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Family hopes for justice after arrest in Amesbury teen’s death

“I hope the charges stick,” Chloe Ricard’s stepfather Brian Dolan said, speaking at his Amesbury home. “I hope this never happens to a 13-year-old little girl ever again.”
“I hope the charges stick,” Chloe Ricard’s stepfather Brian Dolan said, speaking at his Amesbury home. “I hope this never happens to a 13-year-old little girl ever again.”(Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)

AMESBURY — The stepfather of a 13-year-old Amesbury girl who was pronounced dead at Lawrence General Hospital on Monday said he hopes the family gets justice after investigators said Saturday they arrested a man who gave the girl drugs before her death.

Carlos Rivera, 47, of Lawrence is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at Lawrence District Court on numerous charges, including indecent assault and battery, the Essex district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Rivera is being held on $750,000 bail until his arraignment, said Carrie Kimball, the spokeswoman for the Essex district attorney’s office.

He is being charged in connection with the death of Chloe Ricard, said Detective Thomas Cuddy, a spokesman for Lawrence police, Saturday morning.

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In Chloe’s Amesbury home Saturday afternoon, her stepfather, Brian Dolan, said that the family plans to attend Rivera’s arraignment.

“I hope the charges stick,” Dolan said, speaking to a reporter in his kitchen. “I hope this never happens to a 13-year-old little girl ever again.”

Suspect Carlos Rivera’s home at 59 Bellevue St. in Lawrence.
Suspect Carlos Rivera’s home at 59 Bellevue St. in Lawrence.(Alejandro Serrano for the Boston Globe)

Rivera faces charges that include two counts of indecent assault & battery on a child under 14, one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14, and two counts of distributing drugs to a minor, according to the district attorney’s office.

The Amesbury 13-year-old and another girl under the age of 16 were at Rivera’s apartment at 59 Bellevue St. in Lawrence during the evening last Sunday and most of the day Monday, according to the district attorney’s statement.

Around 4:45 p.m. Monday, Rivera brought the 13-year-old to Lawrence General Hospital, the statement said. They were accompanied by the other underage girl who had been in Rivera’s apartment.

The district attorney’s statement Saturday did not name Chloe or the other girl, or include any details of the circumstances that led to the charges against Rivera.

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The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner had not yet determined the cause and manner of the 13-year-old’s death, according to the district attorney’s statement.

The death remains under investigation by the Essex district attorney’s office, the Essex State Police Detective Unit, and Lawrence police.

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

No one answered the door Saturday afternoon at 59 Bellevue St., a yellow two-story home across the street from a cemetery. Near the home’s front door, a purple toy car and a pair of child-sized scooters were visible.

Neighbor Carlos Ospina, 56, said in Spanish that the area is peaceful, but residents don’t know each other well and usually just exchange small talk.

“Beyond the front door, we don’t know someone’s life,” he said.

In an interview earlier in the week, Chloe’s mother, Deborah Goldsmith-Dolan, and Dolan told the Globe that Chloe had been dropped off at a friend’s house around 4 p.m. Sunday.

Goldsmith-Dolan said that after Chloe did not come home Sunday night, she reached out to her daughter’s friends the next day and was told the girl was with a friend in Haverhill.

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

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Goldsmith-Dolan was reporting her daughter missing with police around 4 p.m. Monday when a friend of Chloe’s texted her to say the girl was in the hospital.

On Saturday, Dolan said Rivera’s arrest came after Dolan and Goldsmith-Dolan spoke with authorities for more than two hours Friday night at Lawrence police’s headquarters.

Goldsmith-Dolan cooperated with police and gave investigators her phone, which Chloe often used, Dolan said.

Kimball, the district attorney’s spokeswoman, declined to comment on what information investigators might have gained from the phone.

Dolan recalled his stepdaughter as a girl who loved art and stood up for what was right.

He recalled a time when Chloe defended a classmate who was being harassed at school.

Chloe put a stop to it.

“ ‘Don’t pick on her,’ ” she told the bullies, Dolan said.

“That’s a good kid — because she didn’t like being bullied herself,” Dolan said. “That’s a real good kid.”


Alejandro Serrano can be reached at alejandro.serrano@globe.com. John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.