Wallaces’ Uncle Now Faces Murder Charge in 11-Year-Old’s Death

Salem Superior Court (Courtesy photograph.)

Miguel Rivera, the 58-year-old uncle of Haverhill’s Precious Wallaces, now faces a murder charge three months after the Consentino student’s sudden death. On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted Wallaces’ uncle, 58-year-old Miguel Rivera, on charges of murder and child rape, according to the DA’s office.

The grand jury also returned an indictment against Rivera for distributing a Class E substance to a minor on Dec. 15, the night police say Wallaces was exposed to fentantyl. He is also charged with rape of a child aggravated by age difference and indecent assault and battery committed with a dangerous weapon. According to District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s spokeswoman Carrie Kimball, the combined sexual assault counts will be prosecuted as one incident.

Police interviews and surveillance footage determined Rivera attempted chest compressions on his niece after discovering she was in medical distress, but waited 13 minutes before calling 911.

He later said he flushed sleeping pills down the toilet of his apartment’s common bathroom while Wallaces was in medical distress because he was “nervous” she ingested the medication.

Precious’ younger brother underwent a forensic interview after the incident, describing how 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.

Wallaces, a sixth-grade student at Consentino at the time of her death, was in a coma for two days before her death on Dec. 17.

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