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October 18, 2008

Student's infant son dead of natural causes

The month-old son of a Gloucester High School student has died, apparently from natural causes, after he stopped breathing Monday at home in Rockport.

Brayden Silva, born Sept. 3, was the son of Alexis Silva, a Gloucester High School junior who appeared on the NBC reality television program "Baby Borrowers" this summer to discuss the rise in pregnancies at the school and rumors of a pregnancy "pact" among students. The Times had been reporting the rise in pregnancies at Gloucester High since March, and a Time magazine report suggesting there was a pregnancy "pact" plunged the city into the national and global spotlight.

The precise cause of Brayden Silva's death was not available yesterday. A spokesman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said his office was waiting for the results of an autopsy, but emphasized that foul play was not suspected.

A Rockport ambulance responded to the Silvas' home on Granite Street at 10:37 a.m. Monday after receiving a call that an infant had stopped breathing. Brayden Silva was transported to Addison Gilbert Hospital. Alexis Silva lives with her mother, Alissa Silva, and father, Manuel Silva, in Rockport.

Alexis Silva appeared on a special edition of the NBC national television show "Baby Borrowers" on Aug. 6 — along with her mother, another current Gloucester High School student, and a former Gloucester High School student who is also a teen mother. On the show, Alexis denied knowing of any student agreement to become pregnant.

Gloucester High School Principal William Goodwin yesterday said that counseling services were available this week for any students who felt they needed them in the wake of the death.

The Times attempted to contact the Silvas both at their home and through the Pike-Grondin Funeral Home on Middle Street, Gloucester. Manuel and Alissa Silva both told the Times they did not want to talk publicly about the tragedy.

Visiting hours for infant Brayden Silva will be held Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home, and a memorial service will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Community Church of East Gloucester. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.

Patrick Anderson may be contacted at panderson@gloucestertimes.com.

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