Police Arrest Uncle in Connection with Death of Sixth-Grader Precious Wallaces

Consentino cheerleaders grabbed their pom-poms in memory of Precious Wallaces and her family at a recent sporting event. (Courtesy photograph)

Consentino cheerleaders grabbed their pom-poms in memory of Precious Wallaces and her family at a sporting event last month. (Courtesy photograph.)

Precious Wallaces was a student at Consentino School.

An arrest has been made in connection with the death of an 11-year-old Haverhill middle school student last month.

Fifty-eight-year-old Miguel Rivera, of Lawrence, was charged Friday night with permitting substantial bodily injury to Consentino School student Precious Wallaces and misleading a police investigation, according to Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett and Lawrence Police Chief Roy P. Vasque.

The sixth-grader died Dec. 18 after falling ill three days earlier while visiting her uncle at 233 Jackson St., Lawrence. Before her death WHAV received an unconfirmed report, the student may have ingested a substance after school—possibly believing it was candy—before entering a coma. Lawrence Police and Emergency services found Wallaces unresponsive at the home early Saturday morning, Dec. 15. She was taken to Lawrence General Hospital and later med-flighted to Tufts Medical Center where she died.

Rivera was arrested by a Massachusetts State Police detective assigned to the District Attorney’s office and a Lawrence Police officer. He is currently being held on $1 million bail and will be arraigned Tuesday in Lawrence District Court, according to Carrie Kimball, Blodgett’s spokeswoman.

Her death has been under investigation by the Essex District Attorney’s office, the Essex State Police Detective Unit and Lawrence Police. The Chief Medical Examiner’s office performed an autopsy but has not yet ruled on a cause and manner of death. “The investigation is ongoing and therefore, it is possible that more charges could issue,” Kimball said.

A month ago, Kimball told WHAV, “At this point in time, all possible causes are being considered—including possible exposure to a toxic substance. However, we cannot confirm any specific cause at this time—as that is the purpose of our investigation,” she said.