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Family identifies girl, 13, pronounced dead at Lawrence hospital

Chloe Ricard.
Chloe Ricard.(Family Photo)

AMESBURY — A 13-year-old girl who was pronounced dead soon after arriving at Lawrence General Hospital Monday night was identified by relatives Tuesday as Chloe Ricard.

Her mother, Deborah Goldsmith-Dolan, and her stepfather, Brian Dolan, said Chloe was dropped off at a friend’s house about 4 p.m. Sunday. Chloe would often hang out with friends when she was overcome with sadness or anger and didn’t feel like being at home, her mother said during an interview at the family’s Amesbury home Tuesday night.

Chloe did not come home Sunday night, and Goldsmith-Dolan said when she reached out to her daughter’s friends on Monday morning, she was told Chloe was safe with a friend in Haverhill.

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At some point during the day, Goldsmith-Dolan said, a state worker from the Department of Children and Families contacted her, saying “there was some red flags” and that Chloe was possibly planning to move out of state.

Goldsmith-Dolan went to the police station to report her daughter missing about 4 p.m. Monday. She was there, she said, when a friend of Chloe’s texted her, saying Chloe had been taken to the hospital in Lawrence.

Fighting back tears in his kitchen on Tuesday, Dolan, 52, recalled seeing his stepdaughter in the hospital.

“I walked in and saw her sideways with tubes coming out of her. . . . I looked at her and said ‘It’s true, it’s her,’ ” he said.

Goldsmith-Dolan, 47, described her daughter as social and creative, as well as a good friend. She enjoyed listening to rap music, loved to draw, and wanted to be a tattoo artist.

“She was always drawing on herself, really awesome pictures,” Goldsmith-Dolan said.

Chloe had lost her father when she was in the third grade, and she coped with that loss by drawing, according to her family. She filled notebook pages with drawings of roses and spiders, and at least one self-portrait.

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“She was just a beautiful, kind girl,” her mother said, holding back tears. “Everyone that met her loved her; she was so social.”

Born in Vermont, Chloe moved to Northborough as a baby and lived there until she was 11, according to her family. After they moved to Amesbury, she started to hang out with the wrong crowd, according to her mother.

“I mean, she did have her problems, of course,” Goldsmith-Dolan said.

Now, the family wants answers. The investigation into Chloe’s death continues, according to authorities.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is performing an autopsy today, however we anticipate it will take some time before there is a ruling on the cause and manner of death,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office said in a statement. “This is an active and fluid investigation. There have been no arrests.”


Globe correspondent Andrew Stanton and Travis Andersen of Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.