Warren County buried baby case: 5 things we know now

Posted at 7:56 AM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 17:51:21-04

CARLISLE, Ohio -- Here are five things we have learned in the investigation of Brooke Skylar Richardson, the 18-year-old woman whose baby’s remains were found in the backyard of her home July 14.

1. Baby alive at birth. The infant whose remains were found buried last week in a Carlisle backyard died more than two months ago but was alive at birth, not stillborn, court records and prosecutors revealed Friday.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said, “In response to various media and public inquiries regarding the Brooke Skylar Richardson case, the … 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,”

2. Active investigation. “Law enforcement is continuing to treat this as an active and ongoing investigation,” Fornshell said. After Richardson’s arraignment hearing, Warren County Sheriff’s Lt. John Faine said investigators are awaiting the final report from the Warren County Coroner’s Office. According to the criminal complaint, authorities allege that baby died more than two months ago. However, the search warrants have been sealed by the court.

3. Arrest came after second search. Richardson was arrested shortly after investigators from the sheriff’s and coroner’s offices returned to Richardson’s home on Thursday evening for more soil samples and other evidence around a fire pit. She was taken to the Warren County Jail but was later released on bond.

At her arraignment hearing Friday in Franklin Municipal Court, her $15,000 bond was continued and a preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 1. A plea of not guilty was entered for her. If convicted of the reckless homicide charge, Richardson faces one to five years in prison.

4. Cheerleader a ‘very good person.’ Richardson’s attorney Charles M. Rittgers spoke to the media outside of the Franklin Municipal Building and referred to Richardson by her middle name, Skylar. He said Richardson is a good student who just graduated from high school a few months ago and is planning to go to college at the University of Cincinnati this fall.

She didn’t drink. She wasn’t a partier or a smoker. By all measures a very good girl who helped children… She’s by all means a very good person,” Rittgers said as he described Richardson.

He said she helped kids with disabilities at a cheer camp and worked at the YMCA with children.

5. Doctor’s office gave tip. The case became public July 14 when investigators, acting on a tip from a doctor’s office that a Carlisle teenager may have delivered a stillborn infant. Investigators later found an infant’s remains buried in the backyard at Richardson’s residence in the 100 block of Eagle Ridge Drive.

List compiled by The Journal-News, a media partner of WCPO - 9 On Your Side.