Wallaces’ Brother Recounts Night She Fell Ill, Says Uncle Gave ‘Little Red Pill’ to ‘Help Them Sleep’

(File photograph.)

As Miguel Rivera, the uncle and babysitter of Haverhill sixth grader Precious Wallaces, sits in jail on several charges relating to her death—including alleged rape of a child—new details have surfaced about the night she fell ill.

Just-released court documents confirm Precious’ younger brother underwent a forensic interview during which he described how 58-year-old Rivera would give him and his sister a “little red pill” before bedtime each time they stayed at his Lawrence apartment to “help them sleep.” It is reported he paid the children to ingest the pill, believed to be amitriptyline, a medication used to treat nerve pain and depression. A common side effect of the drug is drowsiness.

Precious Wallaces (Courtesy photograph)

“(The boy) stated his uncle had given (him and Precious) a small red pill to swallow at bedtime and described the pills as coming from a prescription-type bottle,” State Police Trooper Matthew Wilson said in the police report filed Jan. 29, the day Rivera was formally charged with rape of a child by force. The boy said the pills were “to help them sleep and that his uncle gave them to them every time they stayed over.”

Rivera, who had a valid medical prescription for amitriptyline, previously denied giving Precious a pill to help her sleep when questioned by Lawrence police. On Dec. 15, the night Precious fell ill, Rivera was captured on video allegedly flushing pills down the toilet before police arrived.

In Wilson’s just-released report, police say Rivera provided a DNA sample in the week before the rape charge was filed and “adamantly denied there was any possible reason his sperm or DNA would be found on (Precious).”

The girl’s autopsy confirmed the presence of Rivera’s DNA, along with fentanyl and amitriptyline, Wilson testified.

As WHAV previously reported, Rivera was placed in protective custody at the Middleton House of Correction once news of his rape charge became public. Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger said the security measure was taken after several inmates attacked Rivera, leaving him with bumps, bruises and a small cut.

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