Former Haverhill High School athlete dies after falling three stories in Cancun; Services are on Fridays

Family and friends mourn a 20-year-old former athlete from Haverhill High School who died after falling three stories from a balcony on Friday while on vacation in Cancun, Mexico.

Mexican police say Leah “Lee” Pearse’s death was accidental. An obituary reports that she attempted to enter her Airbnb through a third-story balcony after locking her keys inside. “Tragically, she slipped, fell and died instantly,” the notice reads.

Pearse graduated from Classical Academy at Haverhill High School in 2020 where she was involved in student council, MC-ing coffeehouses, playing on the JV Lacrosse team and serving as co-captain of the women’s swim team .

She was born on August 11, 2002 in Newburyport. At the age of 18, she started working at Massachusetts General Hospital as a certified practical nurse. Alongside her CNA career, she was studying at Simmons College and pursuing her five-year master’s degree in nursing.

She leaves her boyfriend, identified as Augustine Robert Aufderheide; father, Reggie Pearse of Haverhill; mother, Amy Goldfarb of Somerville; sister, Anna Pearse of Boston; grandmother Judy Pearse of Wicklow, Ireland; and many aunts, uncles and cousins ​​here and in Ireland.

Tours are Friday, January 13, 12-3 p.m., at Haverhill Country Club, 58 Brickett Lane, Haverhill. A memorial service begins at 3. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a fund established in her name at the American Nurses Foundation.

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