The family of a missing Bronx boy whose body was discovered in the Hudson River over the weekend is seeking answers as to how the 11-year-old and his friend ended up in waters off Manhattan.
Alfa Barrie loved math and engineering and was not the type to go out on his own without first checking in with his mother, let alone for a dangerous adventure on the waterfront, according to relatives who spoke to The Post on Sunday.
“We still don’t understand what happened,” his uncle, Ahmadou Diallo, said, noting that his nephew couldn’t swim.
According to police, the boy and his friend, 13-year-old Garrett Warren of Harlem, were last seen together sometime between the afternoon of May 12 and the morning of May 13.
On Saturday morning, the NYPD Harbor Unit recovered Alfa’s body from the Hudson near 102nd Street and Riverside Drive.
Garrett’s body was recovered Thursday from the Harlem River near the Madison Avenue Bridge.
It’s unclear how the boys ended up in waters on opposite sides of Manhattan, but an NYPD spokesman suggested on Sunday that “the tides had something to do with it” and that the investigation was still ongoing.
The two boys’ deaths will be investigated by the city’s medical examiner.
At around 6 p.m. on May 12, police obtained surveillance footage that showed Alfa and Garrett walking past a large crowd on Lenox Avenue. According to police, Alfa went missing early Sunday morning and Garrett went missing on Monday afternoon.
Before Garrett’s body was discovered in the water, the NYPD’s harbor unit had been searching the nearby Harlem River for days.
“He was not the adventurous type — he would not have gone on an adventure like this,” Ibrahim Diallo, Alfa’s older brother told The Post on Sunday. “He never did anything like this. He never went missing before.”
Diallo described his family’s sense of loss as indescribable, particularly for his mother.
“I cannot explain her pain,” Diallo told The Washington Post on Sunday. “All I see is that she’s going through 100 times more than I am – more pain, more loss – and I can tell you that I’m feeling all the pain and loss I can stand.”
Diallo described his younger brother as a sweet kid who kissed his mother goodbye every time he left and did little things like help her with the laundry to show her how much he cared.
“He would say, ‘I have no money to give, so whatever I can do to show how grateful I am to my mother for everything she does for me… I will do,” Diallo said.
Alfa was in sixth grade at Democracy Prep in Manhattan, according to a family friend. He enjoyed school, particularly math, and told his family that he wanted to be the “best engineer there is to help make people’s lives better,” according to his brother.
“Now he will never fulfill that potential,” Diallo bemoaned. “We will never see his ambitions realized.”