Woman Held on High Bail after Murder-Suicide Foiled

August 10, 2017

August 10, 2017

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tim Connolly 508-368-7236

Or 508-688-5565

DUDLEY – A woman, who triggered an AMBER Alert after she threatened to kill her toddler and herself, was held on $500,000 bail after her arraignment today in Dudley District Court, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Leann Rickheit, 38, whose last known address was 59 Stafford St., Apt. 2, Charlton, was charged with attempted murder, reckless endangerment of a child, and assault and battery on a child with injury. Judge Robert G. Harbour ordered her held on bail and continued the case to Sept. 18 for a pre-trial conference.

“Some great police work helped to prevent a tragedy,” Mr. Early said. “The Worcester Police, presented with a serious threat of a murder-suicide, reacted quickly by calling for an AMBER Alert. The State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section did a great job finding the car in the woods of Charlton and getting both mother and daughter out of the car safely.”

Worcester Police received information last night of a potential murder-suicide involving Ms. Rickheit and her 3-year-old daughter. The police sought the public’s help in finding the mother and daughter. Details about the mother and daughter and the license plate number of the of the mother’s car were made public.  

The State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section located the vehicle in a remote area of Charlton. The car was running with clothes plugging up the exhaust pipe. Both mother and daughter appeared unconscious in the locked car. A trooper broke a window and got both mother and daughter out of the car.They were transported by ambulances to Worcester hospitals where they were treated for carbon monoxide exposure.

The case remains under investigation by the State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office. State Police VFAS, State Police Crime Scene Services, and troopers from the Sturbridge barracks worked on the investigation. Worcester, Charlton and Sturbridge police departments were extremely helpful in a joint law-enforcement  effort to locate the child.