11-year-old Alfa Barrie and 13-year-old Garrett Warren, two friends who were reported missing last week, were found dead in waterways in New York City. Authorities have launched an investigation into their mysterious deaths.
According to NBC News, Barrie and Warren were typical kids with big dreams. Barrie, from the Bronx, aspired to be a world-class engineer. Warren, who lived in Harlem, dreamt about being a football star or business tycoon. They reportedly spent time together shortly before their disappearances — Barrie was reported missing on May 14 and Warren was reported missing the next day.
Though they disappeared around the same time, their remains were found in different places. Barrie’s body was found in the Hudson River on Saturday, and Warren’s body was found Thursday in the Harlem River. Warren’s body was discovered near an area where the boys were last seen on security footage, according to NBC News.
New York’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner has determined that Warren’s cause of death was drowning, and it said it believes his death was an accident. The office said in a statement that it has yet to confirm what Barrie’s cause of death was.
Authorities said a teenage witness told them that Barrie and Warren were playing by the Harlem River when one of them shoved the other into the water, CNN reported. The shover ended up entering the water as well. The witness saw them for a short moment but did not see either of them come up for air or climb out of the water. Hours later, he told an adult what happened, and they called 911.
Police in harbor units arrived on the scene shortly after the 911 call. They were not able to find the boys in the water. Authorities patrolled the area for days looking for the children.
Ibrahim Diallo, Barrie’s older brother, told NBC that he was the epitome of a “people person.”
“He was someone who was always smiling. He was always helping others, anytime he got a chance,” he told the outlet, adding that Barrie loved math and aspired to be “not just any engineer … but the very best engineer.”
Diallo and members of the community honored Barrie at a mosque in the Bronx on Monday night, ABC 7 reported.
Warren also greatly impacted those around him, especially those within his school community.
“Garrett was a kind, funny and goofy child who loved to make his peers and his friends laugh,” an unnamed staff member at the New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math school said, according to NBC News. “He would do silly dances just to get a giggle and help people feel better.”
Like Barrie, Warren loved school, though his subject of choice was science, not math. The staff member shared the 13-year-old “would often beg for more science homework.”
Barrie’s Harlem school issued a statement regarding the incident, sending its thoughts and support to both boys’ families and communities.
“He will be sorely missed by his teachers and fellow students,” the statement read, according to CNN. “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.”