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Vigil for dead toddler
put off amid confusion


The Patriot Ledger

PEMBROKE – A vigil for Rebecca Riley, the 4-year-old who died in Hull after being given an apparent overdose of prescription medication, has been rescheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, April 22, on the town green in Pembroke Center.

The vigil was originally scheduled for yesterday. Organizers said it was , rescheduled because the Plymouth County district attorney’s office advised them to change their plans, an assertion the DA’s office said was untrue.

The rescheduled vigil, called Voice for Children, will be for all victims of child abuse and neglect, according to Frank Clements, one of the organizers.

Clements said he contacted the district attorney’s office on Friday to ask if he was required to notify Rebecca’s family of the vigil, which was intended to increase awareness of child abuse and neglect.

He said the person he spoke with discouraged using Rebecca’s name or picture at the event and suggested broadening the focus to abused children.

Fliers advertising the vigil showed Rebecca’s picture and said Rebecca had been the victim of abuse.

“We had already planned the whole thing, and it was too soon to change it,” Clement said. “We just didn’t want to get in trouble, so we decided to hold off on it until further notice.”

Bridget Norton Middleton, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said someone contacted the office Friday, but that “we don’t offer legal advice. What the public chooses to do is up to them.”

Michael Riley and his wife, Carolyn, Weymouth natives, are charged with murdering Rebecca, who died Dec. 13 in Hull from an apparent overdose of prescription drugs and cold medications.