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Arrest Made In Death Of 11-Year-Old Haverhill Girl Precious Wallaces

LAWRENCE (CBS) – A Lawrence man was arrested and charged in the death of Precious Wallaces. The 11-year-old Haverhill girl died several days after she was found unresponsive in December.

Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque announced Saturday that 58-year-old Miguel Rivera has been arrested. He is charged with permitting substantial bodily injury to a child and misleading a police investigation.

Rivera is being held on $1 million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court on Tuesday.

Wallaces was found unresponsive in a Jackson Street home. She was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital, then taken by MedFlight to Tufts Medical Center where she died after several days in a coma.

Precious Wallaces
Precious Wallaces. (Family photo)

The day after Wallaces died, a relative said the family still didn't know exactly what happened to Precious.

"We are as clueless as everyone else is," her aunt Cathie Rivera wrote on Facebook in December.

An autopsy has been performed, but the medical examiner has not yet ruled on the cause and manner of death. Investigators said it is possible more charges will be filed.

Police are investigating the possibility that she may have been exposed to a toxic substance.

Wallaces was a sixth grader at the Consentino Middle School in Haverhill.


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