Former Haverhill High School Athlete Dies After Three-Story Fall in Cancún; Services are Friday

Leah “Lee” Pearse.

Family and friends are mourning a 20-year-old former Haverhill High School athlete who died after falling three stories from a balcony Friday while on vacation in Cancún, Mexico.

Mexican police ruled Leah “Lee” Pearse’s death accidental. An obituary reports she attempted to enter her Airbnb through a third-floor balcony after locking her keys inside. “Tragically she slipped, fell and died instantly,” the notice reported.

Pearse graduated from the Classical Academy at Haverhill High School in 2020 where she was involved in student council, MC-ing coffeehouses, playing on the JV Lacrosse team and serving as a co-captain of the girls’ swim team.

She was born Aug. 11, 2002 in Newburyport. When she turned 18, she began working at Massachusetts General Hospital as a certified nursing assistant. Alongside her career as a CNA, she was studying at Simmons College and pursuing her five-year master’s in Nursing.

She leaves her boyfriend, identified as Augustine Robert Aufderheide; father, Reggie Pearse of Haverhill; mother, Amy Goldfarb of Somerville; sister, Anna Pearse of Boston; grandmother Judy Pearse of Wicklow, Ireland; and many aunts, uncles and cousins both here and in Ireland.

Visitation takes place Friday, Jan. 13, from noon-3 p.m., at Haverhill Country Club, 58 Brickett Lane, Haverhill. A memorial service begins at 3. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a fund set up in her name at the American Nurses Foundation.

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