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Michael Riley graduation photo Carolyn DiSalvo Riley's graduation photo Michael Riley Carolyn Riley
Weymouth High School yearbook photos
Michael Riley graduated from Weymouth High School in 1991. Carolyn DiSalvo graduated in 1992. They married in 1994. The Rileys are shown after being arrested and charged with the murder of their daughter Rebecca.

Girl’s death didn’t keep parents from class reunion

Classmate: ‘I wouldn't have known anything was wrong’

The Patriot Ledger

WEYMOUTH - Two weeks after their 4-year-old daughter suffered a gruesome death in their home, Michael and Carolyn Riley showed no signs of grieving when they attended a Weymouth High School reunion on Dec. 30, some classmates said.

“I wouldn't have known anything was wrong,” said a woman who attended the reunion at the Weymouth Elks Lodge. She, and a half dozen other classmates who were interviewed, asked that their names not be published.

“She had kind of a weird look on her face,” the woman said. “Kind of a like a silly, goofy smile look.”

Rebecca Riley is seen with her mother, Carolyn, on Dec. 11, two days before Rebecca's death.
Riley Family photo
Rebecca Riley is seen with her mother, Carolyn, on Dec. 11, two days before Rebecca's death.

Today, the couple is charged with murdering their little girl, Rebecca Jeanne Riley, by intentionally giving her too much of a powerful prescription drug used to treat hyperactive kids. Hull police went to the Rileys’ home on Dec. 13 and found Rebecca’s lifeless body on the floor of her parents’ bedroom. An autopsy showed she had died of the combined effects of four drugs in her system. Investigators say the girl suffered for days before finally succumbing to the fatal effects of the drugs. Authorities say the Rileys ignored family members’ warnings to take Rebecca to an emergency room.

Some of the 100 or so people who attended the class reunion with the Rileys - it was Michael Riley’s 15-year reunion - said the couple sat alone at a table much of the night. “I don't think they really talked to many people,” a classmate said.

Some said Michael Riley told classmates that his daughter had died recently, and that he and his wife needed to get out so they would stop thinking about it. He never mentioned the couple’s two other children, a boy, 11 and a girl, 6, who were taken from their home and put in foster care after Rebecca’s death.

Still, despite the couple’s seemingly unfazed demeanor at the reunion, news that the Rileys are accused of murdering their daughter shocked many of their contemporaries.

“I was absolutely floored when I heard about it,” a classmate said.

Michael Riley graduated from Weymouth High in 1991; his wife, then Carolyn DiSalvo, graduated in 1992.

Former Weymouth neighbors of the Rileys also said the couple did not appear to be grieving when they visited just hours after their daughter’s death to let people know what happened.

Many who attended the reunion said the Rileys weren’t well-known when they were students.

“He kind of got picked on a lot, that's all that I remember,” said a classmate of Michael’s who didn’t attend the reunion but said he remembers Michael from elementary school.

In his yearbook profile, Michael Riley listed his favorite song as “The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics and named regional cooking as his favorite class. He was part of the school’s Students Against Drunk Driving club.

DiSalvo listed “Everything I Do” by Bryan Adams as her favorite song and Spanish as her favorite class.

Knowing what they do now, classmates say they are surprised Michael and Carolyn Riley would show up at a high school reunion, where small-talk typically revolves around each other’s children.

“You’ve got to know a lot of people are going to talk about that,” one classmate said. “It’s very bizarre that they showed up at their reunion. The last thing on my mind would be a party.”

Jack Encarnacao may be reached at