‘No one cares about me’: Mom suspected in murder-suicide attempt says she thought her toddler daughter would survive if she cracked a window in her car

A Massachusetts mother is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder, after both she and her daughter were found suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

MassLive reports that Leeann Rickheit and her three-year-old daughter were found in her car in a wooded area outside of Worcester Thursday morning. Rickheit had allegedly stuffed the tailpipe with items of clothing and left the engine running, in an apparent suicide attempt. But she reportedly told police she cracked a window thinking it would save her daughter’s life.

Both the mother and daughter survived, and tests showed they each had elevated levels of carbon monoxide in their systems. According to court documents obtained by MassLive, Rickheit made suicidal threats to her mother via text messages and a phone call before she made the suicide attempt.

Massachusetts State Police issued an AMBER Alert Wednesday night after Rickheit reportedly took her daughter from a home in Worcester and allegedly threatened to harm the child. 

Authorities were able to trace the woman’s location through her cell phone, and found the car with the windows fogged up and the tailpipe stuffed with clothing. The little girl, Ella, was reportedly covered in a blanket and woke up after a trooper pulled her from the car.

As Rickheit was being transported to a hospital in ambulance, she reportedly said she attempted to kill herself because “no one cares about me,” and that she had her daughter with her because she “didn’t trust anyone else with her kid.”

Both mother and child are expected to recover, and Ella will placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Rickheit’s attorney entered a not guilty plea on her behalf on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery on a child and reckless endangerment of a child. The suspect is being held on $500,000 bond.