Remembering Riana Barry and her family


It has now been six months since that terrible moment when Anjela Ayllon discovered that her big sister was gone.

“It’s still a daily thing not being able to wake up from this nightmare,” she told us.

In April, Riana and Sean Barry, along with their two daughters, Shiway and Sadie, were found dead in their Duluth home.

According to the police, they were killed by a relative. A man the Barrys had tried to help.

“We constantly think about, what did we miss? Was there something we could have done to prevent it? But there wasn’t. said Aylon.

She now feels ready to tell more about Riana and her family.

After graduating from Pine River, her sister wanted to see the world. “She joined AmeriCorp after she was in college. One of her assignments was in Anchorage, for the Special Olympics,” Ayllon said.

It was there that she met the love of her life, Sean, another adventurer. “He had visited six of the seven continents. And it was always their plan to finish the seventh,” she said.

After several years in Alaska, the Barrys moved south to Duluth. They found the beauty of Zenith City to be similar to that of their home country. And they had friends here.

Riana and the girls became members of a close-knit home school group, as well as Girl Scouts. These families brought comfort to Ayllon and others, while coping with their own pain.

“It kind of helped to feel like we weren’t alone, and other people were really mourning them and in shock, just like us,” Ayllon explained.

And it’s not just friends from Minnesota. “I received so many messages from all over the world.”

All four Barrys now have tiles at the Duluth Angel of Hope. Ayllon attended the recent ceremony.

“It was touching. Because it’s the first place in Minnesota where we have to remember them,” she said.

The family’s ashes are in Alaska. Their house will soon be sold. “It was a house full of love,” recalls Ayllon.

There’s an effort to put a Duluth memorial in a place the family loved, maybe a park.

Friends of the Barrys near and far have helped with it all.

“Their friends have been very supportive. They send a lot of messages. Like, Oh, I was thinking about Riana or Sean or the girls the other day. I think it really helps to hear the memories other people have of family.

That’s what’s left of the sister she talked to every day. Whose children played with his. Whose love knew no bounds.

“We just had this bond. Like no other bond can be,” she shared.

To help support the memorial project in Duluth, click on the GoFundMe:


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