Bodies Found

The bodies of two boys, who family members said were together shortly before they vanished over a week ago, were recovered from separate locations in the waters off Manhattan on Saturday, police said.

Alfa Barrie, 11, of the Bronx’s Morrisania neighborhood, was last seen on May 12, according to the police. Alfa went missing on May 14, and his body was discovered on Saturday morning in the Hudson River near West 102nd Street.

Garrett Warren, 13, was last seen in front of his Harlem home around 1:30 a.m. on May 13, according to police. Garrett went missing on Monday, and his body was discovered in the Harlem River on Manhattan’s east side on Thursday morning.

The police department stated that their investigation into what caused the deaths was ongoing. Garrett died of accidental drowning, according to a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office on Saturday.

She also stated that an investigation will be conducted to determine Alfa’s cause of death.

It’s unclear when or how the boys got into the water. According to Capt. Richard Werner, owner of Safe Boating America, a boating safety training provider, two people who enter a body of water at the same location can end up in completely different places.

Many factors can influence how far currents can carry a person, according to Mr. Werner. The strength of the current at the time, the person’s swimming ability, and the person’s ability to hold onto a branch or debris for an extended period of time will all influence how far and in which direction someone is carried.

“The currents in any river can be hazardous,” he said. “However, the Hudson and Harlem rivers are unique in that they are both large bodies of water with heavy commercial traffic and fast currents.”

Search efforts have been underway since the boys’ disappearance, led by their families and community members.

Alfa’s mother and sister told Africa in Harlem, a multilingual community news site, that they last spoke to him before he left for school at Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School on May 12.

Ms. Diallo said the family learned Alfa was missing when another sister, who lives in the Bronx, called on Saturday morning to say he had missed his Friday evening ritual of spending the night at her house. Alfa would frequently leave school after early dismissal on Fridays to visit his younger sister, who attends the same school, she said.

Police said they responded to reports of a body in the water near the Madison Avenue Bridge around 10:15 a.m. on Thursday. Garrett’s mother was informed of his death that evening at the 32nd Precinct and later identified him, according to Iesha Sekou, the chief executive and founder of Street Corner Resources, a Harlem-based anti-violence organization.

“It was just heart-piercing,” Ms. Sekou, who had been assisting the boys’ families and the police as they searched, said.

“I’m a mother,” she declared. “And so there’s no way you could be a mother and not feel that, in particular.”

On May 12, her group’s outreach workers learned that two people, initially reported to be adults, had fallen into the river. The next morning, she said, children in the community were saying it was actually two children.

For Ms. Sekou, the deaths of the two boys highlighted the dangers of the areas around the city’s rivers. She said her organization had spoken to city leaders about the issue and about the need for more safe spaces for children to spend their time.

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