Lawrence man arrested on drug charges in death of 13-year-old Amesbury girl

AMESBURY, MASS. (WHDH) - A Lawrence man has been arrested on drug charges in connection with the death of a 13-year-old Amesbury girl who died after being brought to Lawrence General Hospital earlier this week.

Carlos Rivera, 47, was arrested early Saturday morning on two counts of distribution of Class B drugs to a minor, two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, according to a spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney’s Office.

Rivera was arrested at the Lawrence police station after being questioned by police.

He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Lawrence District Court.

Authorities allege Rivera and a girl under the age of 16 brought the 13-year-old girl to Lawrence General Hospital Monday afternoon. She was pronounced dead shortly after.

An investigation determined Rivera, the 13-year-old, and the other teen had been at Rivera’s apartment on Bellevue Street in Lawrence on Sunday and most of the next day. Prosecutors allege that at some point he provided the 13-year-old girl with drugs.

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The girl’s stepfather, Brian Dolan, said he was “ecstatic” to learn of Rivera’s arrest and plans to attend Tuesday’s arraignment, which is slated to take place hours before the girl’s wake.

Dolan said his heart broke when he was called to the hospital to identify his stepdaughter.

“It had to be one of the hardest things that I had to do in my life,” Dolan said earlier this week while fighting back tears. “I’m beside myself. This shouldn’t have happened. This kid was 13 years old.”

In a statement, Essex District Attorney Jonathan D. Blodgett said, “I want to commend the entire investigative team who worked around the clock to determine the events leading of the tragic death of a 13-year old girl. We will continue our diligent pursuit of justice for this victim.”

Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque also issued a statement, saying, “Everyone involved has worked tirelessly with the same goal, to get answers in the tragic death of this 13-year-old girl. The arrest of Mr. Rivera is obviously a huge step in that direction. Once again I am grateful for the hard work, dedication, and professionalism of District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Lawrence Police Detectives who worked on this case.”

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet ruled on the cause and manner of the girl’s death, which remains under investigation by the Essex District Attorney’s Office, the Essex State Police Detective Unit, and Lawrence police.

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