Mom who triggered Amber Alert faces attempted murder charges

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Courtesy: FOX 25 Boston

WORCESTER, Mass. – The mother who triggered an Amber Alert when she took her 3-year-old daughter from a home in Worcester is facing several charges, including attempted murder.

Leeann Rickheit, 38, is expected to be arraigned in Dudley District Court Thursday morning to face several charges, including attempted murder.

Massachusetts State Police said that when troopers located Rickheit’s car in the woods in Charlton, Rickheit and her daughter were in the car, the car was running and the tailpipe had been stuffed with clothing, blocking the exhaust.

Troopers said they found Rickheit and her daughter, Ella, either sleeping or unconscious in the car.

A trooper was able to smash the window of the car to remove the child and Rickheit. Two ambulances were called to the scene and the girl was taken to UMass Medical Center. Rickheit was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester.

The child is reported to be doing well. Rickheit, who was kept under police guard, was held at the State Police Barracks in Sturbridge and will be arraigned today on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery on a child, and reckless endangerment of a child.

Police said the car, with the suspect and victim inside, was found on the backside of a pond located behind the woods behind the Country Store in Charlton.

Police learned that Rickheit had frequently visited this area and has slept in her car in the past. Police said they focused on this area after new developments led them to check various addresses in Sturbridge and in Charlton.