Worcester Police issue Amber Alert for 3-year-old girl

Leeann Rickheit and her daughter Ella Abbott

State police issued an Amber Alert around 11 p.m. Wednesday night on behalf of the Worcester Police Department concerning the whereabouts of Ella Abbott, a 3-year-old who was reportedly taken from a Worcester residence around 7:45 p.m.by her mother, Leeann Rickheit. The auto was running, but the exhaust pipe was clogged with clothing and the windows were up, so either the woman and child were sleeping or unconscious at the time.

A search was conducted for the missing mom's 2007 Hyundai Sonata, which was later spotted on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton.

The two were found later Wednesday in a auto in a wooded area of Charlton, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) away.

When troopers found Rickheit and her daughter, they were "either sleeping or unconscious in the vehicle", officials said in a statement.

A suicide note was also inside the auto, according to Pashou.


"VFAS Trooper Keller Williams smashed a window to the vehicle and troopers removed the child and Rickheit from the auto", State Police explained in a statement.

Both Rickheit and Ella were reported to be conscious and responsive afterwards. Rickheit was taken to St. Vincent's hospital before being transported to the State Police barracks.

According to FOX 25, Leeann Rickheit, 38, is expected to be arraigned in Dudley District Court Thursday morning to face several charges, including attempted murder. The attorney representing Rickheit said that his client didn't think any harm would come to her daughter because she "cracked open a window".

She pleaded not guilty to all counts and was placed held in jail on $500,000 bail.

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