The family of 13-year-old Chloe Ricard on Tuesday identified her as the girl who was pronounced dead soon after arriving at Lawrence General Hospital the day before.
Much about the circumstances of her death remains unclear, but police are investigating. No one has been charged with a crime. Here are some key details about the case:
1) Hospital arrival — Chloe’s stepfather, Brian Dolan, said he heard from a reporter that a 47-year-old man dropped her off at the hospital. Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office, however, has not disclosed who brought Chloe to the hospital, nor have authorities said how, or if, she knew that person. Dolan said doctors told him his stepdaughter was deceased when she was brought in.
“I want justice,” Dolan said Tuesday night at the family home in Amesbury. “Whoever hurt my stepdaughter is going to pay . . . the kid was only 13 years old.”
2) Family situation — Chloe was the youngest of three siblings, her family said, and her biological father died about five years ago. Her relatives said that she coped with that loss by drawing. She also enjoyed listening to rap music, caring for her furry white cat named Jack, and being with friends.
“She was just a beautiful, kind girl,” said her mother, Deborah Goldsmith-Dolan. “Everyone that met her loved her, she was so social.”
3) Timeline — Goldsmith-Dolan said she dropped Chloe off at a friend’s house in Amesbury around 4 p.m. Sunday but became concerned Monday morning when she hadn’t heard from her. So Goldsmith-Dolan texted Chloe’s friends, who said her daughter was safe with a friend in Haverhill. But later Monday, Goldsmith-Dolan said, Chloe’s DCF case worker informed her there were “red flags” suggesting the girl may have been planning to move to Virginia. Around 4 p.m. Monday, Goldsmith-Dolan went to the police to file a missing person’s report and got a text about 40 minutes later from a friend of Chloe’s saying she had been taken to the hospital. Hospital staff told Goldsmith-Dolan that whoever dropped Chloe off fled. Goldsmith-Dolan said she received conflicting accounts about the dropoff, with people telling her attempts were made to revive her daughter in the car, or alternatively that she was thrown out of the vehicle.
4) Cause of death — Blodgett’s office said Tuesday that the state medical examiner would perform an autopsy, and that officials anticipate “it will take some time before there is a ruling on the cause and manner of death.” Prosecutors said it “is an active and fluid investigation. There have been no arrests.”
5) Background — 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.
Chloe had plans to work at a pizza parlor when she turned 15, then get her license, graduate, and eventually become a tattoo artist, her family said.
According to her mother, Chloe attended Solstice Day School in Rowley, which describes itself on its website as a school that works to “help your student or child to develop life and academic skills, while also helping him or her with therapeutic coping strategies. We work with students grades 7–12.”
She had previously attended Amesbury Middle School.
“When a young student is taken from us so tragically and suddenly we mourn not only the loss of the child, but we mourn the loss of their future and the potential impact they may have made on the world,” said Jared Fulgoni, superintendent of the Amesbury Public Schools, in a statement.
He said Chloe “was a talented young artist. She was creative and found that she could sometimes best express herself through her artwork. She was kind to the younger students in the school and she showed great empathy for others. We will miss her smile, her creativity and her huge heart. In response to this crisis the Amesbury Middle School will have counselors available to support those in need. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chloe’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
6) Social Media Presence -- Chloe’s Instagram account contains one troubling rumination on death.
The message says, “I dont wanna live long at all. Yall dumb tryna clown me and bring me down for being what I am. ... I live my life everyday like its the last and thats me. Ill never change and one day i will not wake up and thats my goal. Stop worrying about my health.”
She had recently posted a photo of her and a friend sticking their tongues out, adding the message, “Copy cats.” A friend replied after her passing, “See u on the other side.”