Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 20, is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and other crimes

By Steve Helling
September 04, 2019 05:01 PM
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An Ohio woman accused of killing and burying her newborn daughter allegedly searched the internet for ways to get rid of a baby when she realized she was pregnant.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 20, is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangerment. She has pleaded not guilty. Her trial began this week.

The case began to unfold in July 2017, when a doctor told police that Richardson may have delivered a stillborn baby. Police searched the family’s property where they said they found the remains of a newborn girl in Richardson’s backyard — then arrested the teen on multiple charges.

Prosecutors allege that Richardson did not want to be an 18-year-old single mom with college only a few months away. In the months after learning of her pregnancy, Richardson didn’t return for an ultrasound, bloodwork or any other treatment, while ignoring calls from the doctor and assistants, prosecutors have said.

But Richardson’s defense attorneys argued that the baby was stillborn and didn’t meet the legal criteria to be considered a child.

Credit: Charles Rittgers

In court on Wednesday, prosecutors alleged that Richardson searched “how do I get rid of a baby” on the internet upon learning of her pregnancy. Her mother had allegedly previously warned her that her life would be over if she became pregnant, prosecutors said.“She was determined to keep her secret,” Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Knippen said during opening statements, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “When she could conceal her daughter no longer, she took her daughter’s life.”

Prosecutors allege that Richardson texted her mom 24 hours after she allegedly killed her baby, excited that her stomach had gone down.

“I’m literally so excited for dinner to wear something cute yayy my belly is back now I am takin this opportunity to make it amazing,” she allegedly texted.

Prosecutors allege that Richardson texted her mother again the day after she buried the child. She had gone to the gym and was documenting her weight loss in photos, prosecutors said.

“I’m literally speechless with how happy I am,” Richardson allegedly texted. “My belly is back omg I am never ever ever evertrrr letting it grt like this again your about to see me look freaking better than before omg.”

Credit: Warren County Sheriff's Office

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Richardson’s attorneys have repeatedly admitted she buried the child’s remains in her parents’ backyard — but they say she only did so after the baby was stillborn and she didn’t know what to do with the remains.

Prosecutor David Fornshell said that they will show police interviews to the jury that “fully support the charges against Richardson.”

The trial could last up to two weeks.