By David Greene
May 30, 2023
NEW YORK - Multiple questions remain as the NYPD continues to investigate the tragic drowning death of two teens-- one recovered from the Harlem River, while the other was retrieved days later in the Hudson River on the other side of Manhattan Island.
Police officials stated that Alfa Barrie, 11, was last seen leaving his residence on East 167 Street in the Bronx at 4 p.m. on May 12.
On May 16, the NYPD reported that 13-year-old Garrett Warren, of West 143 Street in Manhattan was reported missing on May 14, after police were informed that the child left his home at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 13.
Also on May 16, Daniel Osorio posted on Facebook, "On behalf of the Barrie family and my Muslim family in faith, our young king has not returned home since Friday 5/12. Please share this on all your platforms and pray for his safe return.”
At 10 a.m. on May 18, an NYPD Harbor unit retrieved a body from the Harlem River, in the area near the Madison Avenue Bridge. The body was later identified as Warren’s.
At approximately 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, an NYPD harbor unit was called to the Hudson River at West 102 Street for a report of a body in the water. The victim was retrieved and was later identified as Barrie.
The family has publicly questioned the NYPD's findings that the drownings were accidental as unconfirmed reports that a third teen was with the two boys as well as a report stating that a witness claimed that Warren had pushed Barrie into the Harlem River, before slipping into the river himself. The Bronx Voice has been unable to verify these claims.
WPIX is reporting that the Office of the City's Medical Examiner (OCME) has since determined that Warren's death has been ruled an accidental drowning while Barrie's cause of death has been delayed, "pending further study.”
Residents took to Twitter to question several aspects of the mystery, as "@Fotogem" Tweeted, "Why did it take a week plus before the 3rd youth was mentioned? This needs to be investigated.”
As May is "Water Safety Month" Stew Leonard's, the popular Westchester food hub has announced plans to open the "Stewie The Duck Swim School" in Norwalk, CT., on June 5. The new swimming school and pool will offer low-cost swimming lessons to children in need from the tri-state area with the goal of self-funding 20,000 free swimming lessons each year.
According to a press release for the swimming school, Kim and Stew Leonard, Jr., lost their 21-month-old son Stevie in an accidental drowning incident in 1989. The couple founded the Stew Leonard lll Water Safety Foundation and wrote a pair of books on the matter that has so far raised $6 million that helped fund the new pool and school in hopes of preventing similar tragedies happening to other families.
For more information on the Stewie The Duck Swim School, visit their website at: https://stewietheduck.org.