A New Britain woman was arrested after police said she put her infant daughter out in the cold and claimed the child was kidnapped.
In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, the child's father said he and 30-year-old Leah Michele Nichols got into a heated exchange about their daughter Friday evening.
"We got into an argument, I left that night," said the father, who only wanted to be identified as Ryan. "I didn't want to have a fight with her or anything like that. She was texting me insane things to try to get me back home."
Nichols called police to tell them someone broke into her apartment, assaulted her and kidnapped her baby, investigators said.
"Leah had told me that someone had broken in and locked her in the bathroom, pulled her out and then knocked her unconscious and they took her," Ryan said.
When police arrived, they found the baby girl inside the car parked behind the house with three windows smashed out. It was 19 degrees outside, 9 degrees with the wind chill.
The child was wearing a onesie and a thin blanket. Next to the infant was a handwritten note that said "you lose Ryan."
"Things just didn't add up," said New Britain police Lt. Jeanette Saccente. "And once they started to investigate and coupled with the text messages, they realized there was more to the story than what she was revealing."
Police said Nichols was having issues with the baby's father, and may have said the child was kidnapped in an attempt to win him back.
The baby was brought to a local hospital and it is expected to be OK.
Nichols was arrested and charged with attempt to commit manslaughter, risk of injury and creating a false incident report.
The baby is staying with her great-grandmother for the time being. Her father said he's still having trouble understanding what happened.
"I was just having a problem accepting all of it," Ryan said.
The father added he's still shocked, he hopes Nichols stays behind bars for quite some time.
Nichols is being held on $200,000 bond and due in court next month.
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