CARLISLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Skeletal remains found buried in a Warren County backyard are from a baby that was born alive, prosecutor David Fornshell said Friday.
Brooke “Skylar” Richardson, 18, was charged with reckless homicide after investigators found remains of the infant in a wooded area behind her house last week.
Police initially believed the remains were that of a stillborn, but after further investigation, the Warren County Prosecutor released a statement on Facebook asserting that evidence indicates the infant was born alive.
“The filing yesterday of a preliminary charge of reckless homicide is based upon evidence that the infant whose remains were discovered at the defendant’s residence in Carlisle one week ago today was born alive and was not a stillborn baby. Law enforcement is continuing to treat this as an active and ongoing investigation,” Fornshell said.
Richardson posted bond Thursday night and the judge continued the bond Friday afternoon, which allowed her to go home with family after being arraigned.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by WDTN, Richardson recklessly caused the death of another or unlawfully terminated another’s pregnancy on or about May 7, 2017.
Deputies searched the family’s Eagle Ridge home twice before arresting the 2017 Carlisle High School Graduate.
According to officials, they received a tip about the baby remains, began digging and found the shallow grave in the backyard of the family home in the 100 block of Eagle Ridge Drive back on July 14. Lt. John Faine, with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, said the remains had likely been behind the home for 10 to 12 weeks. Six days after their preliminary search, investigators obtained another search warrant and went back to the home to collect additional soil samples from the original site as well as a fire pit nearby. Richardson was arrested a short time after.
The former high school cheerleader, whose attorney said she worked with children at a local YMCA and was college bound for the University of Cincinnati in the fall, did not make any statements in court or after.
“I can tell you Skylar was a very good student. She just graduated from high school a few months ago she has plans to start college very soon. She didn’t drink. She wasn’t a partier or smoker. By all measures a very good girl who helped actual children, children with disabilities,” Defense attorney Charlie Rittgers said. He went on to say, “She’s taking it the way you would expect. It’s a shock to her and a tragic situation.”
Rittgers told WDTN he was retained by the family just hours before the hearing and declined to comment on the charge or a pregnancy.
Reckless homicide, according the the presiding judge, is punishable by one to five years in prison.
Richardson is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on August 1.