares in the grief of the families and the memory of Alfa Barrie and Garrett Warren, two young lives abruptly and tragically cut short.