Mom who triggered Amber Alert faces attempted murder charge

A woman who triggered an Amber Alert when she took her 3-year-old daughter from a home in Worcester, Massachusetts, is facing several charges, including attempted murder, according to authorities.

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Leeann Rickheit, 38, is expected to be arraigned in Dudley District Court Thursday morning to face the charges, brought against her.

Massachusetts State Police said that when troopers located Rickheit’s car in the woods in Charlton, Massachusetts, 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 either sleeping or unconscious in the car.

A trooper smashed 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 girl is reported to be in good condition, and Rickheit, who was kept under police guard, was held at the State Police Barracks in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and will be arraigned on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery on a child and reckless endangerment of a child.

State police said the car was located on the back side of a pond located through the woods behind a store in Charlton.

Investigators said they were able to locate Rickheit and the girl after members of the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section obtained information indicating Rickheit frequented the wooded area where they were located.

Rickheit will appear in Dudley District Court on Thursday morning.

State police issued the Amber Alert Wednesday night around 7:45 p.m. after they said Rickheit took the girl from the child's home and then began to make threats to harm her.

The Amber Alert was canceled hours later, just before 3:30 a.m., after the pair was located.

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