Former Ohio Cheer Coach Accused of Killing, Burying Newborn Pleads Not Guilty
Richardson was indicted Friday on five charges, including aggravated murder
The 18-year-old Ohio woman accused of killing her newborn baby and burying the child’s body in a shallow grave behind her parent’s home has entered not guilty pleas to the multiple criminal charges she faces, PEOPLE confirms.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, a recent high school graduate and former coach at a cheer camp, appeared in court Monday and pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse, court officials in Ohio’s Warren County tell PEOPLE.
Richardson was indicted on all five charges Friday.
Police in Carlisle learned an infant had been buried in the backyard of Richardson’s parents’ house through a tip that originated from a doctor’s office. It remains unclear just what the tip was or who made the call to police.
The baby’s remains were found July 14.
Authorities initially believed the baby had been stillborn sometime in May, but further investigation showed that the baby was alive at birth, Warren County prosecutor David Fornshell told PEOPLE previously.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The manner of death remains a mystery, and likely will as the child’s body was found burned and already in an advance state of decomposition.
Investigators believe that the infant was alive just a few hours, and they are working to identify the father.
No one else has been charged but the case remains under investigation.
Richardson’s bond was set at $50,000. She posted that amount for her release, but will remain under house arrest. She also must wear an electronic monitoring device, court officials confirm.
If convicted of aggravated murder, Richardson could face the death penalty.
PEOPLE could not reach Richardson for comment. Her attorney, Charles Rittgers, said in a statement, “We are currently waiting to receive the evidence the prosecutor claims supports the indictment. The process could take a few weeks. Skylar did not kill her baby.”