The mother and child being sought in an Amber Alert issued Wednesday night have been found, according to state police. The mother will now face charges of attempted murder and assault and battery.
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.
Rickheit, 38, had made threats against the child, officials said.
Rickheit and Ella were found early Thursday morning in a car parked in a wooded area in Charlton.
The car was running and the tailpipe had been stuffed with clothing, state police said, blocking the exhaust.
When troopers found Rickheit and her daughter, they were “either sleeping or unconscious in the car,” officials said in a statement.
A trooper smashed one of the vehicle’s windows to remove both mother and daughter. Two ambulances were called to the scene. Ella was taken to UMass Medical Center for examination and Rickheit was transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital under police guard.
Rickheit “frequented the wooded area” where she was found, according to information gathered by state police, often sleeping there in her car.
The child is now reportedly doing well, officials said.
Rickheit is expected to be arraigned today in Dudley District Court on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery on a child and reckless endangerment of a child.