Mystery Surrounds Haverhill Girl's Death, Investigation Ongoing

Grief counselors will be at 11-year-old Precious Wallaces' middle school in Haverhill for the rest of the week

The mystery surrounding an 11-year-old Massachusetts girl’s death remains as authorities continue their investigation into the cause.

The Essex County District Attorney's office says it is now testing for the possibility of fentanyl exposure in Precious Wallaces' death. 

On a GoFundMe page, Cathie Rivera says her niece was "loved by many" and "just starting to live life."

First responders were called to a rooming house on Jackson Street in Lawrence around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, where they found Wallaces, the district attorney said.

She was rushed to Lawrence Hospital and later flown by helicopter to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where she died Tuesday after several days on life support.

Rivera says her niece "fought her battle until the end." The family is now trying to raise enough money for a proper burial and is requesting privacy at this time.

Wallaces was visiting a family member, according to authorities, and was apparently a frequent visitor to the two-floor apartment where she was found Saturday. Building residents tell NBC10 Boston they believe the relative is her uncle.

"I heard the ambulances and I looked out the window. All I saw was three ambulances out here," Sherman Martinez, a resident of the building, told NBC10 Boston. "She was a beautiful kid. I've seen her around here for the last four years."

Authorities have not said what led to Precious being hospitalized, but are looking at exposure to a toxic substance as a possible cause of death. On the 911 call that came in early Saturday morning, a dispatcher can be heard saying, “Medic assist... Baby ate a bunch of candy and is now bleeding from the nose and mouth… having a hard time breathing.”

On a GoFundMe page, Cathie Rivera says her niece was "loved by many" and "just starting to live life."

Wallaces was a sixth grader at Consentino Middle School in Haverhill, where they will have grief counselors for the rest of the week.

"Sadness has once again gripped our school community. Precious Wallaces, a beautiful and well-loved girl that attended the Consentino School, passed this afternoon after an accident over the weekend left her on life supports," Haverhill Superintendent Margaret Marotta said in a letter to the school community. "Our condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of Precious."

"The city of Haverhill sends its condolences to the family of Precious Wallaces... who tragically passed away today," Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini said on Facebook Tuesday night. "Our thoughts are with the family during this Christmas season."

“The Department of Children and Families is investigating this tragic situation in collaboration with law enforcement,” a DCF spokesperson said Wednesday night.

The district attorney’s office is also investigating the young girl’s death. The district attorney's office said it investigates all sudden and unexpected deaths, and its involvment does not mean that foul play is suspected.

"At this point in time, all possible causes are being considered — including possible exposure to a toxic substance," the district attorney's office said. "However, we cannot confirm any specific cause at this time — as that is the purpose of our investigation. As with all death investigations, it takes time to obtain toxicology reports and other information needed to determine the facts and circumstances of her death."

It's unclear if anyone will be charged in Wallaces' death.

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