Carlisle baby alive at birth, prosecutor says after teen mom in court

Carlisle baby alive at birth, prosecutor says after teen mom in court

An 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.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, the 18-year-old mother now charged with reckless homicide, spent just more than two minutes in a Warren County courtroom Friday.

On Friday evening, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said the charge “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.”

Richardson was whisked in by her parents into Franklin Municipal Court just as the Friday afternoon session began. Moments after they were seated, her case was called before Judge Rupert Ruppert.

The arraignment was just as quick. Ruppert continued her $15,000 bond and set an Aug. 1 preliminary hearing date, and Richardson was then quickly was led out of the courtroom by attorney Charles M. Rittgers of Lebanon. A not guilty plea had already been made for her.

On Friday evening, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said the charge “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.”

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.

Rittgers, retained Friday, said he was “going to refrain from giving any more comments until I learn more about the case.”

Richardson faces one to five years in prison, if convicted.

The case became public July 14 when investigators, acting on a tip from a doctor’s office, found an infant’s remains buried in the backyard where Richardson lives in Carlisle. Investigators returned to the house on Thursday, and arrested Richardson.

A criminal complaint filed Friday provided more of a timeline.

Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandi Carter wrote in the complaint: “On or about May 7, 2017, one Brooke Richardson … did recklessly cause the death of another, or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy.”

Warren County Sheriff’s Lt. John Faine said his office is still waiting for the final report from the county Coroner’s Office regarding the death of Richardson’s baby.

This news outlet was told that the search warrant of what investigators were looking for had been sealed by the court.

Investigators went back to Richardson’s home on Eagle Ridge Court on Thursday to obtain more soil samples and additional evidence as part of a forensic anthropologist’s work on the investigation, according to Doyle Burke, Warren County Coroner’s chief investigator.

That backyard dig included a fire pit and the area around it.

“We have learned more. That’s why we’re back out here,” Burke said.

The samples, placed in buckets investigators brought to the scene, were taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

About 8 p.m. Thursday, Richardson was charged with one count of reckless homicide and was transported to the Warren County Jail, where she was later released on bond.

Rittgers said of his client, “She’s taking it in the way that you’d expect: it’s shocked her. It’s a tragic situation.”

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