A Massachusetts woman was charged with attempted murder on Thursday after police allegedly found the woman and her daughter inside a vehicle with the tailpipe stuffed with clothing, according to court documents.
The night before, the Worcester Police Department issued an AMBER Alert for a 3-year-old girl reportedly in the custody of her mother Leeann Rickheit, who earlier had allegedly expressed suicidal thoughts, according to a police report.
Police discovered her vehicle parked behind a nearby pond, which friends said was a place she frequented.
“As officers approached the vehicle from the rear, clothing was observed stuffed into the rear tailpipe,” a criminal complaint states. “The vehicle was running and the windows were fogged up.”
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Rickheit, 38, and her daughter were sleeping or unconscious, according to the report, and officials broke the passenger window to rescue them. The pair was taken to the hospital and treated for carbon monoxide exposure.
On the way to the hospital, Rickheit allegedly told officials she wanted to kill herself because “no one cares about me,” according to the report. She allegedly added that she “didn’t trust anyone else with her kid.”
Rickheit pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted murder, reckless endangerment of a child and assault and batter on a child. Her bond was set $500,000. She requested a public defender.
Her child was taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families, according to local reports.
Rickheit is expected to appear in court on Sept. 18.